COVID-19: Part the Fifth

The sameness of these days make it difficult to distinguish this week’s post from last week’s. Once again, work was busy. Once again, we did very little else. Yesterday being a holiday I managed to do absolutely no work, and did little else other than finish season 2 of Dirty Money, take a 1-hour walk, and make two meals.

If the world were still normal, at this point I’d be getting ready to head to New York for the latter part of next week. Alas.

COVID-19: part the fourth

This was a busy week work-wise. A lot of meetings. A lot of late-night work. Lots of stuff to do, but not much ability to focus. A bunch of people posted something this week that said, “You’re not working from home. You’re at home, during a crisis, trying to work.” This week felt like that.

This was not a busy week in any other way. We went outside only a few times for short walks. I had a Google Hangout with my brothers back in Nova Scotia, which was nice. We made lots of meals (Well, Lindsay did; I tend to be on cleanup duty) and finished Bojack Horseman (imdb | rotten tomatoes) and Tiger King (imdb | rotten tomatoes).

Still healthy. Still saying sane. But I needed this weekend.

COVID-19: Part the third

This was my first full week working from home. Except for some short walks around the building, and one quick trip to Blackbird for some bread, I haven’t been out at all. Until this afternoon, when I took an hour walk outside, stopping along the way at Reid’s Distillery for some gin and hand sanitizer.

I did start the week feeling sick, but just with cold-not-covid symptoms. And it’s pretty typical for my body to have a quick little sick right after I push myself hard for a few weeks, just as I start to relax. And I did, so it did. But by Tuesday morning I felt fine and have since.

I’m an introvert by nature so staying inside and not talking to people in person is fine with me. So far.

I’ve been replenishing the wine & gin supply with online orders from local wineries and distilleries, and so far have had more than enough groceries and delivery options. So: still feeling awfully lucky.

COVID-19: Part the Second

Wednesday was my last day at work. It was a pretty crazy sprint, but now I (like most of my company, and most of the people who can) am working from home. Wondering how to move to 100% e-commerce. Trying to figure out how to share an open loft with someone who has very different approaches to work. Thinking longingly of cancelled trips to Spain, London, New York, and Montreal. And eminently grateful that those are the least of my concerns, personally.

I’m exceptionally thankful for so much, of course. My employer is continuing to pay everyone, and I’m able to work effectively from home. I have no physical challenges with looking after myself/us, and am not especially concerned about my immune system. My family is safe, after a bit of an international adventure. I worry about my parents, especially with my mom having so recently endured cancer treatment, but being isolated on a remote farm might now come in handy. My cat seems to be thriving with both his parents around. My wine collection is coming in handy, and I’ve been ordering from local wineries to restock it. (And pre-paying a tab at Chez Nous for when this whole thing breaks.)

And so: the long haul.

COVID-19: Part the First

So yeah. I haven’t written that much about COVID-19…goodness knows there’s enough news & discourse about it already. We are, for now, fine. Or feel fine, anyway. Lindsay’s classes have been moved online. Work has been a series of sprints for me over the past week or so; most people are working from home now, and I reckon I’ll follow once I can. I was actually meant to be in the UK right now for a conference, but all my spring travel plans (which had been centered around work events) are cancelled.

Lots of panic-buying here in Toronto, certainly, which is disheartening and scary for people not physically or financially able to hoard shit. I don’t know why people think a country as heavily-forested as Canada is about to run out of toilet paper, but there were fights breaking out over it in a nearby Loblaws Friday. So there’s that.

So we’ll hunker down, be thankful for our wine collection, and do our best to avoid cabin fever.

I guess this might curtail our Pandemic playing though. 😐

The roar of the Forth road bridge

Not three months ago we saw Frightened Rabbit play at the Mod Club, a tour to mark the tenth anniversary of their breakout album The Midnight Organ Fight. Lindsay had never seen them, and I hadn’t seen them in some nine years, since they toured the album originally. Despite a great show the obnoxious crowd prompted us to bugger off a bit early. I regret that now.

A few days ago, lead singer Scott Hutchinson (who’d struggled publicly with depression) went missing. His bandmates (and brother) asked for help finding him, but today a body found in the Firth of Forth was confirmed to be that of Hutchinson.

Since hearing the news I haven’t been able to shake loose from my head the lyrics of the penultimate song from Midnight Organ Fight, “Floating In The Forth”.

And I picture this corpse
On the M8 hearse
And I half run away to sleep
On a rolled up coat
Against the window
With the strobe of the sun
And the life I’ve led
Am I ready to leap
Is there peace beneath
The roar of the Forth road bridge?
On the Northern side
There’s a Fife of mine
And a boat in the port for me,

And fully clothed, I float away
Down the Forth, into the sea
I’ll steer myself
Through drunken waves
These manic gulls
Scream it’s okay
Take your life
Give it a shake
Gather up
All your loose change
I think I’ll save suicide for another year.

I’m angry at the depression that took him. I’m sad that I’ll never see him perform again. I’m worried that the tour on which he sang this song each night resurrected old thoughts in his head. I’m gutted that no one could really do anything to help, even those who loved him. I wish this disease weren’t so insidious and invisible, famous or not.

Rest easy, Scott. It’s okay.

It’s okay.


Century since

My whole life I’ve been fascinated by disasters. Canadian disasters, specifically, probably because the Halifax Explosion was such a significant part of Nova Scotia lore. I’ve always been especially interested in the Frank Slide (which I hope to hear the Rural Alberta Advantage sing about tomorrow night), but most of my obsession over the years has been with the explosion. I still think of it every time I’m in the city, especially when I drive across either bridge or walk past City Hall.

Today is the 100th anniversary of the blast, the largest man-made explosion until Hiroshima and the biggest disaster in Canadian history. A century later Halifax still bears the scars. It ought to be remembered.


Cover photo from the Globe and Mail