Our Garden

Our beautiful cat Russell Street

I have been working from home since Spring Break ended, and face to face classes were shut down for all, but the children of essential workers. I’ve been tuning in to listen to our Chief Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry for her daily updates. I am now  hyper vigilante about following social distancing and hand washing rules. Non-essential travel is still off the table, and our tickets to France for this summer are now just a sad reminder of how our lives have changed. 
Working from home means lunches on the deck with Gord and a very happy cat. Spring is in full bloom and the garden looks amazing. Without commuting time to work,  I can start bread in the morning and be there to bake it after it rises. Everyone is a baker now, and flour and yeast are coveted shopping finds. Most days Gord and I head out for a bike ride or walk before dinner exploring all the many beautiful  places we can get to within an hour or two. We are very lucky to live here in Victoria. 
Buchart Gardens
Buchart Gardens

My work itself is stressful as I try to simultaneously master and teach the new technology that we are using to deliver instruction remotely. Video meetings, emails, phone calls and chats with students and colleagues fill the time. My priority is connecting to the students who are really struggling at home with mental heath or home challenges. Lock downs are dangerous times for at youth at risk. Most of my students are also struggling with the technology needed to video conference. Even with a laptop loaned from school most prefer just a phone call. 
When I need to, I can get up walk into my garden to pick kale for dinner or just take a break in the sun. In many ways these are the most enviable work conditions, so why am I more stressed than ever?
The Corona virus has robbed me of a sense of predictability, safety and control. I say “sense” because I really am safe,  and within each day there is a certain amount of predictability and control. I know I am extremely lucky and much less impacted by the epidemic than most people in the world. I have a safe job, home and city.  The curve of cases has been flattened,  and our province now has no new community outbreaks. Vancouver Island’s numbers are even better, with only a handful of active cases.  
It’s the worries about the future that keeps my gut clenched and body braced against a multitude possible catastrophes. And the news is always there to ensure that I have a high definition image of my fears.  Usually at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning I do an inventory of all the scenarios I fear the most: a second and more severe outbreak in the fall, the opening of the Canada/US border, someone I love getting sick or dying , economic collapse, ongoing and more severe lock downs well into the future, and the colossal loss of lives in developing countries and among the poor and vulnerable in our own. 
Yesterday I received an email from our superintendent  that pricked a hole in the bubble of safety I have been trying to maintain. Teachers will all be called back to our schools in two weeks. I have learned the rules to avoid others and stay isolated at home and now I truly fear  returning to any situation where I am in close contact in enclosed spaces.
The Corona virus has made me into chicken little,  and it really feels like the sky is falling , even though,  from my privileged little corner of life, it really isn’t. 

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