It seems that, if I am only updating this blog for remarkable events, I should at least mark this date. For the next two weeks, I'll be socially isolating myself and my family while society collectively deals with the COVID-19 virus.
The news isn't too dire for us. We did put ourselves into self-isolation when Erin developed a minor fever. Truthfully, it likely came from Eleanor from her school, but given that Erin had come back a week before by plane from California, well... to say 'better safe than sorry' doesn't even begin to cover it. However, Ontario announced new testing guidelines, likely to take some pressure off of the public health centres which are completely swamped. They're only testing emergency cases, now, and vulnerable persons. They say, if you have developed a fever or cough after travelling from away, isolate yourself until you are 24 hours asymptomatic.
Erin and Eleanor have been asymptomatic for about that time, as have I, so I can at least go out and buy some groceries if we need them. But, fortunately, I don't think we'll need them. I bought several meals worth. Both our workplaces have strongly recommended that people work from home. The universities here have cancelled classes, and the public schools are closed outright for the next three weeks.
I'm not panicking, and I think that most people aren't, in spite of what we've seen online. Our local Sobeys still has a decent sized stock of toilet paper (seriously, what the heck was that all about?). The grocery stores near where I am were busy, but people were calm. Serious.
And I think that's the right tone to take. There is going to have to be some serious work to be done to prevent this disease from overwhelming our health care system the way it has in Italy. We need to take some serious steps to protect our elders. Those steps don't involve hoarding masks, Purell and toilet paper, but they do mean cancelling civic engagements, staying at home for a while, and waiting this out with patience and civility.
And I'm confident that we can do that.
We've been through worse. Maybe not me personally, but as a society, yeah. And I'm not going to let the side down.