The COVID 19 epidemic reminded me of another flu epidemic when I was in elementary school. I remember a few days when there were only about five of us in our class. I think the rest had the flu. I did a search and found out that was a flu pandemic from 1957-1958. It was known as the H2N2 virus, and it killed about 1.1 million people world-wide. It had spread from Asia and was known as the Asian flu.

There have always been pandemics, as far back as The Black Death in 1350, which was one of the worst in history. It started in Asia and travelled west by caravan to Sicily. It soon spread all over Europe, and it even caused the French and English to call off their war for a while. It killed one third of the world population (75-200 million people). There’s a lot to read about pandemics through the ages. If you are interested this is one of many websites. It’s interesting that a lot of these pandemics originated in Asia. I wonder why. It has also been carried from place to place by travellers (just like today).

Could things have been less traumatic with COVID-19 if China had been truthful from the beginning? What about Canada’s reaction. Should we have been more proactive in closing our borders and checking people as they arrived from other places sooner than we did? Why did it seem to take so long for the different levels of government to react to the horrendous losses in long term care facilities?
The closure of businesses and schools has changed the lives of so many. I wonder how people with kids who live in apartment buildings are managing when they can’t go to parks. Domestic violence has increased. Parents are being forced into becoming teachers. Our shopping habits have been forced to change. We can’t see our families person to person. But there also have to be some positives. It gives families a chance to spend time together, and some people are taking the opportunity to do spring cleaning at a leisurely pace.

For retirees, things might be easier. Lots of us are used to not going out to work each day so staying home isn’t a big change. I don’t jump in my car as often to go shopping, and I started making bread again (probably hadn’t made any for over a year). This morning I made raisin tea biscuits with a new recipe, and they ended up being quite tasty. I’ll have to make bread again tomorrow (recipe makes four loaves so I freeze it).

I guess one of the things that I miss most is going out to eat. When my sister and I shop, we usually go out for lunch. We have friends we go out for breakfast with, and others we meet for supper. Then we both have our own friends we meet for a meal. As well as that, my son and grandson and I go out for Vietnamese food which they introduced me to. Sometimes my grandson comes over for a pizza night which we can’t do now. Probably in normal times, I go out to eat at least once a week. Missing that might sound selfish, but if I could be going out, that would mean things were back to normal.

My best friend and I have a glass of wine together once a week. We set up our tables at home with wine, cheese and chocolate. Then at 8:00 we get on the phone for a couple of hours. Not as good as face-to-face but a great way to stay in touch and have a glass or two of wine and we’re not drinking alone!

With garden time coming soon, I found out that Vandermeers and probably other garden centres are set up so that we can go to their websites, find what we want, and order it online. Then we can go there for curbside pickup.

I hope everyone has found a way to survive the virus and that it will soon be a distant memory.

About the Author

Linda Calder is a retired teacher. She likes to write and enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys going on cruises, taking pictures and scrapbooking.