Saturday, March 28, 2020

Covid-19 (Day 16 of Self-Isolation)

In the year of the Plague it's all fine and dandy for a while and then cranky sets in. I'm trying to drag myself out of it. Irritated with myself - but not with others who are valiantly doing their very best - as we all are. Counting the blessings ain't working today. Most days, well yes. I'm not perfect (surprise, surprise).

I believe in the concept of Gaia. And have for a very long time. The hypothesis is explained quite well here, James Lovelock, in the sixties wrote extensively about it.

Here's a good summary:

The Gaia theory posits that the Earth is a self-regulating complex system involving the biosphere, the atmosphere,
the hydrospheres and the pedosphere, tightly coupled as an evolving system. The theory sustains that this system as a
whole, called Gaia, seeks a physical and chemical environment optimal for contemporary life.[1]
Gaia evolves through a cybernetic feedback system operated unconsciously by the biota, leading to broad
stabilization of the conditions of habitability in a full homeostasis. Many processes in the Earth's surface essential for
the conditions of life depend on the interaction of living forms, especially microorganisms, with inorganic elements.
These processes establish a global control system that regulates Earth's surface temperature, atmosphere composition
and ocean salinity, powered by the global thermodynamic desequilibrium state of the Earth system.[2]
The existence of a planetary homeostasis influenced by living forms had been observed previously in the field of
biogeochemistry, and it is being investigated also in other fields like Earth system science. The originality of the
Gaia theory relies on the assessment that such homeostatic balance is actively pursued with the goal of keeping the
optimal conditions for life, even when terrestrial or external events menace them

I've often been labelled a crackpot for believing this planet is a self-healing organism, wondrous in its capacity to adjust and correct and attempt now and again to throw us parasites off into kingdom come in a desperate effort to revert to its natural balance.

And now here we are, a world slowly falling silent. Skies clean, oceans breathing. Factories ceasing to belch. Gas fumes not spewing from silent cars. Everyone looking at larders, looking at minimums, decrying excess. Getting comfortable (or not) with their own vibrations.

Taking time to think.
To ponder individual journeys to this point.

This crackpot apologizes to Gaia every morning in meditation.

We have dug deeply into her core, she is bruised and bleeding but her weapons are far, far mightier than ours.

She will help us huddled masses to heal.

If we listen to her.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Covid-19 (Day 11 of Self-Isolation)

Sorry for the gap. A wee bit overwhelmed with the Covid-19 site and my emotions too of course. Two of my moderators stress-quit, I took a short break. It is difficult to process all the news reports every day and realize that most countries are so far behind the ball that it is enormously distressing anticipating the rising toll of deaths. Our island didn't shut down as most wanted but put people rolling in from sunnier climes (we call them "snowbirds" here) on an honest self-isolation and you can guess the rest. Strolling into grocery stores and coffee shops and hugging neighbours. Not understanding or not caring what social distancing is or quarantine for that matter. I would have incarcerated them for 14 days. Without exemption. But that's just me. Knowing enough about contagion to terrify me.

Objet du Jour - an owl full of pencils. Owls are my spirit animal and I have many, many owls gifted to me over the years.

We are now up to 24 cases on the island. People from abroad infecting mourners at funeral homes, etc. So we're not on the ball at all.

I am keeping busy with Zoom meetings and modified exercise and my doc booked a call with me today at 3.45pm. That's socialist health care, folks.

The world is changing so rapidly and I read a marvelous article today on how the whole global economy will morph and change as a result. All is not lost. As long as we take every precaution to protect ourselves and those we love.

Here is the article

How are you all doing?

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Covid-19 Day 6 of self-isolation

Objet du jour = leftover yarn balls, bowl hand carved by my last gentleman caller a few years back. Signed and numbered.

@@Received a notice under the door that the building is in lockdown so it is most terribly quiet. The library and community rooms are off limits and no visitors allowed. I feel safer and am very glad they are finally doing something though it may be too late with so many wandering willy-nilly all over the city, caring for grandchildren and running to Costco.

@@I can't believe how busy I am. It took me a while to set up Zoom for meetings. Great when it works but because everyone here is just about remote working now the drain on the system means it gets a bit non-buffery which can be irritating. Also busy monitoring items for the Covid-19 site but I have 4 moderators/admins now and that helps a lot.

@@I am working on a collection for another book called "Elder Reflections" which will incorporate life stories of people over 65 with a weekend workshop planned for the early fall to finalize. And hopefully publication before Christmas.

@@I heard from three of my four brothers today and I am so grateful for their reaching out. I am again reminded that when the world seems so perilously dangerous, we have all the time in the world to type loving letters and emails and texts and make phonecalls and have have zoom meetings and start new rituals.

