How is everyone coping?

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How is everyone coping?

I started this thread as a kind of mutual support discussion around how we're all coping with the pandemic. Some of us live alone so the social isolation might be more difficult than for people who live with others. Some are not financially impacted while others are very much so. Different ages, health and ability also play roles in how some are impacted by COVID-19. Let's check in with each other and see if we can't offer some kindness and support to those who may be feeling the impact to varying degrees. I'll start.

My and my family's circumstances are good so far. We have enough food, actually managed to score some toilet paper a few days ago after going without, and I've been baking bread to help reduce the number of times we have to go to the store. I've been working from home and in a virtual office since 2011 so being stuck at home is no great hardship. My husband was laid off last week due to lack of business at his place of employment and our youngest, who still lives at home, has reduced hours for the same reason. We worry about our children and grandchildren.

We don't have a car right now but we own a big old house that needs a lot of upkeep. Recently we took out a second mortgage to make improvements to the house with a view to sell this year and move into a more manageable flat or apartment. We have quite a bit of equity in the house but if the real estate market crashes and we're unable to repay the 2nd mortgage we'll lose everything. Hopefully that won't happen, but it is a concern.

Not having a car and not wanting to take public transit means we're limited to going to places within walking distance. Fortunately there is a grocery store about a 10 minute walk away. I have physical limitations so the walking combined with standing in long lineups on our rare grocery outings is difficult, but doable. It's still early days and the unpredictability can be stressful, but I am fully cognizant of how fortunate we are compared to more vulnerable people. 

I live in London, Ontario and we have three First Nations communities adjacent to the city; Oneida of the Thames, Muncie Delaware and Chippewas of the Thames. When there are serious viral outbreaks Indigenous communities are disproportionately affected, particularly northern communities where lack of adequate housing, overcrowding, inadequate medical facilities and undrinkable water mean much higher rates of infection and mortality. London also has a disproportionately high rate of addiction and homelessness. These folks are incredibly vulnerable - fragile health and shelters that are breeding grounds for the spread of contagion make them more likely to succumb to serious illness. London Health Sciences, our hospital network, has been found to be non-compliant with the measures that came into place after SARS - they do not have enough PPEs for their staff, no doubt because some administrator was cutting costs. 

Well, I've blathered on enough. How is everyone doing?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i've been phobic for as long as i can remember. as i grew older the condition became more pronounced so living alone became a choice. it didn't stop me from travelling, having relationships or being an activist. all i needed was to do it all in a particular manner and would do ok. and of course a solid home base..a sanctuary.

..late last year i moved into an awesome seniors complex. i waited 2.5 yrs to get into the place but looking back from today..the timing was excellent. these day i'm whiling away the days making improvements, watching movies/tv shows online as i don't own a tv. i've just dug out a gigong dvd that i've been procrastinating about for more than a year and will slowly get into it. will also do a paint run this week and start sprucing up my walls. this will be my first outing since this hit wpg. food is being delivered from a grocery store as is everything else i need so far. my income comes from government pensions. while not a lot it, is sufficient for me as the internet is my only vice. and unless the government begins reducing it i have stability. 

..i miss my interactions with my family. just a short time ago i bought my great niece for her b-day, she just turned 7, a spring break acting workshop. a full week of instruction culminating in a performance. this was all cancelled. this disappointed all of us as we were all looking so forward to this. far so good. 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

What a beautiful gift for your niece, Epaulo. I am so sorry for your and your families disappointment with the cancellation. Nonetheless, it is good to hear that everyone (I hope) is hanging in and doing well.

Both my husband and I work predominantly from home except for meeting with clients in their communities or at other events to deliver community events and workshops and other activities. That accounts for about 1/2 of my husband's work and more like a 1/3 for me. We are well stocked for now and this is day 15 of self-distancing/isolation after a very hectic and social start of the month. We ended up attending the last concert held in Winnipeg (Wilco) since our out-of-town guest took us out. I think my husband is getting more squirrely than I since he is involved with lots of team activities and generally travels more for work.

On the other hand, my cat is LOVING the 24-7 company and attention.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs laine. glad your ok. and txs for asking megb.


Is anyone out there in babbleland a front line worker with a story to tell? We're looking for those stories to publish as part of our COVID-19 coverage.


I'm doing really well. When I am feeling constrained I remind myself of how lucky I am to have an apartment I love, the internet, TV, books, and hobbies and I don't have children or teenagers bouncing off the walls.

I've been delivering meals in my building but I am also thinking about the future and how rules in the building could be loosened to allow at least some people more freedom. There are people here who have been winterbound since November. In spring and summer they sit outside so they can see other people going by.


good here in no where land. just took possession of our new house. no more renting. sucks moving  with no help but got a month to do it and clean rental. 

mom self isolating to the max though there is only 16 cases in northern BC. none here.

not like i am gadding about though either just moving. weren't expecting this when we bought it.

hope everyone is doing well and have found myself worrying about how we would find out if any of the babble community got it.

be safe


Wester Wester's picture

For us introverts, this is like an endless Snow Day.  It's probably the only upside to this entire situation, as well.  The house cannot get any cleaner.  I've learned to adapt to an entirely new schedule since going out has become a once-a-week trek to the grocery store, where the cashiers are now safely ensconsed behind half-inch-thick plexiglas and can't hear you properly.  As the Spring weather improves, many of us here will be glad to get out and do yardwork.  Happy to report that in this community, the level of respect and assistance towards those less able has been more than enough to restore my faith in humanity.  We all need that assurance, especially now.

Only one word of advice:  HUMOUR.  Please keep in touch with the lighter side.  Try to find one thing per day to give you a larf, or at least make you grin.  It takes the edge off, and helps you sleep at night.

