Endemic Fear or adjusting to the crazy….the new normal?

When a pandemic or epidemic does not go away, it is referred to as ‘endemic’.  ‘Commonly present’. And that means; ‘This is the new normal’Do not be afraid, we are just gonna have to live like this for a long time.  Covid, the gift that keeps on giving. 

It is pouring down today.  Really wet.  We got togged up like the Franklin Expedition and started the trek up to the village centre for our annual Flu shot.  There is no centre and there is no village but we have a community building and that fills the role of downtown for us.  Sal and I slogged 500 yards to the boat, pumped it out, got the motor running and headed up coast in the ‘declared’ storm (it was miserable but it was NOT a storm to us). 

When we got there the community dock was kinda full.  I squiggled our boat into a small space and we tied up.  Other outer Island residents were arriving and departing. The public health nurses were keeping warm and busy up in the Bunkhouse (a few hundred more yards up hill) and a small crowd stayed waiting socially distanced just outside in the rain while the needles were given.  We wore masks.  A busy day in November. 

Eventually Sal and I got in to the day-clinic.  We de-layered.  Hat, gloves, rain jacket, vest, shirt….down to the t-shirt.  After the usual Care-card rigmarole, ‘in-line’ socializing and the odd side joke with the nurses, we were done.  We had also taken fuel up to the car, put it in, started it and ran it a few hundred yards up and down the road just to keep the cobwebs out of it.   Then, we trudged down to the boat, a few more chit-chats with the comers-and-goers and then into the boat and we headed home.  It was still coming down buckets. 

Two hours after we started, we were home making tea.  Sal laughed out loud…….   “I was just thinking how lucky we are and how convenient all that was given that we all live off the grid!  We even got a Tetanus booster.”

“Why is that funny?”  

“Well, it took us two hours even tho I admit that we kind of dawdled a bit.  We schlepped about a mile or so over rough terrain and then we ran about four more miles by small boat.  We did a bit of car maintenance, socialized in a downpour and waited about twenty minutes for procedure and protocols to pay out before being jabbed.  We did it all during a gale warning although it was actually pretty calm by our standards.  By the time we were done, I was thinking how convenient that was and then I recalled the same procedure when I was working in town.  This way was two hours of hiking in bad weather including sea-travel by small boat, the city procedure was maybe 15 minutes down the hallway and yet, for some reason, it all feels so much more convenient out here. Hard to explain.”

Basically, Sal was describing the new normal for us.  OTG normal.  We schlep and slog around to do just about anything.  I carried the 25 pound gas can down to the boat and then up the hill to the car and that was likely the lightest load I have carried in a long time.  Before we left, Sal had climbed down to the lagoon to tie up an errant log.  Something as simple as ‘going to the nurse for a shot’ was pretty good exercise.  THAT is our normal. 

We have adjusted well over the past 18 years to our OTG normal and I can see the same kind of subtle ‘adjustment’ we are now making for COVID.  We are still adjusting but we have more than adjusted somewhat to the Covid pandemic. 

I asked the nurse: “Do I really need to get a Tetanus shot?  I am not an antivaxxer but I am an anti-puncturist.  It does seem as if I have been jabbed a lot lately…ya know?”

“Well, sir, do you work outside a lot?  Do you use sharp tools?  Are some of your tools and materials rusty at all?”  And she said all that to me with a straight face.

I laughed and adjusted my attitude.  “OK.  Hit me”.

Is that the way we all die…….quietly adjusting to the warm bath as the heat is incrementally raised until we boil away like the proverbial frog?   Am I just adjusting to everything and yet everything is really out to get us?  Is that nurse to be trusted?  Did the Chinese make that Flu vaccine?  Sheesh.      

8 thoughts on “Endemic Fear or adjusting to the crazy….the new normal?

