B.A. and I are lucky enough to live across the street from wooded riverbanks. On the other side of the river is a Victorian factory that has been converted into offices. It has a working clock tower. Thus, we have a flat with a lovely view.
Yesterday I took a break from worrying about Covid-19 to hang up a load of laundry in our dining-room/office/guest-room, and while draping clothes over the radiator, I looked through the window and saw two swans in the river, nibbling at the opposite bank.
I had never seen swans so far up the river, so I called out to B.A. to have a look.
It was a lovely moment, really.
Yesterday we also went for a country walk, the country being a 15 minute walk from our door, and after lunch we spent hours in the garden. In the midst of a health pandemic, the question uppermost in my mind is, "If you have to stay away from people for two weeks, what would you like to do?"
Fortunately for the family finances, I work from home all the time, so there's no change there. And it's spring, so working in the garden is not only pleasant but necessary. Our nearest neighbours, whose gardens are in much better shape, came outside to cheer on our efforts. Going for country walks is one of our favourite shared activities. Because of all the pilgrimages I've been on in the past few years, I now associate long walks with the rosary, so we get in some prayer together, too.
I like talking to my parents on Skype, so I've been doing more of that.
I don't like washing my hands to song anymore, alas, as I have developed what looks like contact dermatitis on the backs of my hands. They itch. Even when they are not red they itch. Naturally I am not keen to go to the local medical clinic, so I'm self-medicating with Vaseline Intensive Care lotion and diaper rash cream. At some point I will consult with Dr. Sister-in-Law. Ma Belle Soeur is not keen on B.A. and I taking public transit, by the way. We are going to reduce our public transit time as much as we can.
My personal opinion on what the Catholic bishops should do for the next few months is what the Polish bishops have done: dispense the elderly, the ill, the children, children's caregivers (I'd add, the caregivers of the elderly), and the merely frightened from their Sunday obligation to assist at Mass while at the same time having more Masses, in part to have smaller congregation, and in part to obtain the grace of more Masses. This is a good opportunity for Catholics, especially Catholic clergy, to be true witnesses to our faith in Christ and hope for heaven, while at the same time not risking sending the vulnerable there before time. It's also a great time for bearing our discomforts cheerfully, as the superior form of penance, so I will try to think of my itchy hands as a good thing.
I do think, however, that the elderly should be ordered by the bishops to STAY HOME. I suppose the suspension of Sunday Masses by various dioceses (including the Archdiocese of Toronto) may be inspired by a fear that the elderly will keep on going to Mass, and keep on putting themselves and each other in danger of an untimely death, if there is still a Mass to go to. This reminds me that this would also be a good time for Christians to show who we supposed to be by checking in with our elderly neighbours, friends, and family to make sure they have enough food, are staying safe, and are not going squirrelly of boredom and loneliness.