I planted the rest of my seeds and seedlings yesterday! The garden is mostly peppers – bell, Hungarian wax, and a variety of hot peppers and tomatoes – San marzan, Roma, Tiny Tim (for Kat), Beefsteak, multicolored and Better Boy. We also have a few cucumbers, onions, zucchini (for Kat), peas, carrots, lettuce and radishes and a few herbs. I also have my flower planters done. Most of them are perennials but I add a few annuals to the mix every year.
Now I can start the rest of the yard clean up. Dan brought out the water hose yesterday so now I can dig out the pressure washer for the patio and pond. Then, I can start giving all the planters a fresh coat of paint. I am so excited for all the time I will have to spend outside in our yard this year!
Our provincial government has decided that it is time to re-open Saskatchewan. I agree that it is time. People need to return to their lives and we should be ready. Businesses have been made aware of what they must do to keep their customers and staff at minimum risk. Medical facilities have had time to prepare for Covid and non-Covid patients. Schools will remain closed for now as will churches, sports venues, and the like. Our government should be ready to take swift action if there are signs of a serious outbreak. People in general have been educated as to the risks of Covid 19 and the precautions needed to avoid contracting or spreading it. Saskatchewan is ready. It is time.
I have ventured out very little in the past two months. For the most part, I have gone only where I absolutely had to – our bank, our pharmacy, and to a lab for blood tests. I also went to one outdoor greenhouse and one very quiet dollar store. Dan has been doing all of our other shopping and errands on his days off.
Yesterday I decided that it was time. I put on a mask and headed off to Walmart with Dan to pick up a number of items that I prefer to buy for myself – shampoo, conditioner, and the like.
Dan dropped me off at the lineup to the Walmart entrance. There were maybe fifteen people in line. The line was orderly and moving at a steady pace. One person would be allowed to enter the store and the rest of us would move up a spot. The spots were clearly identified. I was signalled to enter the vestibule, where there were three more steps to move up. Then I was signalled to enter the store.
Once in the store, it was a GONG show. People were coming in, people were going out, people were crossing sideways to grab a cart or return a cart. I had no idea where I was supposed to go. A staff member caught my eye and motioned me over to get a freshly sanitized cart. I thanked him, grabbed a cart, and moved off towards the pharmacy area.
There were no arrows to indicate which direction I should be travelling. There were only a couple of other people in the immediate vicinity so I was easily able to keep my distance. I was relaxing, while still being vigilant. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a large man moving up beside me. I edged away from him just as he put his BIG hand on the handle of my cart.
This was not the first time Dan has stepped up beside me to take over pushing a cart but he startled me none the less. Fortunately, my mask muffled my shriek and we moved on.
I led the way around the store, while Dan pushed the cart. It was all good until we reached the grocery department. Suddenly there were arrows on the floor and I was going the wrong direction – as were half of the customers. Dan was in the next aisle, going the right direction. I caught up with him and we quickly got what we needed. We paid the cashier, who was on the other side of a plastic barrier. I was distracted when I noticed she was sanitizing the debit machine after I used it. 👍
By the time I turned back, Dan was gone. He was halfway out the door. As I was trying to get past the service counter, there was a staff member – right there – announcing Walmart’s Covid 19 protocols. In the ten square feet in front of her counter, there were a dozen people all going different directions. I was one of them. 🙄
It may be time and Saskatchewan may be ready. Personally, I do not feel that I am quite there yet – at least not for Walmart.
This just doesn’t seem to be Kat’s year for taking walks. A few days ago we were out walking when two dogs charged up from nowhere and tried to attack her. She was fine, but a bit traumatized. I haven’t walked her down that block since.
Last night we set off for our walk. We walked about five block and all was good – or as good as it gets walking Kat. She walks, then stops dead to smell a post, eat some grass, fill a poop bag, whatever. It is a process. She finally gets up to speed and, since we have doubled back, we are one long block and two short blocks from home. Kat stops and yipes – sharp and loud.
I looked down and Kat is holding one paw up in the air. I looked around and I saw a spiked seed pod on the sidewalk but nothing else. I crouched down and tried to have a look. There was nothing obvious so I tried to feel around between the pads of her hairy little foot but could not find anything. I stood up to see if she would put her paw down and walk on it. She tried but she couldn’t do it.
I decided that I had to carry Kat home. Picking her up was not the most graceful thing I have ever done. Carrying a fifteen kilogram dog three blocks was not going to happen. I carried her about six feet before I set her down and tried to catch my breath, while digging in my walking bag for my cell phone. Fortunately, Dan was home, answered the call and agreed to come and meet up with us.
Once again, I picked up Kat and tried to do my part in meeting up with Dan. I made it another six feet before crouching down and letting Kat slide out of my arms. When Dan got to us, we were both looking pretty pathetic.
Dan checked Kat over and convinced her to try to stand on the grass by the sidewalk. She decided that she could limp home beside him, stopping a couple of times to eat more grass.