@@I was saving a huge book, Pachinko, that grandgirl gave me for Solstice (we all exchange books at Solstice). I started it this morning. Oh the wonders of a beautiful book!

@@So how's it all going out there? I do read your blogs but time constraints are rough on commenting and also on responding on mine. I will get there........

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Covid-19 (Day 5 of self-isolation)

Objet du jour - a little stand I have beside my PC with current mail or favourite pieces, right now one is a Maud Lewis postcard created by my daughter, the other is a note from one of my favourite bloggers down in Oklahoma. The message is of peace in our world and hearts and bodies.

Much more activity on the home front now. And by home front of course I mean my home. I did finish reading a book but got very involved in on line meetings and phone calls and of course monitoring our Covid-19 website. Extraordinary how that can eat into the day. I forgot to have lunch.

I placed my first grocery order from a local merchant who is delivering. It will be dropped outside my apartment door and I will wash hands and wear rubber gloves when I move it inside. And then wash my hands again after I handle it. And then wait a while before opening it. Not sure what protocols are during deliveries for this type of service. I will not face to face with him or her.

I have to say our PM is very on top of things every day. His wife is sick with Covid-19 and he must be worried but he's out there positioning himself as far as he can from the media to keep us informed.

It looks like it's getting worse here. I sure hope not but stats don't lie.

@@ Odd thoughts - why is the history of the world mainly written by men? What have we all missed of women's stories and doings? What were their thoughts, their inventions, their courage and bravery?

Monday, March 16, 2020

Covid-19 {Day 4 of self-isolation)

Objet du jour - my ginormous button jar - some of these are Granny's, some are Mum's. They follow me everywhere.

The website I started on FB is keeping me busy - you'd be surprised at how much time monitoring takes as we aim to keep it non-political and secular. Thoughts and prayers don't cut it. Science might though, n'est pas? One guy started threatening me last night when I removed him from the site, found my email, etc. etc. Thus proving over and over again how inappropriate he was. I threatened police on him for this harassment. And as I live in a building I feel relatively safe. In a house, not so much.

I am enjoying the isolation so far. I find I have more time for music, more time for emails, a kind of much laid back approach to life.

Worry underlines everything though. I have to practice a form of mindful meditation when I go to bed as my heart is palpitating so badly. The stress of the day, I think being on social media and reading so much on this virus contributes to this. Many of my friends are still free-ranging and it worries me. They can't grasp the contagion side of this. As in they might very well be infected already and it will be the 11.5 days statistically before they display symptoms.I am sure I am viewed as a kind of crackpot for pulling away so early. I view myself as a crackpot for not pulling away sooner than that. Every little pain or discomfort in my head I go: oh here it is.

Other items:
@@Free deliveries of groceries here for seniors and disabled. Nice touch.

@@I'm sticking to my routines even more closely: healthy meals, dressing in the morning, getting up at the usual time, Tao meditation, some mild exercise and washing dishes every night.

@@Wondering if I could go outside at midnight and do a bit of walking in the fresh air. Some are doing this.

@@In touch with other self-isolators and corresponding via email as I find my android is straining my eyes and I prefer being on my desktop.

@@I have clean laundry for about a month so not worried on that score.

@@Strange new world indeed and getting stranger by the minute.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Corvid-19 (Day 3 of self-isolation)

Way back in the summer of 1956 my parents took the remarkable step of isolating all 5 (we were eventually 6) of their children on an island off the coast of West Cork.

For the entire summer.

There was an epidemic of polio in 1956 and they took the preventive strategy of isolating their children from it. Self isolating in other words before it was too late.

This island was primitive, no running water, no toilets, no electricity. And we had to share a very small cabin with another family with 5 children who had taken the same precautions.

But we managed. We roamed the island, played cricket (a lot) and obscure ball games that still come back to me, read every book and piece of paper we found and wondered why our parents were reacting so strongly to something quite vague and invisible. We were 4 to a bed - tops and tails, youngest sleeping with the parents.and meals were in shifts for 14 people, young kids first then the older children and adults. Simple food from local farmers, milk picked up at milking time along with the eggs. We played indoor games when it rained and were marched off to the cliffs to cool off if we got petulant and truculent.
"You're not the only one feeling like this, we all have to get along or none of us do."

Close quarters alright.

And only in hindsight do I thank my parents, for when we finally got back to the city we saw how other children had been affected with this disease. We saw leg braces while many were in iron lungs in the hospitals, permanently crippled.

Mum and dad struck a brave, preemptive strike for the safety of their children, at who knows what cost - 4 parents, 10 children in a tiny, isolated cottage, dear gawd - but we were so very, very fortunate in their concern and love.

And a part of my heart has always remained there. We were right on this beach, the scene of daily cricket (called rounders) and all the swimming we could handle. You can actually see the rusty red roof of the cabin (long in disuse now) just up from the strand.

