Strange behaviours

I feel like Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey:


Yep. Every day I wake up and think…ummm…ok, I think it’s Thursday, or maybe that was yesterday…?

I know it would be different if I were working from home. That way I’d have a calendar of meetings and so forth. Alas, I don’t have a contract right now and no one seems to be hiring many freelancers in my field. So this is weird for me. I’ve lived up here before “full time” but was always doing some work from home and commuting to Toronto. Now? I’m at the lake for as long as I can see in the future. (Whatever that future will look like!)

But we Stewart Lakers and the people of MacTier adapt. For instance, last night some lake and town friends and I got some delicious take out from Chef Henrie’s in town. We hadn’t seen each other in…well 14 days at least, so we met up in the Foots Bay Community Centre parking lot and had a socially distanced tailgate party. Yes we did!

small group of people in parking lot
Chicken wings and schnitzel in the car park

This morning, I met a friend up the road who had been doing some COVID-19 stress baking. I too had been baking squares and we decided to meet and somehow exchange some goodies. Talk about awkward! Do I put the brownies in the door, or leave them on a little shelf outside their door? Does she put her plate of blueberry scones on the picnic table and walk away? Then I get the all clear and pick them up? I can’t fit a hockey stick in my rucksack – try to imagine the length of a hockey stick and that’s how far apart we need to stand – so I’m thinking of carrying a measuring tape for these fraught occasions.

plate of blueberry scones
Kerry’s blueberry scones

The strangest behaviour I seem to have picked up, though, is the new way I grocery shop. Just walking into the Foodland, I feel guilty. For no reason. I skulk in, looking all around, side to side, behind me. I’m like a prisoner on the lam who needs a little nosh. I do what we’ve all been told, keep your distance, come in only once a week with a list so you don’t dawdle. But I find myself thinking THEY’RE ALL STARING AT ME! WHAT IF I’M TOXIC? WHAT IF I ACCIDENTALLY BUMP INTO SOMEONE? WILL I DIE?!

I pretty much hold my breath the whole time, slinking from aisle to aisle, trying not to breath in case I’m a carrier and don’t know it. I have a nervous stomach the whole time, like it’s exam day (when will those days be back?) If I didn’t make a list I would likely forget to buy the main thing I came in for on my one trip a week.* Then when I’m home and wiping down every can of soup, every pizza box, the egg container, I remember I didn’t wipe the door handle after I came in. OMG, did I wash my hands? Did I touch my face?

Ugh! It’s exhausting! But I do it because just one tiny slip, just getting it wrong once could have me or someone else flat on their back with the virus.

So today I went to the Port Carling Foodland for a change. It has wider aisles and that seemed to be more calming for me. But I’ll go back to the local one again, once a week. The aisles may be smaller, but the staff and checkout folks are my friends, and I know we’ll keep looking out for each other.

*It happened, I forgot the cat litter.