March - May 2020
2020 began with the regular routine of: reunion group luncheon, carving group, woodcarving and line dancing classes, Art Association demos and meetings, and choir planning competition along with a spring concert about Dreams. I thought the underlying theme of the year would be "crystal vision."
The reports out of China of a contagious virus seemed remote and far away. After our return from Florida at the end of February where cruise ships were having trouble docking in Tampa and Miami, reports of King County Washington were making us concerned for our changing flights in Seattle… the airports we traversed showed no real signs of concern or change.
We ate our nachos at an airport bar patio watching a scattered few passengers wearing masks. It was busy, crowded and no one was social distancing themselves… YVR watched as we all went through customs without a glitch… the severity of the real threat of Coronavirus was yet to come.
It was in our realm, but we were simply not informed. The News reported on the car radio that YVR was checking all incoming passengers from International flights – my husband and I simply looked at each other and laughed…”No they’re NOT?!” we chimed.
Someone in Airport Authority was giving reassuring but false information to the public…it would be another 3 weeks before even an information paper flyer would be handed out about 14-day self-Quarantine?! We had friends keeping their travel plans before the requests went out to “come home.”
From my perspective, being retired and somewhat isolated at home on a day to day basis was an easy calm adjustment…I was already creating art on a daily basis so there was no transition to make. Any reason to not have to go grocery shopping was a quick and convenient one. The regroup was to make a list of unfinished projects, put my head down, give the concentrated time to address getting them done.
I began watching updates with our health minister and listened to the panic and anxiety all around me: friends, family members, people with compromised immune systems, were sick with worry.
Stay Home, Stay Safe seemed methodical for me but very frightening for my kids, two who work as ground-breaking entrepreneurs and the eldest with an established working career, one grown grand daughter & one in elementary school, cancer-survivor friends, frontline workers, and my peer seniors!
We are now months into this crazy year, May 2020. Carving took a bit of a backseat to mosaics, grouting, glass resin work, painting sawblades, refacing decorative gardening stones, glass bead mosaic table, and more… these are the COVID projects… and there’s more to do.
Without the resources and social network of the woodshop I routinely visited, it will take self-discipline to finish 4 carvings:
Harry Potter Hogwarts towers (update: complete)
Rocky Mountaineer train
I will be posting them upon completion and hopefully you will access them on display, or visit Blackberry Gift Shop in Port Moody this summer.
Photo courtesy: Michael Schwan