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Published: April 27th 2020
The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow
Doing ISO by the river in Chilliwack, BC
This has got to be the weirdest situation we’ve ever found ourselves in, eh?
As global citizens, we gotta do our part. Stay home. Practice safe distancing. Wash our hands. Remain calm. Be respectful. Help neighbours.
For me, it all started when a very stern looking Justin Trudeau stared into the camera and said, "...and to those Canadians abroad, it's time to come home now." Our virile Prime Minister's expression told me he might know something I didn't.
But what if you have two official homes? Should I stay or should I go? To be honest Justin, I’d much rather stay in Mexico and wake up to glorious sunshine.
Decision: Hunker down, see what happens.
A month in and things were good in Cabo. No reported Covid19 cases. Then a plane load of American college students came down for their spring break and left behind vomit and empty red solo cups and covid19. Still, only a few cases popped up. Some restrictions and closures were announced as a preventative.
Things only got a bit dicey when my flight in May was unceremoniously cancelled. Then my medical insurance lapsed. I had survived the swine flu outbreak
Trails are Open
ISO is hard. Finding an empty trail to hike during the day is priceless
here in Mexico years back. Could I be two times lucky?
My decision to return to Canada came after a few dodgy incidents occurred around my neighborhood that made me flash back to previous experiences after disasters hit Los Cabos. Pockets of looting and random assaults, targeting just Gringos.
The community center I volunteer at and grow food for had devised a contingency to hand out food parcels to our local families should things get desperate. It was a small reassurance for my broken heart as I reluctantly packed.
I shelled out more money than I’d like to admit and managed to find the last seat on the last airplane out of San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, and arrived back to Canada, with little fanfare.
Since then, the world has gone off, like sour milk.
Me being a social introvert, I live for isolation. Quarantine is a breeze. As much as I love people, I quite easily can go days upon days comfortably without talking to another person.
My 14 day mandatory traveler’s lockdown went by in a flash, I could have done another 14. But then the call came and I was told
Glorious Spring in Chilliwack
Still can go hiking alone during the quarantine
I needed to report back to work. That too was mandatory.
As usual, my employer did not pre-plan or react timely to this imminent threat...they’ve always been a bit Trumpish that way....and now they are in massive damage control.
Most of my shifts are in the intensive care unit aka Covid-19 wing of the local hospital, up to my eyeballs in PPE, watching a ward of people on ventilators struggle to breath. It's terrifying.
These are difficult, uncomfortable times. We all have to do our part. Besides, we’re Canadians, so we’ve got this.
After each shift, I strip off my uniform at my car, put it in a garbage bag, wipe down everything with industrial sanitizer, and drive home. Sometimes I have a little cry. Like all front-line essential workers, I'm just trying not to get sick. Trying not to bring it home to my loved ones. Trying not to go a little nutty.
Instinctually, in times like these I would just run away. Go travel. But the jokes on me. International borders are closed and there are no planes in the sky. So, I do the next best thing. I go hiking. It’s the
Fields of tulips with no one to look at them. Usually hordes of Insta photographers are posing their hearts out. Not this year.
only way I know how to decompress in this new restrictive world.
If you’ve never been to these parts of Canada, you’ll be super impressed by the amount of forested hiking trails we have less than five minutes away from downtown Chilliwack.
Depending on the day, I try to pick unpopulated trails so I can practice social distancing while enjoying the fresh air and the beauty of nature all around me.
Speaking of. I thought it was an anomaly, but something magical is happening to this world. Did you notice? It is becoming quieter, less hectic. The skies are bluer. Clearer. The air is fresher. More birds and critters are venturing out.
Apparently they can see the Himalayas in Delhi. First time in 30 years! And in Beijing, you don’t have to chew the air first, you just breathe it in.
Is Mother Earth finally getting that much needed break from her 7.8 billion asshole children?
Amongst all the negativity that comes with a pandemic, is it too soon to think we all could take away something positive from Covid19? Hell no.
Maybe it’s that reboot everyone needed to reassess what is really
Toilet Paper woes.
Not one package anywhere!
important in life.
Time to take back the controls. Make family connections. Get back to basics, and get off this capitalism rollercoaster we’ve been on since the 90’s. Buy local. Plant a garden. Barter. Live simply. Use alternate energy. Save the. Gulp. Planet?
Yet you turn on any news media and they are all about conspiracies and economical bail outs and fear mongering. In a time where we need to come together, everyone feels obligated to pick a side.
I actually saw the words “Great Depression” floating in mid-air above the news anchor on this morning’s newscast while I ate my Cheerios.
Millennials are like, “I’m already on meds for that.”
Meanwhile, the Baby Boomers are doubling up on toilet paper, checking their food hordes and digging out their bunkers. They remember.
And what about that flaming insanity called Fox News debating whether covid19 is sexually transmitted, while at the same time summarizing their plans to sue Wuhan for economical damages, only to be interrupted by their tangerine president, who is currently recommending dettol smoothies? On a loop. Going round and round. Making people like my 76 year old father slowly go insane.
Look Up, Look Way Up
Nature all around. The air seems crisper, the colours more intense. The Earth loves the human ISO.
If I could wish for one thing, it would be no more sensational news coverage. Either that or I’m going to need a tinfoil hat to block it all out.
Meanwhile, I have to figure out how to buy some toilet paper seeds to grow in my back garden. Stat. How shocking and sad is it to walk into any grocery store In Chilliwack these days and find the shelves empty. Come on people. No one needs to hoard, price gouge, or profiteer. In Canada? Shame on you.
Just know, the end is NOT nigh.
Like I was saying, minus the serious lack of TP here in Canada, the pandemic lockdown has been very productive for me. It’s now mid-May and these two months have flown by. Here in Canada, I’ve renovated a spare bedroom, done all my garden chores, read 5 dusty hardcovers from the pile I never ever get to. Almost finished Netflix. Pruned an entire vineyard.
I’m not supposed to, but I sneak out of the house and drive to the park entrances so I can go for my daily hikes. While I plod along, I daydream about places I have yet to
Teapots at Teapot
Us Canadians have a fun sense of of whimsical. There are over 1000 teapots all along this trail.
visit in this world. I take in all five senses around me, and an incredible feeling of calm and wellness envelopes my soul.
Teapot Hill is my old standard. Nice little jaunt up a 5km loop with a vista view of Cultus lake at the end.
Chilliwackeans have been making thIs trail, whimsical. At Teapot Hill. Teapots. Thousands of them. Right along the overgrown but well-trodden trail, some hidden in plain sight, some arranged painstakingly by parkour athletes. It’s like Alice in Wonderland on steroids amongst the mossy old growth trees. i usually spot a teapot I’ve never seen before on each venture. It makes me smile.
One summer a few years back, the City of Chilliwack bylaw officers tried to put a stop to this practice by removing all the teapots and posting cease and desist notices at the park. Not even a month later, hundreds of teapots reappeared, some in even cheekier arrangements, hidden in plain sight.
More threatening notices from the city were posted in all the local newspapers. More teapots materialized. At one point, for every teapot removed, five more would magical reappear. The city of Chilliwack finally gave in.
is great for that.
Although I wish I could be planning my next trip. Right now, life is on hold. And that’s ok.
Don’t despair my fellow travel bloggers. We’ll be traveling again in no time, and writing the hell out of it.
In the meantime, I wish you all a healthy few months, and a virtual hug for all those in essential services, and whether you are home or abroad, please be safe.
Cheers from Canada
Andrea aka Cabochick
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