The announcement came: only essential workers, all stores closed until Tuesday. Don’t go outside without a mask. No, not the latest Covid restrictions. Waves of volcanic ash were hitting Barbados, from La Soufrière’s eruptions on St. Vincent, 150 kilometres west of us. Had to capture the foreboding yellow tint to the sky. Out my window. … Continue reading In the Path of the Volcano
“So what are your stories going to be, from Barbados?” Richard and I were swapping accidental travel stories: my participation in a parade and horse race in Italy, his in a small French village’s wine festival; my travels on a local water taxi on Aberdeen harbour in Hong Kong, his line dancing at a small-town … Continue reading Not a Tourist any Longer
When I was 19 and at university, 3000 kilometres from where my family lived, I planned to not go home for Christmas. I was living on student loans and money was tight. My mother quietly listened to my logic, then sent me a plane ticket. Of course, I had a wonderful time. But I remember … Continue reading Christmas (not) at Home
“We killed the flu!” A friend who loves data posted a graph of the year over year numbers for influenza. There was a precipitous decline this year. Apparently masks, social distancing and hand washing don’t just inhibit transmission of Covid-19. He analysed data from the States but the same trend is apparent in Canada— seasonal … Continue reading Slacking Off, Tightening Up: It’s Not Safe Yet
“I envy your brilliant pandemic plan.” Wait, what? The comment from a friend whom I was messaging with, for the first time since I’d moved to Barbados, took me by surprise. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I did it for love. The closed Canada-US border meant that Scott and I were separated. After … Continue reading Caribbean Covid Plan
For almost six months I didn’t travel. I didn’t leave the Island I live on, and much of the time I was within walking distance of my bed. Yet, I made some incredible journeys. I couldn’t go far, so I went deep. No work, no travel, no projects, no distractions— matters and issues long suppressed … Continue reading Travelling Inside
I knew something was wrong but I didn’t want to go to the doctor. And that was the situation for many during COVID quarantines. Where I live, emergency room visits dropped by more than half in the month after shutdown, and a month later they had only risen to 60% of normal. Knowing that only … Continue reading It’s not Covid-19, But?
The first thing I learned during quarantine was not to have expectations. I did not write a book, nor read many of the dozens that were waiting for me. After a month, I took the piles off the coffee table, where their presence was supposed to prompt me to open them, but only succeeded in … Continue reading So What Did You Learn During Quarantine?
Saturday, I got a haircut. A year ago, that would not have been worth noting. This year, it is a relief, a celebration! My last haircut was 4 months ago. I was due the week that the public health emergency was declared. I admit it is not a great haircut, but I have had several … Continue reading So That I Remember
I get into in my car in the parking lot and take my face mask off. Breathe, I tell myself. It’s not the mask that has made my chest tight and my breathing uneven. I’ve just been shopping in a big store for the first time after some of the lockdown restrictions have come off. … Continue reading Cautiously Opening Up