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Column: Coping with COVID-19 social distancing

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Joyce Hoey is a longtime Albertan columnist. File photo/MVP Staff

Has this concept become our new normal? “Stay home. Stay safe.” In this time of uncertainty how do we live from day to day?

Now and then I have to go out; groceries and pharmacy items are still required.

The mad rush to hoard seems to be settling a little, although there are still no sanitizers to be found. A mild bleach solution helps, but with that and all the hand washing, I have a new understanding of dry skin.

On my latest foray into the Co-op, I had no difficulty with parking or long line-ups at the till. Each customer has had to relearn the value of personal space. We were all wearing gloves — our winter gloves in most cases — as the disposable types are scarce as well.

If we found someone in the next aisle, we avoided entering until we were alone. No one seemed willing to make eye contact. I felt that my shopping experience was almost furtive. Despite the seriousness of the present situation, I left with a smile.

Previously, I found a definite reduction in fellow shoppers but they were still inclined to speak and commiserate. That was before the posting of the two-metre distancing rule.

Most centres are closed. I miss my church and the public library the most, although we are beginning to see more online events. My friend is longing for the walking track at the gym.

On my days off work, I have no problem in keeping motivated and healthy. I walk the halls early before my neighbours are evident. I use the treadmill and sanitize it well. I rediscovered an exercise DVD that I haven’t used much in several years.

I found a site where I am able to watch Gaither videos, although I own many. Lauren Tally, a Christian vocalist, performed a concert in her own living room, as did Michael W. Smith. I watch Billy Graham’s messages often and on a Sunday morning, stuck at home, I tuned in to Pastor Brent’s online message. Christian programming is still ongoing, although much is rebroadcast. I am grateful for the fellowship.

Prayer and Bible reading aren’t cancelled. I can call friends and check on their wellbeing. I keep up with a few family members on Facebook. I can still write letters, something I enjoy.

My stash of library books has dwindled, but I do have plenty of my own. I always save these favourites for a special reading opportunity. Now seems to be the time.

In my alone time, I pause to think, to pray and even to sing. I will try to keep it down.

Joyce Hoey is a longtime Albertan columnist.





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