I have many things that I could/need to do but fatigue and lethargy are winning the battle. This one sentence have sat here for days, waiting for me to get my shit together. I’m overcome by lassitude. I’m here but I can’t count on my words. It seems they and this space have failed me. They once gave me voice and ease. Can they rescue and resuscitate me? I guess this is a depression of some sort. The time is right for it. I wonder if this is our new reality or am I in this dream by myself?

I watched a video by Laurie Wagner of Writing Wildly last night. She read from her writing of ‘when the virus came’ – what she was doing. Those 4 words stirred a mixed of emotions and memories within me. They were all blended and whipped into I know not what. I did have a sense that I’ve felt the virus long before it showed up as the coronavirus pandemic. What am I suppose to do with all that now?

It is Saturday morning. Usually it’s my swim morning but there’s no more usually. I can’t remember the last time I swam. It is April 18th. The temperature is finally above 0. It is the coolest and wettest April in a long while. The snow is still melting. Puddles everywhere. Behind our garage in the back alley, it is a lake. Everything is a mess. I hear the wind howling through the spruce trees.

When the virus came, I was in the midst of dealing with my mother’s shingles virus. I remembered it started on a Saturday morning, February 8th. She phoned. It is not a good sign when my mother phones in the morning. Could I take her to the mediclinic. Her head hurts so much. It was also the beginning of the coronavirus but not here yet.  No quarantine or social distancing. But we were asked if we had travelled to China recently or had visitors from China. We were such innocents then. We got a diagnosis. We got a prescription.

Things did not progress smoothly. The province declared a state of emergency. Everything shut down. My father became a blob in my mother’s left eye. A telephone doctor’s appointment followed by an office visit, followed by a visit to the eye center at the hospital. Stress and anxiety became a new way of living. Necessity moved me, step by step. It was like the domino effect. We did pull through, suffering the pain and side effects of everything, breathing through our N95 masks. My father’s face had features and trees had branches again in my mother’s eye.

I’m grateful that necesssity has passed. The stress and anxiety have lessened. We have flattened the curve. I am also somewhat flat, unable to rally my oomph. The clutters sits and the dust gathers. My body gives half hearted attempts at moving. If not for Sheba, I would not go for walks. Dang everything! Gravity is heavy. Uncertainty is weighty. Anxiety still lives. My body remembers, shivers with it. I will make myself another cup of tea.



The world has stopped. I have, too. My priorities these days are rest and sleep. I do the must do(s). Then I add on a thing or two if I comfortably can. I haven’t been a very restful person, always striving for improvement. I’ve never strived for more stuff, money, status but I work hard at being a better person, being more productive, etc. I haven’t been a very quiet person either. It’s a funny thing to say, when as a child my adults complain that I don’t talk enough. But being a nurse and working with the public, I picked up the gift of gab. Retirement hasn’t changed that. Talking is exhausting sometimes.

It’s good to stop, dropping all that stuff on my shoulders. Good enough is good enough. Rest and sleep are musts for my immune system. I can’t afford to fall into anxiety and/or depression. I’ve given up my  one Wonder Woman act and golden lasso. I get help wherever and whenever offered.

It’s Good Friday. I wish I could say I feel the holiness of it, but I can only sense the eeriness. God feels absent. We have to work through this ourselves, together. I see Jesus on the cross. I see him hanging on the wall. Did God sent his only begotten son down on earth to guide us? Does He love us that much? Can we be saved? Do I have enough faith?

I have learned not to ask the why of things. I try not to take anything personally. It is hard though. The whys of what is happening to me and to the world. They play their tunes in my head. It is exhausting, adding to the stress and anxiety of the everyday life. Locked down, in quarantine, social distancing, whatever mode we are in – life still has to be lived. Yesterday was hard. Another checkup for my mother at the Eye Center in the hospital. 3 months of shingles and its complications.