Friday, March 13, 2020


I realize I haven't been active on my blog or on yours for that matter for about a week now. I was busy with the usual, medical stuff and then Covid-19 got my attention as so many here (including those that should know better - government and health care) on this island were being totally cavalier as to the huge tsunami coming our way. Being elderly and vulnerable I thought to form a Facebook group which is now growing exponentially with global and local stats and articles from all over, particularly Italy, which is one of the canaries in the coal mine so to speak. And of course advisories and personal experiences and recommendations.

For now I am self-isolating but have shopped essentials and as I never in my life have been bored, enough knitting and reading and DVDs and streaming services to make it all pleasurable.

We don't have a case here yet but rumours abound from local people who attended a resources conference in Toronto which now has victims. Along with many returning from sunnier climes where pandemic cases exist.

I think we all fell down when Sophie Gregoire, our Prime Minister's (Justin Trudeau) spouse, came down with it.

If you need a link to my FB Covid page, just fire me an email (wisewebwomanatgmaildotcom) and I will send it to you. As this blog is anonymous, for many reasons, I can't link here.

I had a really good day yesterday(my last self-declared free ranging day for a while) and met with some good friends and essential-shopped and exhaustion seemed a huge distance away. I really treasure those special days as they are rare. A day at a time is how I am living now.

How are you all out there in this new land of Covid-19? Any tips or safety measures or changes or are you feeling safe and not vulnerable and confident in your country's management of this enormous threat?

Friday, March 06, 2020

Friday Fumbles

I was at my second consultant examination this week. Two separate days. Both taking place in the Health Science Centre which is a rambling spreading behemoth of recent design. Poor signage, endless walking, limited parking, limited wheelchairs. In other words incredibly stressful even if you're young and active like Niece and Daughter, but beyond the pale for seniors like me with physical challenges.

So I haul along my friend for these multitude of appointments and insist on paying her for her services as it is a huge chunk of time (often 3 hours for a 10 minute appointment) out of her life and she has to play hunt the parking spot and hunt the wheelchair as, seriously, the walking through the sprawl has to be seen to be believed and impossible for me and George, my cane, to manage.

So it was there, as I was finally in the waiting room, I said to her: "Why in the name of the goddess am I putting myself through all these consults and tests and evaluations? I am completely stressed out and hello quality of life?"

Now I hasten to add cancer is not on anyone's radar, so I am free to say that. Cancer would be another story entirely.

So I saw the new consult, who is added to the team of my healthcare. Which I am so grateful for and all effing free (sorry USA). He is a surgeon charged with managing my anemia. I liked him immediately.

I told him about my conversation in the waiting room and he then proceeded to review what he would have to do to my body to find the causes of this failing blood and tiredness issue.

Dear gawd, I said to him:
"Lights down the stomach, lights up the bowels and like you mention, odds of nicking something, slim though they are. I will be 77 in August. I am stressed just sitting in your waiting room and evaluating all these appointments and my life taken over by monthly visits to each of my team not to mention blood draws and lung xrays. And I beg the question why? What is it doing for me in the long run?"

"You know," he responded, "I can't advise you on this decision, only you can do that. But I can tell you I hear you. And if I was facing 77 I would want to enjoy myself too and not have to worry about procedures like these. I'll let your GP know what we talked about. And try and eat really healthily. It might improve your blood readings, they are pretty dismal."

So there you have it. And I wonder if this is the path I need to take. Disconnect from the medical specialist team, see my GP once a month and enjoy what's left of my life. Apart from routine maintenance and taking my daily truckload of pills. I'm sticking with the beta blockers. I seem to have crossed the hurdle of depression and flatlining. And my blood pressure is in the normal range after so many years of elevated. Wowser.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Monday Meanderings

We had a bit of a melt after the last blizzard and then, wait for it, another blizzard last night. Herewith a pic to give you an idea of the height:

I haven't checked my car yet. I am dreading to do so. Sometimes I get help to clean it off, sometimes I struggle with engine running to warm the car enough to make it easier to brush.

We are working away on the next step to be taken with Support Our Seniors. We finalized a letter to the Prime Minister in a last ditch appeal and are scheduling a series of events to draw attention to the ongoing issue of Senior Poverty in Canada, particularly with regard to women.

We are planning a cross Canada protest, a really serious one, and would like any ideas you out there might have to make this effective. We were thinking to rent a bus and also wheelchairs, etc. for the handicapped among us and blocking a major thoroughfare with signage, etc. We are willing to be jailed which would get the poverty plight massive media attention - jailing senior handicapped elderly women for civil disobedience in protesting their abysmal living so far below the official poverty line? Hello?

Something like this (stock photo). Imagine a row of wheelchairs and zimmer frames blocking a main road?