When we got home, I got out a pair of tweezers and had a better look at Kat’s food. I did find a sizeable sharp splinter that I removed but she was still limping. Dan had another look and decided she most have twisted her paw when she stepped on the splinter.
Kat still had a bit of a limp this morning but she has been doing fairly well. She has been bouncing out to the gate to check out every passerby. It seems she will be fine but I think it is best if we skip our walk today.
If you have heard of Regina, you have probably heard of the Saskatchewan Roughriders – our CFL football team. 🏈
Regina is widely known for the Rider pride that drives tens of thousands into Mosaic Stadium every year regardless of sun, rain, snow or hail. Fans are decked out in the team’s green and white, with many of the diehards sporting watermelon helmets.
Dan started the day by running to Superstore for a few essential groceries to get us through his next round of shifts.
Finally we ran into the Dollar Store. I am not sure what their social distancing plan is. They have arrows pointing down the aisles one direction and footprints pointing down the (same) aisles in the opposite direction. People were stumbling all over the place. I was glad I had my facemask on. 😊
Now it is time to get outside and get some work done. It isn’t terribly warm but at least it is nicer than it has been this week. 🌞
Dan and I took another little drive this afternoon. We picked up a few bedding plants from my favourite nursery, then we took a short drive. We came across a lot of road construction and street cleaning. I took a few photos to share.
The sun has finally reappeared for a couple of days. Dan is on shift but Kat and I spent as much time outside as we could today. I wasn’t up to doing a whole lot, but I did a bit of straightening up and of course we took our walk – and I took a few shots around the yard.
When the the first reports came out about Covid-19, I was amazed by the massive hospitals that were being built in China.
Part of my fascination with these hospitals came from my career in the construction industry. In 2019, we opened a new children’s hospital in Saskatchewan. It took twenty five years to ‘plan’, design and build the facility. If we were going to require a new Covid-19 hospital, it would not be built in ten days.
The other part of my fascination was the number of doctors, health professionals, and support staff who would work in these massive hospitals. I wondered who was taking care of all of the people who would typically require health services. In most countries, certainly in Canada, there is not an overabundance of medical personnel. I wondered who could possibly be taking care of all the ‘regular’ patients.
My husband and I are fortunate in that we do not need medical intervention on a regular basis. We both have health issues which are generally controlled by our regular prescription drugs. I could be magnanimous in worrying about ‘others’.
I did think it was prudent to self isolate for the duration. I have asthma and I had pneumonia in February. At my post pneumonia check-up, I had been diagnosed with COPD. It made sense to to avoid a respiratory virus, even though I was feeling okay. A few days of warm sunny weather in April and I felt really good!
In the latter part of April, our monsoon season arrived. Suddenly, I was struggling with the humidity. I checked out the website for our health clinic and it seemed to be business as usual. (We have had few documented cases of Covid -19 in our province). Still, I was hesitant to call for an appointment as I balanced the risk of contracting the virus versus the struggle to breathe.
When I did call, I found that the clinic was booking phone consultations. That made sense. It kept the doctors safe so they could continue to help their patients and it kept vulnerable patients safe. I requested a consultation and my doctor called a few minutes later. After a lengthy chat, he prescribed a new inhaler. He also made a call to a respiratory therapist to see if he could set up an in-person appointment for me. Unfortunately, therapists were on the long list of health providers who were not seeing patients. I tried the new inhaler and it helped a little, but it was not a great fix. On my follow up call to my doctor, he sent me for blood tests to rule out heart and/or kidney issues. The tests came back fine. He called the respiratory therapist again. They are to start seeing patients later in May and they will no doubt have a lengthy list of established clients to see. In the meantime, I wait.
I know, this condition will not be fatal. (- at least not any time soon.) I know getting stressed will just make breathing more difficult, so I focus on relaxing. I take short walks with Kat when it is not raining. I continue to do what I can – cooking, cleaning and laundry. I know it could be worse, but this is not fun. Every breath is a challenge – no effort is small. A short walk, a few stairs, lifting anything – and my heart is racing as I fight to breathe. I sit down and there is a weight on my chest. It feels like I am suffocating. It is exhausting.
I am grateful that I have access to my doctor. Grateful for the support and care he has provided despite his limitations. I feel for anyone who is waiting for appointments, tests, procedures, treatments, operations, and therapy. It is unavoidable right now but it is still difficult. I know.
I hope the worst of this pandemic will soon be behind us. I hope that we can soon be on the path to a new normal where people can send their kids back to school, get back to work, and once again have access to the services we rely on. Life will never be the same after Covid-19, but I look forward to the day when it is functional.
Dan and I worked in the yard on Saturday. (Dan did most of the work but I am pretty sure that as his spouse I am entitled to half the credit.) Anyway, we decided to take a drive yesterday as a reward for all of ‘our’ effort.
We made it home to have a slice of the most amazing salted caramel cake. Dan went shopping on Saturday morning and he drove ten blocks out of his way to go to the Co-op to get it for me. It was so worth it!