Changes are especially tough when you’ve been hoping and planning for a thing to see you through rough times. For months Sarah, Jeff, and I have been planning a boat and bike trip in the Florida Keys over the holidays. It’s been a strange and difficult fall, thanks to the pandemic, and biking somewhere warm and sunny sounded like an an excellent idea. In the Before Times I’ve gone south most winters to get in a week or two of warmer weather biking. And then of course everything changed. Our last trip was January 2020.
There’s been a lot of planning and discussion about this trip. Jeff had to wait in Nova Scotia on the boat until the US border opened and he could make the dash to the east coast US. Once there, he motored quickly to make his way south. He’s now in Florida but, and it’s a big but, Canada has issued a travel advisory and everything feels all wrong.
We know we can drive. We know no one will stop us. We’d be outside, etc etc.
But as the CBC reports, “Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos is asking Canadians with plans to travel abroad to cancel their trips as the highly transmissible Omicron variant spreads worldwide. To prevent travel-related infections at a time of mounting case counts, the federal government has changed its official guidance to advise Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside the country for the time being. “To those who were planning to travel, I say very clearly — now is not the time to travel. The rapid spread of the Omicron variant on a global scale makes us fear the worst,” Duclos said.”
When the thing I’d been looking forward to all semester looks now like it won’t happen, I was pretty upset. And I’ve got to say, as Omicron rages across the province and the city of Guelph issues work from home orders, my usual coping strategies aren’t working.
For the first time since the pandemic began, I lost my “we can do hard things and get through this” spirit. I won’t argue here much about these things but I have been very keen to follow the advice of public health and do what I am asked. I stayed home when asked to stay home. I got vaccinated, I’ve had a booster. And now there is a new variant moving so quickly through the population of my province that even having done all that the hospitals might be overwhelmed anyway? It’s hard not to despair and I am not the despairing sort.
I shared this with our Facebook page I Can’t Self-Care My Way Into Feeling Better Anymore. I confessed that I wasn’t yoga-ing with Adrienne through this wave of the pandemic. I mean I might get there. I hope I get there. But Friday at least I was in the ‘go to bed with a box of chocolates at 7 pm and watch Only Murders in the Building’ stage of coping.
It’s the whiplash that’s hard. Things were going so well.
I’m a resilient sort and I’m surrounded by people who love and support me through difficult times. The weekend got better. Sarah and I went to a friend’s backyard party on Saturday and felt very festive, very covid-safe, and very Canadian eating wonderful food and celebrating the Yule with friends, wearing snowsuits, gathered around a fire. Thanks for hosting Nancy!
We used an old sail to keep the snow off the food.
Sunday, we decorated the house, even though few friends will see it except on social media. Family will enjoy when the kids visit for Christmas. (Yes, we’re all fully vaxxed and we’re rapid testing first and we’re a small group.) It makes me smile and we’ll have our annual ‘bring cookies and eat them’ party next year.
Sarah and I also went for a dog walk with Kim and Emma, Cheddar, and Charlie in the sun and the snow. That helped too.
In the evening we drove around with my mother looking at the most decorated houses of Guelph. All very safe and very festive.
Here’s one with a minion choir!
Here’s one more festive house!
No final decisions have been made but we are thinking we’ll head south and bike and boat whenever the travel advisory lifts. We don’t have to go now.
I’m breathing a bit better and feeling less sad, anxious, and panicked.
Maybe we’ll do the Festive 500 after all.