Covid 19 Communicating and Travel

During this pandemic, we have all had to adjust the way we visit and communicate with friends and family. We have maintained our 2 person bubble, ever since returning home from Vancouver on March 19/20. Nobody has been in our house at the same time as us, except for a masked up furnace tech and a few guests who needed to use our sanitized guest bathroom during a physically distance outdoor visits. We have only been inside one other house during the same time frame and then only following strict physical distancing guidelines.

I will not deny this process has been tough, but we all need to realize it is short term pain, for long term gain. The restrictions are not meant to penalize us, but to protect us. Many still feel this is a violation of their fundamental rights, but forget that their rights are their rights, only if they do not violate or infringe on someone else’s rights (ie: the right to stay Covid spray free). As Spock would say, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”.

All that being said, I would guess we have been in touch with family and friends more than ever over the last 8 and 1/2 months, phone calls, letters, texts, E-mails, Skype, Zoom, a drive-by ballooning on my Patty’s birthday and whatever else.

The cold November weather and our family birthday season have increased this communication to a frenzy. Since November 1/20, we have spent 13 hours and 26 minutes on Skype and 2 1/2 hours on Zoom. In September and October, it was a total of 5 hours and 17 minutes, but the weather was warmer and we could socially distance visit outside.

Where would we be without all this tech? I am thinking we would all be in a deep psychosis by now, not to say that many people, especially living on their own, are not. We keep in touch with our older and single contacts who do not use tech, by telephone.

But, back to the tech, we have had Skype game nights, Zoom Cape Breton kitchen parties, shared coffee, shared wine, shared dining and shared travel visits. We have been to Nackawic, New Brunswick, Kingston, Ontario, Westbank and Vancouver, British Columbia, Edmonton and Sherwood Park, Alberta and even Trim and Collon, Ireland, all without ever leaving our house.

On Friday, we shared a birthday “Olive Garden” gathering with long time friends L & R. We both did takeout from the Olive Garden and my wife made home-made salad and Toscana soup. The visit went on for over three hours, nobody had to clean house or do dishes and nobody had to drive there and back.

Olive Garden lunch over Skype

But the ultimate evening happened on Saturday, November 28/20. Brother and sister L & L from the East Coast, 2,134 miles (3434 km) away by air had a yen for Sushi (see what I did there?) and suggested a delightful idea, where we could share a meal over Zoom and then watch my photos of Japan. We were in. We did need to pop into Tokyo Express for the sushi and tempura and we also needed to buy some sake.

But, before the call could start, we needed to set the scene. We have a lot of Japanese decor in our home, that comes from many years of hosting Japanese home stay students. Dishes, fish kites, kimono and obi, yukata, etc. So imagine L & L’s surprise when we opened the Zoom call with a hearty “Irasshaimase” (“Welcome” in Japanese). There we sat in our Japanese costumes, as we all smiled and laughed.

Covid rules do not tell you that you can not visit, they just tell you that you must visit differently. We never had so much fun as we all sipped our sake and ate sushi and tempura.

After the meal, it was time to travel to Japan. Using the Zoom “screen share” feature (also on Skype), I was able to show part of our 2009 trip to Japan. Almost like being there, without long airport lines and flights. Unfortunately, the audio portion of the production did not translate well at the other end.

On the November 29 birthday day, the phone calls and texts never stopped coming and we managed a further two Skype visits with the kids. In the middle of this busy day, our former neighbours C &R stopped by for a drive by ballooning.

We must all do our part to get through this pandemic, so we can all get back to “normal”, but it does not have to be either boring or lonely. Stay well, keep safe and use your tech.

Published by kagould17

After working for 43+ years (38 years 7 months with my last company), I finally got that promotion I waited my entire career for……retirement. I have been exploring this new career for the past 3+ years and while it is not always exciting, the chance to do what I want for myself and my family instead of what my company wanted me to do has been rewarding. While I still miss the social aspect of working with a team of great people, I have managed to keep in touch with many from my former team and I have many friends and family members who now fulfill this part of my life. Now that my Patty has retired, we are able to spend more time in pursuits and with people who are near and dear to us. I enjoy photography, gardening, working with my hands, walking, cycling, skiing, travelling, reading and creating special photo and video productions obtained in my first pastime. I may not become wealthy in any of these pursuits, but I already feel I am rich in life experiences far beyond any expectation.

26 thoughts on “Covid 19 Communicating and Travel

  1. You guys sure know how to have fun, especially during the pandemic times. We have maintained our 3 person bubble from early March, too and even though we weren’t able to see our friends and family face to face we still had lots of meaningful conversations and ‘dinner parties’ thanks to the technology.

    For many us, this is a time of unprecedented struggle and upheaval. Whether the source of disruption in your life is a global emergency or a personal tragedy—or both—living through difficult times can take a heavy toll on your mood, health, and outlook. And that’s why it’s so important to grow resilience by practising acceptance, investing in self-care and reaching out to others.

