Sunday, April 12, 2020

Retirement, The Virus, and Isolation. Oh My!

By now I don’t have to do a background on COVID-19 do I?  We’re probably all weary of the news, numbers, and how everyone is coping with being isolated from family and friends. Basically it sucks!  But if my staying put means I keep one medical staffer safe, or reduce the strain on emergency supplies, then it’s a small price to pay.

So, ‘nuff about COVID – other than to say it took the wind right out of my retirement sails!

No Description Required!

Yes, my long anticipated day of freedom from the corporate world was to be March 31 2020. But global events put a crimp in that date!  Began the first week of March, when our whole floor (approx. 200 people) was quarantined for 14 days due to one staff member testing positive for COVID-19. The push was then on to have everyone geared up to work from home. Something so many of us had wanted for years and if in place earlier might have meant I would have stayed a little longer.

Back at work on Monday March 23 with only a handful of us on the floor. As I was due to be gone the following week it was decided working from home not an option for me.  Vacation time was owed me, so my last official day was Thursday March 26.  Hardly anyone to say good bye to, and definitely no hugs. We all walked around each other at arm’s length and waved goodbye from a distance. A deflated, anti-climactic end to almost 22 years with the bank. The planned retirement celebration lunch was cancelled. Apparently to be re-arranged at a later date – perhaps by Christmas???

And oh the irony. Pam has been anxiously awaiting my freedom from 9-5 so we could have regular “JT days” and now we can’t get together!  We have video conferencing as next best option. And it’s been working with our Genre5 Author group to provide the 5 of us with a weekly chat. Video conferencing has been a great option for family gatherings as well.

Have to admit though I’ve been finding it hard to settle down to write. Our work in progress, “Beholden To None” is under edit now. We’ve had great feedback from two  beta readers and are working through the suggestions for the third draft. I’m grateful that Pam and I do have the ability to work online, but it doesn’t compare to the face to face environment.

It’s so hard not being able to get together with family and friends. But at least my linen closet, pantry, and CD collection are now organized. I may have to do a toothpick inventory later this week – depending on my schedule of course.

Our Genre5 group are participating in a group writing exercise for fun. Will let you know how that turns out. I liked the idea so much, I started a similar activity with some willing family members.

Genre5 Author Group - Donna Warner, Liz Lindsay, Donna Houghton, Gloria Ferris, Pam Blance

And I’ve taken to journaling this past month. Wish I’d started sooner, but am finding that it’s become both a good outlet for my writing and satisfying as a potential documentation of these historic days we are in. And there you have it – right back to COVID-19 again!

I rest my case. This pandemic colours everything we do right now. So I’ll finish by reiterating my appreciation for front line workers. Hospital medical staff, emergency responders, transit operators, truck drivers and retail workers. 

I have a beautiful daughter-in-law who is a nurse in our city's General Hospital, and my wonderful husband drives a city bus here as well. Both literally risk their lives each day they work. Love you both so much.

When will normal return? No one knows, but I will do my part and know that the sun will shine, social distancing will end and books will be read!

Stay safe, keep healthy.


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