Sal’s mom is in her 90’s. Our newest grandchild is just closing in on 8 months. And we were going to visit them this week. In theory, we are safe. In fantasy theory. Even though Sal and I have isolated for months, all those people with whom we include in our very small ‘bubble’ have not. That means we have not. We are clearly low-risk but we are not no-risk. We called yesterday to postpone our trip for yet another pure-isolation period. We’ll go in 14 days.
How could two, senior stay-at-homes on a remote island separated by water from normal traffic and having little or nothing to do with the outside world STILL be a risk? Simple: my daughter came to visit from Alberta two weeks ago. Her visit was factored into the schedule to allow for us the required ‘break’ before visiting family this week. But then a friend came up (sailing), stayed for three days and basically interrupted our isolation period. Start the clock again. And our neighbour loaned his cabin to two pleasant people and we picked them up in our boat. Technically, our isolation was ‘set back’ again at that point. Then, of course, Sal attends the food distribution program on Fridays and, technically, sets it all back again every time.
And yesterday Sal went to bookclub.
None of the ‘encounters’ were with people showing any kind of symptoms but, on the other hand, there is a lot of pollen in the air and some people sneezed. Covid? Or pollen?
And all the social distancing etiquette we practice just can’t hold up when people stay in your home. We all tried. No hugs. Six feet apart. Socialize outside (and we have a pleasant breeze most of the time to assist)….but then I hand them a glass of wine, we eat dinner together, we ride in the boat together…..it is simply impossible to be ‘good’ for more than a few hours – life and living just gets in the way.
Now bear in mind that Sal and I and most of the locals are more isolated than most people and, being retired, are not as engaged with ‘the larger society’ anyway. Most of us sport masks if we do rub shoulders with the hoi polloi but none of that makes you ‘pure’, it just makes you less compromised at best and still a carrier at worst. Two old people living OTG for months still cannot be sure of their health in the age of Covid.
When it comes to infants and grannies, we have to be.
As mentioned before, almost the majority of our community is a senior. 47% are 65 or older. If you count ‘senior’ as 55+ then it is the majority. And, if you factor in the average age (likely 55+) then we are getting past senior and into bucket-list.
All this is not particularly interesting information, I know. But it makes me wonder how they (us) will ever get C-19 fully under control if even folks like us cannot be sure of non-transmission. I am not the risk that a waiter or a teacher or a bus driver poses. I am not the risk that presents every day to urban people in the least. But I am NOT pure. And, if I am not pure, and Sal is not pure, and our community is not pure….the rest of the world is definitely still very much at risk.