  1. Glad to hear you are both OK and still enjoying every OTG minute! We are officially in the 4th wave now, numbers going up like never before, even though 85% of the population is vaccinated! They said to us about a year ago “vaccination is the only solution, when we have 85% of the population vaccinated, COVID will be conquered”. Well, I guess that has proven to be wrong (again)…..First claim of the government was, that “only” non-vaccinated people were sick and admitted to hospital. Wrong again, I personally know a guy in his early forty’s, healthy, fully vaccinated, who got COVID 2 weeks ago and is really ill. So is the vaccine really effective? Makes you wonder how strong COVID is, it keeps mutating faster then we can find a cure. Makes you also wonder if COVID is “natural” or fabricated as a biological weapon in some chinese lab in Wuhan? In the past, all covid-like outbreaks only lasted 1 season (or max 6 months) and then it quietly disappeared. So yes, COVID 19 is here to stay, but if we go into full lockdown again, how will they keep explaining that to people and how will the businesses survive (and we for that matter). And in the meantime we have the climate conference in Glasgow, where probably no rela measures will be taken, just some vague promises put on paper. The fact that Xi and Poetin are not present tells a lot. Meanwhile our governement is “taking the lead”, new plan is that as of 2025, we will only be allowed to buy full electrical cars (even no more hybrids) and that all fossil fuel heating is prohibited to be installed as of 2025. So no we all have to buy a heatpump, as this generates no CO2. BUT….we are also closing all our nuclear plants in 2025, so where will all the electricity come from when we switch massively to electrical cars and heatpumps? Also, in Belgium, there are only a few thousand of chargers for electrical cars. By 2025, government wants 1.7 million electrical cars….so who will invest in and install the chargers? And you think Trudeau is stupid? Government has proven again that they have NO vision at all, and again we pay the bill.
    So I really feel like the frog who has just realised that someone raised the temperature of the water again (or someone turned on the stove with me trapped inside as JD described)


    • From my readings, the virus DID start in a Wuhan lab but the ‘escape’ was accidental. NOT a bio-terrorist plot. Seems there are three labs that mess with crap like that and Wuhan is one of them. As for the 85% being vaxxed AND the fourth wave underway, that is very disturbing. Once again, all I can say is “Get out!” If C-19 becomes C-20 an C-21 and people keep getting sick, then isolation and distance are your only safe moves. No one makes a home vaccine kit where you can mix up your own batch.
      As for the radical moves by your government to address climate change, I applaud them. Oh, the country will be in turmoil and people will cheat by resurrecting old diesel Peugeots and still running chainsaws and such but, if nothing NEW can be fossil fueled, then the turnaround will have begun. And I do not see any other way. If there is, I will applaud that, too, but more CO2 will simply kill us all off. It’s radical but only because we denied the reality of the threat for so long.
      Closing nuclear plants is crazy on top of such a change, tho. They should keep ’em going for a bit longer. At least your government is open and apparent. Ours hasn’t said a thing….then…we’ll do a Belgium and folks will go nuts.
      Question, Wim…..in the face of all this, what is keeping you in such a populated, controlled area? Even Max Egorov (Advoko Makes on You Tube) has a place to ‘get out to’. He’s the lawyer from St Petersburg. It may be time to………well….you know….


    • Sal will. That woman makes the Energizer Bunny envious. Go, go, go. Plus she has good genes – everyone in her family line lives a long time. Mine? Well, I am already setting new records for longevity on my mother’s side and I only have to get past 80 to break my father’s family record. According to my genes, I may get an earlier departure date. Lets keep a happy thought…..


  2. What’s keeping me?….honestly, not much. And I’m pretty sure I would do well OTG. I can cook, hunt, fish, I can build a shed, maybe a house. I am good at plumbing, electricity. I know how to work with a chainsaw, I can chop wood, I know how to make a fire. I can drive a car, a boat. I pretty sure I would survive OTG and do quite well. BUT…I won’t leave without my wife ;-)!
    And I don’t have anything against banning fossil fuels, IF there is a well planned exit strategy and not just wild decisions without decent alternatives


    • Well, J and H came over from Abu Dhabi and H was skeptical at first….when they left only the next day, all her sentences included the words ‘when’ and ‘we’. A lot less skepticism. She had shifted. How far? I don’t know. Maybe not far enough.
      But she had shifted. That is not to say that your A will convert readily but rarely are two people so in sync that they get to the same place at the same time. Sal was NOT skeptical but she was totally unaware, totally surprised, totally unfamiliar (even more so than me) and yet, after a short time, she is even MORE engaged. See that little film clip R did of us…it’s a link on the homepage of the blog. There’s a scene where Sal explains how much of an adjustment was needed. I think A would like it mostly because everyone does. But, I admit, it is an adjustment. A big one, too, for a European going to Canada. And I am not saying that you need Canada….totally not saying that….I am saying that urban centres are going to feel a lot more stress in the next ten years. Rural ways of living are easier at such times (if you get on it straight away ’cause it takes time)…that is all I am saying.


  3. Our second Covid shot in the States wasn’t approved under BC standards (it was too soon even though it was right on time in the US). We got our booster and uploaded that data but still can get a fully vaccinated passport for Wayne. Mine went through fine. Without it we can’t get home via airplane. So many bumps in the new normal to get over. Glad you flu shots experience went well even OTG. – Margy


    • Sorry to hear that nonsense. Great dealing with bureaucracy isn’t it? My helath news took an unexpected turn – read latest blog. Conclusion; if they are gonna get ya, they are GONNA get ya!


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