We went to Victoria see Sal’s mom for her 93rd birthday (she, me and Sal have all been vaxxed. She lives alone, so do we. It was safe). The day after we arrived, the province ‘closed the doors to travel’. There are now some stronger restrictions. Our daughter in Alberta was intending to visit in a few weeks but that was cancelled because the ferry won’t take her. Our son came out to great grandmas with his family and they are extremely cautious, too, and his wife is a health care provider and so was vaxxed. But they considered a 30 km visit was a bit of a risk. We visited outside.
There is a ‘heavier cloud’ of restriction now very evident in Victoria. NOT depressing but NOT even close to enjoyable. And I saw no one without a mask this time. Don’t misunderstand me, it was necessary and too long overdue but it is a smidge depressing.
Naturally, our trip was more than just a visit. It was also a BIG, GIANT town-day (Home Depot, Costco, etc). We went primarily to visit but, of course, no one ‘visits’ all day long and so we do our chores as well. And the chore list is endless. And exhausting.
We have an old car coming to the island and it needed some extra spare tires (OTG vehicles pop tires like popcorn). We now have three spares for it! To carry them home in a chock-full SUV (from all the other chores) we put the tires up on the roof rack. Sal climbs up on the roof, I lift the ‘load’ up to her and then she dances around the top tying it down……and the tire-store guys jaws are on the ground. “Holee! She’s good!” “More than that, dude, she’s in her 70th year!”. “Are you f’ing sh”’ing me, man?! I can’t get my wife to carry the groceries, let alone climb up anything and she’s in her thirties!”
We were in a mall. I had parked near a handicap zone space. As we were loading in some stuff, an old couple crawled in to park beside us. They were vey cautious. Then the passenger door slowly opened and this old guy, even-slower, lifted one foot out and then a minute later, the other one appeared. We closed our car doors and adjusted our stuff to make it easier for him. After four minutes, he was out. “I take a while, now. I’m old.” “So, how old are you?” “I’m 75!” (I am 73. I honestly felt as if I could carry him into the mall over my head and I was not 100% sure he could even carry himself).
We picked up a package from FedEx and Sal was outside and back up on the roof. The office staff remarked, “Hey! There’s someone on your car’s roof!” “That’s my wife. I’ll pass her the package (it was as large as a big suitcase). She’ll tie it down.”
“Dave! What’s the point?”
The point is simple: we are staying fitter and staying fitter longer than our urban cousins. Of course, that is a very generalized statement and there are plenty of urbanites fitter than us, I know that. But, had we continued to live in the cul de sac as we had, neither of us would be as healthy as we are and we both acknowledge that. Even Sal. Life OTG is good for you.
The time wasted spent in line-ups and traffic, alone, would have put me in the nuthouse.
Further to that….we have a 41 year old friend who just bought a couple acres two islands away. He’s single (now) and fit. He’s skilled as hell at anything mechanical. Nice guy. And he is an outdoors nut. Huntin’ and fishn’……really very able. He was here today. “Oh, man, I am tired. I am so busy. I only have a couple of jobs to do for others but I am also taking care of myself, fixing the old cabin, trying to get in a garden and just going all the time. I can hardly earn a penny! I had no idea living OTG was such a full-time job!” (He has been single for four years and doesn’t like it. Any great 35-42 year old females who love being in nature, are hardy and have simple wants and needs should apply to his agent* as he is not likely to find anyone in the time of Covid out here or on his own. Pictures are required because the agent is nosy and wants to see).
And finally, (as in the observations department) we had to take a short detour at one point (road work) and passed through a new subdivision. I saw a For Sale sign on a nice looking new house. “Sal, call the realtor, would you? I am curious what a nice but simple house in what looks like a crowded neighbourhood 40 minutes outside Victoria is going for.” She called. “$929,000! It’s 2000 sft and has five bedrooms. It must be jammed tight in that house. The lot is only 3000 sft. It is a postage stamp. AND it is all strata title!”
Some poor sap will go in to debt to the tune of a million dollars (when the dust has cleared) and will remain in servitude to that debt for the bulk of his life so that he can be incarcerated in a ‘normal’ house and raise a family. And judging from the construction going on all along the lower island, he/she is not alone. The south island is exploding!
Bottom line: the government has restricted life-as-we-knew-it, the cost of living is further restrictive and the cost of housing is crazy-prohibitive. And I just read that 2020 is considered the year of mental health erosion or ‘languishing’…not quite ‘mental’ but definitely not health.
And I am NOT in the least bit surprised.