I am more stressed and anxious over my mother’s illness than the Coronavirus. I’ve lived and worked through the HIV and SARS crises. Though stressful and scary, I did have some control by wearing protective equipment and being cautious. With my mother’s illness, I have no control. I take her for medical attention and being with her. I wonder often if I’ve done a good job though I did the best I could. The rest was all on her. I cannot take over any of her pain and suffering. I cannot take over anyone else’s pain and suffering. We must each carry our own.

If there are any answeres to the many whys floating in my head, it is to teach me resilence and boundaries. It is to teach me I am not all powerful. I cannot fix everything. In these days, I am learning to survive. I am my own life raft. I need to throw off everything except what I need to stay afloat. Faith is my oar. I will light my candles again tonight.





Day 30 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m heavy with my cold now but at least my cough turns over – eventually. I’m hacking my way through the day. It’s sunny and unually warm out,  -1 degrees Celsius. Crazy, eh. And of course, no climate change. Tomorrow it’s going to be +2C, Saturday +3. How can I legitimately complain? It’s perfect weather to foster colds and such ailments.

Of course, the Coronavirus is ever on my mind. I worry about my friends and my people in China and Hong Kong. One does not truly know the scope of things. But I heard from my friend in Hong Kong. Here’s his letter to me:

Hi Lily,

You are lucky to live in a country in which the citizens are generally
well protected from all sorts of calamities.

To begin with wearing a mask cannot protect us from catching this deadly
virus. It just shows one is responsible and will not spread the virus,
fever or otherwise, to other people when he is sneezing or coughing. The
droplets blowing out from his body, if they are big or heavy enough,
should fall onto the ground within a metre. However, it appears that our
surgical mask though with a three layer structure cannot effectively
filter this new coronavirus which is like smoke particles are airborne
and can travel very far away.

We have learned many things from SARS on how to protect ourselves from
contagious diseases. Nobody is spiting. We use two pairs of chopsticks
when eating with friends and relative: one for picking the food from a
dish and the other one for putting the food into our mouth. The bread
and cakes on display are individually packed. Shop assistants are
wearing gloves to handle the food and the handling of the money is
always done by another person. We sanitize anything people have touched:
hand rails, lift buttons, table tops . . . and cleaning the floors at
regular intervals. It is now a habit as well as politeness for doing
these things.

We wash our hands with soap immediately on returning home. There are
hand sanitizers everywhere at malls, railway stations . . . where it is
not possible to wash our hands with soap and water. This coronavirus can
stay alive for up to 24 hours on the surface anything touched by people.
Therefore don’t rub your eyes or nose or tying to adjust your spectacles
which is more vulnerable than inhaling the airborne virus.

This is the reason why Hong Kongers are not happy with mainlanders and
immigrants who have not yet adopted our practice of public hygiene. We
cannot stop people, especially immigrants, from visiting China during
the Spring Festival. There are 300,000 people coming back from mainland
China after the public holiday. We believe many of them may have
contracted the disease without knowing it. I know my friends who had
visited China will stay at home to “quarantine” for two weeks.

British Airway and United Airlines have suspended all their flights to
China. We have stopped the inter-city high speed train and Chinese
travellers are not allowed to visit Hong Kong. We hope our government
will do as much as possible to limit the movement of people to avoid
spreading of the disease. Our hospitals are already over-crowded and
cannot handle more patients if we miss the “golden time” to contain the
outbreak of the disease. All our sports centres are now closed and no
more public events. People can work at their home, if possible.

It is not surreal or like a futuristic movie!

He sent this video from YouTube about one family’s life in Shanghai. He adds that it doesn’t reflect the life of ordinary people living in that city earning less than $2,000/month.

Yes, I am fortunate to live in Canada. We gripe about the weather, the cold and the heat, no rain, too much rain, etc. But we are really living in paradise right now. I shall suffer my cold in good spirit. The sun is coming through the windows. I see the spruce branches swaying in the wind. I’m in my pajamas all day. Don’t have to get out of them at all. The guy is doing Sheba’s afternoon walk. Who could ask for anything more?