Isolation Survivors


‘Did you hear about the police patrolling the sleepy city of Sherbrooke observing a woman ‘walking her boyfriend attached to a leash, as he padded along the sidewalk on all fours?’ Camp asked after he sat down.

            ‘You’re kidding right?’

            ‘Nope, read it in the news. When the cops asked why she was breaking the curfew she replied that she was merely waking her dog. She still had to pay a hefty fine. Apparently, they’re not alone, people have been busted walking stuffed dogs or pet tortoises. People will do the craziest things to survive isolation and lockdown.’

            ‘Like zoom yoga or zoom concerts and plays?’

            ‘Muriel and I watched David King’s latest romp: Ocean Blue View, streamed from our own Heritage Playhouse. Good fun. So much talent on this little coast of ours.’

            ‘Winter is tough on many people, even without the virus. Thousands of snowbirds still escaped into the sun, and the campgrounds from Surrey to Vancouver Island are apparently full of RVers who could not get to Arizona and California.’

            ‘Canada is sitting on tens of millions of rapid tests. The best screening tool we have and yet it’s not being delivered to airlines and schools. Why not have vaccine clinics in every Canadian Legion, like they did with the flu and pneumonia vaccine? Maybe even deploy the army?’

            ‘I suppose it has to do with the storage and delivery of the vaccine. The Pfizer needs supercool temps, like -70 Celsius. Let’s see what Biden can do in the USA. A lot of expectations there. But we all know that expectations lead to disappointments.’

            ‘Clare can’t wait to get into the garden. That’s her place of sanity. My place is more cerebral, like in my head. Not recommended really. The brain can play funny tricks on you. What about you Camp. Where is your happy place in this pandemic?’

            ‘I suppose it’s the bookstore or at home in my man cave, listening to some blues and reading a book. There I can pretend that all is almost normal. I got used to the masks, the constant hand sanitizer and the distancing. What I’m still not used to is the latent fear and suspicion some people display. Also, these Thirsty Thursdays are a place of sanity for me. I get to argue with my buddy.’

            ‘And have a couple of beers to steady the nerves and take the edge of.’

            ‘It does seem like the zombie apocalypse, when you see those pictures of freezer trucks to store the excess covid cadavers in LA and Miami. 

            ‘It’s a new day in America.’ I said. ‘I watched the inauguration and was especially moved by the young poet, Amanda Gorman. Let’s hope Biden can turn this pandemic around or at least take on some leadership and responsibility. The outgoing loser, now a ‘persona non grata’ will presumably drown in an avalanche of lawsuits.’

            We both looked out at the harbour and the twinkly lights of the swaying boats, always a soothing vista. ‘You know a year ago we didn’t even know about this virus which already had it’s coming out party in Wuhang,’ I said.

            ‘I predict, it will be another year before we’ll have a farewell party for it,’ Camp said.

            Vicky cleaned up our empty mugs and replaced them with some full ones.

            ‘You two seem to be able to survive this isolation and lockdown better than I,’ she said. ‘I can’t visit my friends, have to worry about my young son, work, money and the future. It’s no fun being young anymore.’

            ‘Don’t say that,’ I said, ‘I’d gladly take a couple of years of lockdown if I could get back 30 years of youth. It’s all a matter of perspective.’ I tried to be jovial but it didn’t work.

            ‘You’re young at heart, I give you that, but the perspective from poverty towards security and financial stability is always a very long, narrow tunnel, with very little light at the end of it. Throw in a virus like the covid and the light disappears completely. Enjoy your beers gents.’ 

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