On Saturday it was my niece’s birthday. She and I have been going to the Winnipeg Art Gallery and out to lunch every year for her birthday since she was about eight years old. This year the art gallery is closed as are most Winnipeg restaurants and during this time of social distancing, we can’t be together. I hope we can still have our birthday lunch and art gallery visit sometime in 2020.
Every day the director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery Stephen Borys posts a painting from the gallery’s collection online and tells people a little bit about it. All the pieces featured so far have been popular works from our collection that I have had the privilege to share with hundreds of gallery visitors as a guide during the eight years I have been at the WAG. Seeing them again each day on social media is like seeing old friends.
We all need a break sometimes from the COVID-19 coverage we hear from morning till night. I have a subscription to The Atlantic and on Sunday they sent out a newsletter offering links to coronavirus free articles from their magazine.
Dave and I did a walk down the Duff Roblin Parkway yesterday. We walked for an hour and only met one other couple with their dog. We gave each other a wide berth stepping into the fields beside us. But we did say hello. When your husband is the only one you talk with in person most days, a hello like that from someone who isn’t on a screen or phone is nice. We were still isolated but isolation outside is a whole lot better than isolation inside.
We may be in social isolation until July. A friend said in an e-mail yesterday that he wishes he had a remote control so he could just fast forward us to the end of June.
My husband Dave is a regular volunteer at the West End Cultural Center. Of course, since they aren’t open now, he can’t help them out by giving of his time, so he sent them a donation. It seems during this strange period when you have to keep your social distance the only way you can help causes and institutions that are important to you is with your money.
Someone put this poster up in the elevator in our condo building. I ‘m thinking about its message.
A former colleague of mine who is currently teaching in southern Italy says gangs of people desperate for food during the lockdown have begun organizing raids on supermarkets. Since millions of people in Italy earn money in informal ways they are not eligible for unemployment benefits and so they don’t have money for food. How can we keep this from happening in Canada at some point?
Yesterday was our last day of self-isolation. What will be different today? Not much. We won’t be able to visit friends or family or have them over. It isn’t safe. We won’t be able to go to work at our part-time jobs. The places where we work have closed their doors. We can’t attend our church and I can’t go there to work in the church library where I am the librarian. Our church is only open in a limited and restricted way for the folks who need to access our food bank. I can’t go and volunteer at the MCC Thrift Store as I usually do. They have locked up. Dave can’t go and play pickleball at the recreation centre or curl at the curling rink and I can’t work out at the gym. Those places are locked down. The boards and committees on which I serve no longer meet and the place my writers’ group meets has canceled all events held there. The Manitoba Theatre Centre where we have season tickets has canceled all performances and the local movie theatres we frequent regularly are closed.
We will be able to go the grocery store, the post office and the pharmacy. I think that will be the only difference.
Siloam Mission at the Winnipeg Art Gallery