Take care, everyone.  - Ça va bien aller -


laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Nice message, Wester. Take good care.


My wife and walk in the forest most days now instead of only a few days a week. We also now go for hour to hour and half walks instead of forty-five minutes like before. I go out about once a week for groceries and have a set of clothes in the garage for that purpose. Otherwise we are working in the yard and enjoying the sunshine and spring flowers coming up in the forest and wetlands that are a five minute walk away.

We had not seen our daugher and our four grandkids for three weeks but they came to our place on Sunday to do the heavy yard work we can't manage. Very weird not hugging them and not letting them come into the house to eat lunch but getting them to stay outside in the backyard to eat. I miss our weekly family dinners at out house the most so having the kids around even if they were on the other side of the yard was special.


laine lowe laine lowe's picture

It must be so hard for the little ones to understand. Some friends of mine went by their son's house to visit from the curb and their youngest grand daughter was balling her eyes out, not fully understanding why her grand parents couldn't come in for a visit. A walk through the forest sounds so serene, healthy and beautiful. I can't emulate that but I think I can give some thought to having a "grocery shopping outfit" to keep separate from isolation clothes. Great idea, Kropotkin!


Indeed, that is so terribly sad.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture


The wild goes on

With the vast majority of the globe's population under lockdown, it can feel as though the world has come to a sudden halt. And yet, in the farthest reaches of northern B.C., there remains a world that has, through all the COVID-19 turmoil, quietly and profoundly gone on as it always has....

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

^^^^ beautiful^^^^

Misfit Misfit's picture

Girl guide cookies are out if anyone cares. 


What a beautiful cat. At first I thought it was a cougar, but then recognised the lynx ears - looks like quite a large lynx. Lovely photo essay, but I'm going back to bed; will look at it more later today. (Was going to say tomorrow, but I woke up at 4 a.m., had to "change the water"  w.c. then sink to refill trusty water bottle). Then gave Livia (a MUCH smaller cat) a bit of her breakfast and back to bed. She brought me live mice TWICE - of course I'm honoured but had to get the damned things out of the house somehow. Livia, mum and bro were all strays living in our lane, but all have been rehomed.


If there was no pandemic going on, I would have spent much of yesterdday enjoying the hospitality of Lufthansa, and would right now be sitting in front of a rented beach house on an island in the Aegean sipping wine.  The weather over there is lovely just now. We were going for 17 days. 

Alas howeever, there is a pandemic, and I'm at home and staying with us for the duration are my daughter, son in law and 15 month old grandson.  It's a bit claustophobic. 




Not getting enough chocolate milk is annoying, I'm lifting less but my cardio is better than ever.
Lifting strength comes back quickly but I would have never done a few hours of cardiovascular work daily without the lockdown.

Overall, I'm thankful.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..feeling pretty good about this.

Canada abandons solitary confinement appeal to Supreme Court

After five years of fervent legal defence, Ottawa is abandoning a Supreme Court appeal of several lower court decisions that rendered solitary confinement unconstitutional in federal prisons, bringing an unceremonious end to the practice of confining prisoners to cells the size of parking spots for months and years at a time.

In two notices of discontinuance filed with the court on Tuesday, the Attorney-General stated it “wholly discontinues the appeal.”

That single phrase terminates a protracted legal battle with civil rights groups that has fundamentally reshaped prison management in the country by rendering any form of solitary confinement stretching more than 15 days as cruel and unusual punishment....


So what would stop prison authorities from 15 days on 1 day off then back again?

From the article, can't count our chickens yet.


The government said that giving prisoners four hours outside their cells meant structured intervention no longer met the definition of solitary confinement, defined by the United Nations as 22 hours or more hours in a cell without meaningful human contact.

But the rights groups, along with legal scholars across the country, say the units are still practising solitary confinement. They argue that the legislation fails to address two major constitutional holes identified by lower courts: a lack of binding independent oversight and an absence of limits on the amount of time prisoners can spend in isolation.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I live with my parents who are in their 70s (79 and 74 respectively). I'm on disability (mostly invisible) which in BC gets me $1183 a month. Was laid off from my part-time job (5 hours a week) back in mid-March. Been mostly sheltering in place since then, going out for walks but otherwise only been in contact vitrually with folks other than my parents (phone, zoom, Google Hangouts).

When I submitted my monthly report to the ministry of Social Assistance and Poverty Reduction, which I'm required to submit to continue to receive services, I had to mention being laid off. Mid-April the ministry sent me a message via my online client portal asking me to submit my record of employment, which I had not received, and proof of whether I had applied for EI or the CERB, and giving me until April 28th to submit it.

When I phoned the ministry to clarify things, the perso I spoke to told me I was required to apply for EI. Not the CERB, but regular EI. Which will, if I receive it, require me to conduct a job search in the middle of a pandemic.

So I got my work to send me my ROE and applied for EI, hoping that I don't qualify (was more than four weeks after the end of employment; and there were some discrepancie with my insurable hours on the ROE). If I receive anything from EI, I won't receive the $300 crisis supplement that ministry clients with no other support are receiving (EI, if I receive it, will likely be less than $300/month). I was making $15/hour at my job which was  hours/week from Oct 2018 to Sept 2019, then 5 hours/week from October 2019 to March 2020.

Chose not to apply for the CERB on the grounds that my disability payment may make me inelegible for it. Which was certainly the case when the CERB was first set up, though may not be the case now with subsequent changes. In any case, there's been talk in some of the other babble threads that it's relatively easy to receive CERB without actually qualifying for it, in which case I would ultimately have to repay it next year. And anything I receive from the feds may simply be clawed back from my disability cheque.

So was doing okay before this insanity hit me, now not so much.


My suggestion would be to contact your MP and MLA and ask for their intervention to help resolve the matter.