Today is 1st October, 2020, and I am at home. Still.
I was in Florida in January and February – began the drive home on 1st March and arrived in Canada three days later. Within a week, the government was issuing statements requesting Canadians return home now. I had friends visiting the Azores for an extended trip who chose to stay (partly because the airline wanted them to pay an extra $5000 for the flights home).
Within two weeks we went into lockdown. Almost all bars, restaurants, stores were closed. My March trip to Germany and my May trip to Winnipeg were the first to be cancelled. It wasn’t much longer before my trips to Toronto, San Diego and Warsaw were also cancelled. I think I made out fairly well, losing only about $200 in the process. Many have lost thousands.
Restaurants were allowed to open for takeaway only. I supported my favourite, which served my friends and I for many years.
Eventually we moved to the next phase – stores could re-open, restaurant patios open. Some restaurants chose not to. Patios were extended out into the street or parking lot where possible. Face masks required.
Things opened very slowly. I went on a road trip to Peterborough & the Kawarthas for Canada day. The hotel was great – a room on the river with a private ground floor deck where I was visited by ducks. Restaurants were open with limited seating. All parks in the area were closed.
Not much changed over the next few months – theatres could open with limited seating. Indoor dining allowed with limited seating. Gyms could open again.
Went on a second road trip at the end of August to the Gatineau area of Québec. Once again a wonderful hotel with a private balcony, on the river overlooking Parliament in Ottawa. Took a lovely drive along the Ottawa River to Montebello. Had a tour of the Diefenbunker.
The emails from travel companies keep rolling in. There are lots of good deals to be had, but there are far too many risks. Cheap flights, but hotels remain costly even with reduced service. Grab & Go breakfast – don’t bother.
There’s no travel on the horizon outside of Canada. Except, I did take a risk and booked a trip to Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Thailand for October 2021. No short trips to the United States – we are not able to drive across the border, and frankly they have become a plague country best avoided.
I did have my little house painted this year.
It’s still not finished – I believe it was built sometime in the 1930’s. The previous owners had painted it several shades of mud. I was trying for a Key West vibe. Now to find my Conch Republic flag.
This covers the first six months of living during the Coronavirus. I do believe now that winter is approaching, things will begin to retreat.