Yesterday afternoon my son sent us absolutely the cutest photo ever of our one-year-old granddaughter outside in the playhouse in their backyard. She had been napping during an earlier FaceTime call with our grandsons, who caught us up on all the news. We heard about the ham and cheese croissants they were having for lunch, family discussions about possibly getting a pet, new sand being put in their sandbox, an online grade two math lesson from school about money, all the birds and insects seen in their backyard, movies watched, yard work done, books read, and bike riding. After the delightful call, I wondered aloud when I would ever be able to hug my grandchildren again.
Turns out the Swiss government has actually issued an official proclamation about that. Yesterday they gave permission for children under ten to hug their grandparents. Swiss scientists claim there is little chance children that young can spread the virus and they think the emotional lift both generations will receive from some brief physical contact outweighs the risks.
Officials from the World Health Organization, however, were less affirming. Cautionary notes also came from scientific experts in other European countries. They say we still don’t know enough about how the coronavirus impacts children or how they may spread the disease to declare hugging or close contact between the generations safe.
In a phone call with a friend in the evening, we talked about how both she and I love to give hugs. Aside from hugging our husbands, we haven’t hugged other people for months now and we miss that human contact.
Big excitement here in Manitoba with the government declaring all kinds of things can open up next week. Beginning on May 4 golf courses, hairdressers, daycares, restaurant patios, museums, playgrounds, galleries, libraries, campgrounds, dentist and physiotherapy offices, and some non-essential retail businesses will reopen but with strict physical distancing rules and other health regulations regarding sanitizing and cleaning in place.
While making these announcements our premier reminded us however that the coronavirus remains a “nefarious, sneaky and dangerous” foe and so we will all need to remain on guard and follow rules and regulations. If the number of cases rises again some of our new freedoms may be rolled back. We should be rightly proud of Manitobans who have ‘flattened the curve’ here by taking social distancing seriously.
I think it may take me a bit of time to feel safe enough to venture past the comfort zone of our current isolation, but it is nice to think about things getting a little closer to normal once again.
I went to pick up some books yesterday at McNally Robinson, a wonderful independent book shop here in Winnipeg. The last time I went to the store there was only one chair out front on which to place customer’s orders for pick up. Now there were five, a good indication that business is doing well. In fact, the bookshop sent out a notice last week that you may have to wait for a bit to have your e-mail orders filled because their employees are so busy. Phone orders and curbside pick up can be arranged within the hour though.
I love McNally’s where my writers’ group meets, where I attend book launches, enjoy great meals in the restaurant, shop for gifts and attend interesting sessions in their community classroom.
I really want this business to survive the pandemic.