I’m hearing from a lot of people that they’re a bit confused following The Ontario Provincial Government’s latest revisions to ‘state of emergency’ restrictions. As far as I can tell, nothing really changes for us. We are still open Monday to Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm, for pick-up, delivery, and shipping. You can order online or over the phone, or email us questions. If anything changes we will let you know and update the information on our website.
Some people are also feeling a bit frightened because these restrictions included giving the police forces extra power to stop and ticket people for being out. The government has rescinded that order, nobody will be ticketed for being out & about, picking up their yarn & such (they can still bust you if you’re taking part in an illegal social gathering, so please, no sit-ins outside the store). The ban on playgrounds has also been reversed.
That said, here are a few things we should all take into consideration:
- When you qualify, get your vaccine, and don’t be picky about which one you get, take any vaccine that is offered. If you have the opportunity just jump at it, don’t end up with a machine breathing for you. If you are searching for a vaccine location for yourself or someone else who is vulnerable (your parent, neighbour, friend) check out the updates on Vaccine Hunters Canada (apparently the people in the Discord Board are incredibly helpful and kind).
- COVID Vaccines are designed to help keep you out of the hospital, stop you from getting seriously ill and dying. They don’t prevent you from getting COVID, and more importantly they don’t stop you from spreading COVID. After you get vaccinated it is just as important as ever to mask up and maintain physical distance.
- Wear a mask when you’re with people, even when you’re outside. You are much less likely to contract COVID outside, but if you’re standing chatting with someone on the sidewalk you can still inhale their droplets, and they yours. If you’re going to be within 2 metres of someone, wear a mask. Outdoor transmission is less common, but it’s already a concern being discussed in Quebec and ICU doctors in Ontario are seeing it.
- Why are the above measures so important? This article spells it out extremely well; “No doubt, this is the worst crisis we’ve seen in hospitals in Ontario in our lifetimes.” To summarize and paraphrase … the time to prevent the poop from hitting the fan was last month, things are already at a poop-tacular level, and if people don’t take personal responsibility it will blow up into a poop-a-palluzza like nothing we’ve ever experienced.
Here are a few rules I try to live by:
- We don’t know what we don’t know. Getting on a subway could be 5% riskier than before, or it could be 70% – right now I simply don’t know … so I mitigate that risk and ride my bike to work every day (it’s good for me anyways, I need the exercise and it’s warmer outside than usual … and I wear a mask that I pull up when there’s a possibility of getting close to other people at traffic lights & etc). Do I like riding my bike in a cold spring rain – nope, I have lots of neon rain gear that keeps me dry, warm and extremely visible, but it isn’t fun. Do I need to do all of this? I don’t know, but I do know that it’s the best choice I can make under the circumstances.
- The human mind likes to lie to itself. Denial exists for a reason, it helps people get through stressful events, but it can also really mess up our lives and prevent us from making good choices. I really want to hug my niece and nephew, and I know they need to hug me, but we can’t, it’s a pandemic. When I find myself rationalizing I know it’s time to ask myself “Am I doing the right thing, or am I doing what I want?” Getting what we want isn’t necessarily in our best interest, it isn’t necessarily what we really need or what will lead to our happiness.
- Viruses don’t negotiate. You can’t make a case to a virus to give you a pass just this one time. When you go up against nature you won’t win, to get through you have to work with its flow. A tsunami isn’t going to stop just because you don’t want it to drown you … the best course of action is to just stay off the beach during monsoon season.
- Be like water … go with the flow of life and live in the present. I don’t personally expect to see a vaccine for a while, and thats ok. When I discuss the subject with others it triggers a little anxiety (and some self-interest, if I’m being honest, and then some shame for feeling selfish … that pesky second arrow of self- blame), but that’s how brains behave, they are designed to keep us alive. Objectively, I actually have a lot of control over my potential exposure to COVID, and that’s a luxury many, many people don’t have. I’m grateful for my privilege and I want the people who are actually vulnerable to get their shots first. I have zero control over the supply of vaccines – they’re a high demand product, everyone on the planet needs one. I’m grateful I live in Canada, where all the vaccines on offer are effective (not everyone on this planet has that). When the opportunity opens up I’ll jump on it, but until that comes along I’ll be fine.