    Thanks for sharing and have a good day. Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced last Friday plans for the easing of nationwide Level 5 lockdown restrictions and the reopening of the country over a number of phases from tomorrow in the run-up to Christmas. Cinemas, museums, galleries and libraries will reopen, and outdoor sports such as tennis and golf will be allowed to resume.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You need to have things to look forward to or I fear we might all go a bit crazy. Winter in Canada is long enough, without added cabin fever from restrictions. Currently, our area has one of the highest rates of Covid in the country. People here insist they have the right not to wear masks and not to face any restrictions and they demand that the government set them free. Over the weekend, there were anti mask protests in Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary and a mass protest in Calgary’s largest shopping center. Even though the government threatened fines and penalties, none were issued and the Peace Officers simply watched. As parents, you and I know that if you threaten a child with consequences to stop a child’s bad behaviour, you better be ready to follow through or the behaviour will only get worse.

      Absolutely agree that we all need to dwell on the positive and reach out to others who are on their own or have it worse than we do. How is your little one holding up through all this? I am sure she is missing her friends and play dates.

      Glad to hear of the easing of restrictions in Ireland. I fear we waited to long and did not clamp down hard enough to make a real difference here. Restrictions are on for 21 days and will be evaluated before Christmas. Our Christmas will be on Skype. Stay well Aiva. Thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Our Christmas will be on Skype, too. Ireland is moving to Level 3 restrictions from Tuesday, with a number of exceptions coming into place as Christmas draws closer.

        From Friday 18 December, the Government is allowing three households to mix for social and family gatherings in homes, gardens and other outdoor settings, but people are not allowed to hug and kiss! Either way, we are planning on staying home this year.

        Ericeira is doing great, Allan. All the schools and preschools are still open and running. The kids are getting ready for Christmas by learning festive songs and making decorations! Have a good day. Aiva 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we may take many of our coping strategies forward as travel and visits reopen. There is no reason not to socialize with those who live far away. Good Japanese food and sushi are underrated. We were impressed with how good the food was from Tokyo Express (fast food). Stay well and thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done Allan. How innovative you are to have a sushi party. Other than Skyping with you and the lovely Pat – we only talk on the phone. We will get through this – and probably only after we all get the Vaccine. Definately a story to pass down to our grandchildren and great grandchildren

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was indeed fun, but the idea came from Pat’s sister. Yes, we will get through this together. I think we have a bit of a wait for the vaccine, but it will help, at least in the short term. We may need to get an annual booster. Nobody knows yet. A tale for the history books, for sure. Thanks for reading Ann. Allan


    1. Hi William. Thanks so much for stopping by. I am not sure why it does not show in your reader. It does in mine. Hopefully, not that you are following it will be there. Stay well and thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You have definitely made good use of communication technology. I use it constantly with friends (you’ve seen my post about virtual gaming). I think this is a very good thing. We’ve got plans to do some Skyping or FaceTim’ing for Christmas since we decided to stay home this year. I know it won’t be the same as being with family, but it will definitely help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. Phone calls are good, but seeing the faces keeps us all “sane”er. We have played several games both old and new with our relatives. That coupled with the right quantity of wine makes for a good time. Christmas will be different for sure, but we will get through. Thanks for reading and commenting Scott. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a creative way to deal with the restrictions and still say social! Kuddos to you and your family for coming up with that. I’ve managed to zoom a few times, but now it refuses to allow me to join in, not sure why. But I make do with phone calls, texts and Face Time, and my personal favorite, outdoor visits when weather permits.
    I hadn’t realized you were having protests against masks in Canada….we’ve had some here, but not too many. Although we’ve had protests over the police killings for months now, and some of the protestors wear masks and some do not. Personally, I’m not a fan of masks but I wear them because it allows me to live my life, and means I’m not risking spreading the virus to others, and I’m allowing other people to keep their livelihoods during this pandemic. Seems worth it to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This has gone on so long, we all have to find new ways to keep it fresh. This idea from sister L was areal innovation. It was my first Zoom initiated meeting, as Skype has been our go to. Also, lots of phone calls, texts and E-mails. Personal gatherings outdoors are limited here in number of people as well as cooler weather.

      I guess the differences of opinion on masks exists all round the word and while I can not understand it, it takes all kinds. I always looked at masks being worn by people from Japan and China with ignorance. I thought they were doing this for pollution or to avoid getting sick. Turns out they were doing their best not to pass on their illness. Yes, masks are a challenge but a small price to pay to keep everyone safe. Short term pain for long term gain. Stay well Ann. Allan

      Liked by 2 people

  5. We have had many Messenger dinners with friends and family also and they are a lot of fun and I have written about this also! Thank you for your positive outlook and continue to have fun while distancing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is just so inspiring Allan. I am not very tech savvy but I am willing to learn how to zoom. I’ve asked a couple of family members and friends to zoom with us but it seems that the people I know are also not comfortable with this new stuff lol. I am going to bribe them with a wine night. I’ll even drop off the wine to them 😀 Thanks so much for always being a positive influence 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so important to see faces during this time. Skype and Zoom have kept us sane. Install Zoom or Skype and enjoy. Wine does help. Coffee works, dinner works. It is so simple and so much fun. Good luck Angie and thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

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