Distancing etc

Last week was the first full week when I had actively practised the social distancing thing. The previous week we had gone out for dinner and lunch and to the supermarket and pharmacy. But with the number of cases rising in Canada, it seemed sensible to follow medical advice. Unfortunately, I fall into two of the be-wary categories. I am over 65 and I have an underling health issue. Many of you know I have a blood cancer called Polycythemia Vera and I’m currently on chemo which means my immune system is not as vigorous as it should be. So, I am staying at home and washing my hands.

In many ways I am lucky. Our condo is reasonably large with a terrace. If the weather was warmer –it was zero as a high yesterday– I would be sitting out on it enjoying the sunshine. My husband and I have enough space inside so that we are not bumping into each other and can hang out in different rooms. At the moment I am typing in the kitchen and he is working in the living room.

Getting exercise is important. The exercise room and all public areas in our condo building are closed. I have been trying to go for a walk when the weather co-operates. This desire is complicated by the fact that we live on the fifth floor. Going down in the elevator means that I might be sharing the small enclosed space with other people and you can not stand far enough apart. I try to use it in off times but that doesn’t always work. The other day I was waiting for an elevator when a woman came along and started to talk to me. I backed up a bit as she seems rather close and then she walked forward and I stepped back again. Luckily, the elevator arrived before I ended up with my back against the wall. Yesterday, I walked down the stairs and felt a bit wobbly. I didn’t walk back up after my walk.

Outside is lovely even in cool temperatures. I wear a warm jacket, hat and gloves to stay warm. Two days ago, I was leaning on a fence, listening to the birds which have started to go nuts when a passing man asked if i was okay. I said I was just enjoying the fresh air and watching the river and he nodded in recognition. When people pass, we leave enough space between us. There are plenty of walkers and bike riders these days. I see whole families outside and I am sure many people with their kids to entertain at home use regular outdoor activity to burn off energy.

I’ve always washed my hands but not as diligently as i do now. I am using bar soap and this does to dry the skin so I’m also using more hand cream. Any suitable cleaners have already departed from store shelves but after I read that dish soap and water are effective, I am using that to wipe down all surfaces. Apparently copper is the best surface to have as the virus lives on it only for a few hours but my kitchen counters are made of granite.

Next week I will write about how tings are going after another week of social isolation.