Guest writer Janyne Hodder returns with her amusing musings: Flattening the curve part 3. Into Week 6.
I would like to report I have been re-reading Dostoyevsky or perfecting my sun salutation or generally finding a deeper and inspired inner self. I haven’t.
I did finish a Miró jigsaw puzzle; in fact, I have completed two others since that one. Oddly, I have found jigsaw puzzles are about as rare these days as toilet paper and flour. Whether on Indigo or Amazon or Renaud-Bray, all good puzzles seem to be on back order. What does this tell me about the human condition at this time? That jigsaw puzzles are an essential staple of confinement life? That everyone is as exhausted from reading the news as I am? That puzzles you can put together are more fun than trying to figure out when and how we’ll be able to reclaim some semblance of normal life?
Last week was model reveal time in most provinces, including mine. Not sure what was accomplished. It seems as though we yearn for certainty when it is not on hand and that the Prime Minister has well learned the mantra of ‘it all depends on how Canadians follow the instructions to self-isolate’. I got bored. The Premier repeated the same thing. In case we needed to be reminded, models about the future are not in any sense ‘true’. Neither are they fake. They are tools to guide decision-making in uncertain times. Better than your local astrologist might provide, but not to be believed as fact. I don’t find that to be terribly insightful and am perfectly happy having scientists use models to help guide a course of action without much desire to get immersed in calculations about scenarios one, two or three.
This is a novel coronavirus. And this novelty is not much fun.
On a happier front, I am thrilled Alberta has offered to send medical equipment to Quebec. For most of my life, relations between Quebec and Alberta were, shall we say, a little chilly. Given that we top the Canadian chart on numbers of COVID-19 cases, it’s nice to know the ROC (rest of Canada) has not abandoned us. For so long there were cries here for us to abandon the ROC. I am also happy to report such cries have definitely subsided.
I am not a flag carrier; indeed, I think flags are way too heavy for most people to carry, requiring as they do a quasi-religious faith in the superiority of my group over yours. Still, I take some measure of cautious comfort in living in a country that has not yet asked whether I am a productive citizen.
The other big news last week was the sudden interest of all our governments in increasing ‘self-sufficiency’. Lots of noise about supply chains, food security, the production of medical equipment and pharmaceutical products. Not sure how that will work out. In Quebec, we need temporary workers to help start the summer growing season. They come mostly from Mexico and Guatemala, and it appears there are difficulties in securing this workforce for all the obvious reasons.
While I cannot do much about medical equipment, except not to need any, or pharmaceutical supplies (though I discovered a stack of N-95 masks left over from sanding my kitchen counters), I can valiantly do my part in veggie growing.
This week brought seedling time.
Somehow, growing vegetables seems like a sound investment of time. I have been growing heirloom tomatoes and just about every kind of vegetable for many years now. The habit started when I realized I could not be a failure at everything at the same time: motherhood, the job or vegetable gardening. Well, perhaps I could but it didn’t happen. Never did I fail at all three at the same time, but frequently did I fail at one or the other. I found that rotating my failures was good for my mental equilibrium. For the first time now, it seems growing vegetables might actually be a useful thing to do regardless of my mental equilibrium. •