It feels a bit like spring here in Toronto. Ten degrees and mostly sunny. That's fifty degrees for my pre-metric American friends.
Of course, the most that we in apartment or condo isolation can do to enjoy the early seasonal weather is to open our windows. The phrase "breath of fresh air" has never felt so literal or apropos. The sounds of the city, which are usually a cacophony of sirens, streetcar screeches, and a dull thrum of traffic coming from the Gardiner, is strangely and eerily muted these days. Don't get me wrong, there are still far too many people out and about in the west end doing God knows what, but the music and rhythm of our city are definitely suppressed. We live in one of the busiest nightlife corridors in Toronto, the entertainment district, and last night it was a veritable ghost town.
It reminds me of one of my favourite HBO shows of the last five years, The Leftovers. The premise of the program is that on one day, and all at the exact same moment, over one-billion people simply just vanish off of the face of the earth. There is no explanation and no logical reason given. They just aren't there anymore and those who are left behind, the " Leftovers" are expected to do the impossible; to move on and pick up the pieces.
During the course of the show's three seasons, it is amazing what pops up to fill the void in these people's lives. Bullshit science, strange religious cults, people with messiah complexes, and hidden government agendas all rear their ugly heads to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comforted. But when it comes right down to it, what seems to get most of them through the pain are the connections they forge with others and the kindness they exhibit in the face of great calamity.
I've been asking myself this question a lot over the past ten days. "What am I doing right now that will bring comfort and help to those who need it?"
I am not a medical or health professional who is on the front lines of this crisis. I can't shop or do laundry for anybody right now. While others are sewing masks and other needed PPE equipment, I haven't got those skills. There are so many doing so much right now and I am at a loss for things that I can do to help. I'll take your suggestions.
A few random thoughts.
If you have somebody who comes to clean your home on a regular basis and can't or shouldn't be coming right now, please pay them. You would have paid them anyway and the money was budgeted for it, so pay them for not coming. These gig workers are amongst our most vulnerable and need the income. Also, I hope that you are increasing your tips for those workers who are delivering your groceries. Be a mensch. It doesn't cost you all that much.
Happy Opening Day, baseball fans. The only good news about the postponement of the season is that my beloved Blue Jays will be in the race until at least July. Small favours.
The Mandarin Menace to the south mused today that he wants to put troops on the Canadian border to keep us out. Aside from the fact that he is clearly ignoring that we share the longest undefended border in the world, and have for generations, I'm pretty sure that there are zero Canadians clamouring to get INTO the U.S. right now. The massive fuckups there are just the beginning. Thanks, Donwit. We'll stay right where we are for now. No need to tax your resources enforcing it.
Our internet and television were restored yesterday after almost twenty-four hours without. On the first day of this isolation, I mentioned how grateful I was for the connections through technology. While many of you kibbitzed with me about having to now talk to The Husband, I need you to know that my funny bone is malfunctioning. If I sounded snippy or harsh, I apologize but we are feeling very squirrelly right now. Note that I use the word squirrelly in the most derogative way possible. I still hate those f***ing creatures. Internet access in the CoVid-19 age is not a luxury. It is as important as caffeine and chocolate.
Today's music break comes from James Taylor. His new album American Standard is so soothing and has helped me a lot during the past few weeks. Yesterday, James and his wife Kim donated $1,000,000 dollars to help in the virus fight to the hospital in Boston where he was born. So many, doing so much.
Wash your hands. Don't touch your face. Be kind. Stay healthy.