After hiding away for the past six weeks, there now seems to be a glimmer of light on the horizon, as our leaders start making noises about lifting some of our social restrictions.
Good news??? Well I guess in way it is, it means that the worst of the Covid virus is over but, as long as we are still getting new cases each day, it is definitely not gone from our lives. Businesses badly need to get into earning money again and I suspect that many of them will never recover from the past few weeks of closure. So many smaller businesses are family owned and that means that during closure, nobody in the family has been earning money.
No income means that bills don’t get paid and also no extra money available to make the safety improvements needed to re-open. Plexiglass screens for cashiers and areas large enough to have separation of customers. Most small restaurants do not have the space to seat customers six feet apart and still take in enough income to make a living. Even those with patio areas can only fill one or two tables. One of my favourite hang outs is the Chinese buffet but are buffets going to be allowed in our new, regulated environment? As I don’t eat meat, I love the option of taking lots of small amounts of the vegetarian options which are not always available on regular menus, unless I order lots of different dishes for the variety. This is expensive and way too much food.
While I believe that most of us are dreaming of joining friends for social activities, I don’t think the idea of dining out, at a restaurant, is feasible and probably most gatherings will be in private yards or pot luck style picnics in the park.
Personally, I have got used to not wasting unnecessary money on frivolous items and am not in a hurry to start spending again on things I can do without. This past few weeks have taught me how many unnecessary things I used to purchase, that I will probably not waste money on again. This attitude is not going to help start our economy but many of my friends seem to feel this way.
I did splash out and buy a new car! In February, I returned from Scotland where I had nursed a dear cousin through the worst part of her cancer. She wanted to leave me some money and she requested that I treat myself to a car. Marrying young and having four children in very few years had never left money for a vehicle and, when we could afford one it was always a huge station wagon that would take my large family and our two dogs.
Once children were no longer in need of transportation we had a business and moved to a mini van. More available cash led to an older motor home and a small yellow car for towing behind. This was a Tracker, very basic but fun to drive apart from not having power steering, so I felt like I was driving a tank when taking tight corners or parallel parking.
I had a few very difficult months in fall and winter, culminating in the death of my cousin who had also been a very dear friend. The idea of treating myself to a new vehicle seemed rather extreme but I decided that I was starting a new life and a new car would be a great part of it.
My new acquisition is a small, feminine looking car in a pretty dark blue, because it is solely mine, I do not have to share with a messy partner who leaves Timmy’s wrappers, jump cables, bungee cords and the odd screwdriver on the floor. It is just me and my little dog who sits in her own safety seat that prevents her from decorating the windows with nose prints and messing up the upholstery with sandy feet.
I took ownership several weeks ago and, because of the social distancing thing, it only has 84 kms on the clock. Apart from driving it home from the dealership it has only been as far as the grocery store each week and the garden centre once. No point going further than that as nowhere to go, I don’t visit friends except by telephone or email and the only stores I need to visit are here in town.
Although I have really missed socializing I don’t think I will be rushing back into much mixing for a while, I want to stay healthy as I am hoping that my knee replacement surgery is not too far away. I was two days away from surgery when the hospitals closed it’s door for non emergency cases, too bad as this would have been a perfect time to stay home and recover.
So….much as I am eager to get back into the social whirl I have sorely missed, I think it will be a while before I get my glad rags out of the mothballs and I start to paint the town red, or even a pale pink!!!