Toronto, Ontario, Canada
When I went off to Calgary on March 2nd to visit my daughter & her family, life in Toronto was perfectly the way it had been for decades.
My first week on holiday I shopped, stayed in a hotel, watched my grandson play in his volley ball tournament & visted my granddaughter at her university, which included a lovely tour around her dormatory and all the university facilities.
By my second week there everything changed. My husband phoned to tell me about this virus that had hit Eastern Canada. Within a day Calgary too was reacting to this strange phenomenon. Within just a few days my flight back to Toronto was in jeopardy and life as we knew it had gone.
Unusal things were also happening. Shops became sold out of toilet paper !!! And places started to close. My grandson’s volley ball practices were stopped. Alberta schools were still open as they have a different March Break than Ontario – but the talk coming from the east was nothing but doom & gloom.
My flight was only domestic, so at this time was not cancelled, however, the problems I might experience on the actual plane & in the airports themselves, was catastrophic. I was unsure I was flying until the actual morning came to leave & my son-in-law was not too happy I was about to embark on the trip home. Thankfully the middle seat in most rows, on the plane, was vacant & the airports at both Calgary & Toronto were so quiet you could go several minutes without seeing another living soul.
My husband picked me up and so began my 14 days in isolation. It seemed an awful long time just waiting for any symtoms to emerge – but this way of life turned into months – not just weeks. My husband & I are both elderly. I am an asthmatic and he suffers from diabetes – all marks against us getting over this virus if we should fall prey to it.
Another of our granddaughters did the first intial shopping for us, leaving the goods on our doorstep. Then kitted out with mask, gloves, hand sanitzer & wipes my husband ventured forth into the shops for quick pick-ups of fresh vegetables & milk.
By this time most everything was closed, businesses, schools, restaurants, pubs, parks, beaches, hair saloons, dog groomers, and any stores which were not essential.
So we waited out the days, weeks, months. As the weather improved we moved from house into garden and spent our time pulling weeds & opening up the fish pond.
It is now early June almost 11 weeks since this virus came to stay in Canada.
Things are being opened up, now, here in Toronto – but very slowly. Parks, were the first & shops which were able to kit themselves out for “social distancing”. Other amenitties are following, with some businesses returning to work. But Schools and restaurants remain closed. Schools may open in September, restauarant patios may open in the next few weeks.
My daughter, granddaughter and myself had a holiday planned for the first week of May. To go to Crete. The first holiday the three of us were going on together. We had a night in a holtel booked at the airport and a day trip to Santorini while on the island. Afterwards, I was going to go to England for a further 3 weeks to catch up on relatives once more. All of this was cancelled and I am pleased to say money was refunded, but what a shame. We were looking forward to it so much.
All Highland Games have been cancelled this year, so our annual trip to Maxville to the Glengarry Games, in August, will now not take place and I live in hope of the international flights resumming so I can get to England. However, with the grim figures & travel restrictions still in place in England this seems unlikely this year.
But we are safe & although visits to our specialists for one thing or another are phone consutations only, we are coping quiet well.
So how are all of you faring ?
Let us know how things are doing in your part of the world. Or how your family is faring in their country.