This morning it occurred to me that this has become the new normal for me already. I have been tracking this since it broke in China. I have not been just watching it spread on the news, I had been reading in-depth articles about symptoms and counter-measures. Weeks ago I ordered six N95 masks on Amazon. I took delivery of them yesterday. I have distributed them to; Myself, Barb, Sarah and Becky, who I have been in isolation with. I also dropped one off to Bob, which came with a stern warning about it’s use, hand washing and his ability to come and stay at my place if he wanted to, or if anyone at Kiwanis Village so much as coughs. The last one was for a colleague who is going through chemotherapy. I contacted him and it turns out that he is doing fine and already has one. So, my last one went to a friend who is also my realtor. His wife is the manager of a local grocery store. This is my way of thanking her for keeping the food supply chain open and stocked.

Below is today’s number for the countries that I’m watching. A significant difference from the last stats I posted on March 21st, as the USA catches up to Italy at an alarming rate.

Country Total Cases Active Cases Deaths
China 81,218 4,287 3,281
Italy 74,386 57,521 7,503
USA 61,081 59,853 841
Canada 3,290 3,075 30
COVID-19 on March 25th 2020

USA: Trump passes bill to provide $2 Trillion in funding for COVID-19 assistance. The Governor of New York state has requested that President Trump send in the military. He has complied, declaring NY state a ‘Disaster Zone’. California and Washington states finish out the top three impacted. Things are ramping up very, very quickly south of the border.
Canada: $107 Billion in relief aid for Canadians. Ontario orders all non-essential business closed.

On my lunch break today, I went to the local Super Store to pick up some groceries. With restaurants closed, I have been eating exclusively home cooked food. As I parked, I donned my mask and gloves before proceeding out of my car. I did it almost instinctively, without thought. That’s when it occurred to me that this has become the new normal for me. I have been thinking along these lines for weeks now, as I watched COVID-19 travel the globe. I’ve come to regard other people with caution. I’ve become accustomed to working from home, staying home. I’ve become accustomed to isolation. Although I do still visit with Barb and her daughters for dinner routinely a few times a week, my default position is at home, alone. What I would have considered sad isolation months ago, now makes me feel as safe and secure as one can in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

As people have been preparing for survival during the pandemic, we have been seeing stores running out of food and supplies. In light of the sporadically empty store shelves, we are now seeing rationing of popular items. I have never seen either rationing or supply chain deficiencies in my lifetime in Canada. Welcome to the new reality. For some bizarre reason, people can’t seem to get enough toilet paper. It has been consistently out of stock for weeks now. We are also starting to see shortages of things like beef and butter, depending on the store you visit and the day you visit. As I was going shopping today, I told my boss (via instant message) that I was taking time off to do some shopping on lunch. In my mind, I already had a list of stores that I would visit, and the order in which I would visit them. I have been food shopping two or three times a week, and my fridge/freezer are almost full. They are certainly the fullest that I have ever had them. I estimate that I have enough food to get me through about two weeks, if food supplies stopped completely. Unfortunately, eating carnivore means that almost all of my food is refrigerated. If I lose power, I might be in a bit of trouble. I do have a few cans of tuna in the cupboard in case that happens.

I do love spending this much time at home. I’m a home body at heart these days. An unexpected up-side is that spending so much time alone at home has given me the time to consider my lifestyle. I’m eating very well (see my blog on eating Carnivore) and sleeping well. I have been doing some home exercising with my bosu and box weights. But, it occurs to me that I should be doing some cardio to counter the amount of walking that I am no longer doing, since I’m working from home now. While working from home had been wonderful with the fireplace on and music playing in the background, I want to make an effort to ride my bicycle from time to time. I’m trying to make lifestyle changes that will bolster my immune system. Not having a spleen has given me some low-grade anxiety with this pandemic. I have to be careful, and a strong immune system might afford me some insurance in case I do catch it.

So far, I feel fine. No coughing, no sniffles, nothing. So far, so good.

It has also occurred to me that I may lose family and friends to this scourge. I’m not sure that I’m ready to think about that yet. But, it did occur to me as I was anxiously awaiting the delivery of the masks. Barb, Sarah and Becky still all go out for their various versions of hikes/walks. I felt very nervous for them until the masks came in. But still, there are many loved ones at risk. My Adrian cousins in Rhode Island come to mind. With NY state being the American ‘Epicenter’ (as described by Governor Cuomo yesterday), that leaves them very close and at huge risk.

For today, all I can do is to wear my mask and gloves, exercise social distancing and wash my hands excessively. I use Clorox Bleach Spray Cleaner to disinfect my door handles, phone, keyboard, mouse, car steering wheel and car door handles. For today, that is the best that I can do.

For today, that is the new normal.