My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

Covid homestay Day Four

It’s hard to believe that only a few days ago, Ruth and I had dinner together, and a few days before that, I was out and about to movies, the ballet, the theatre. The speed with which our world is shrinking and everything has shut down is breathtaking. And it’s still not extreme here in comparison with France, where Lynn writes that you are forbidden to go out at all except for food shopping or care of the elderly, only alone – not even with a spouse, not more than 2 k from your home, and with a downloaded note of authorization from the government. If caught without the note you pay a large fine – a particularly French detail.

Have to say that I think our government is doing a stellar job of making us feel informed and cared for. Trudeau seems to be doing a press conference every day, answering hard questions, sometimes with vague answers but he’s there, he says money will be flowing to those in need. I hope our government’s actions are appreciated. Especially in contrast with – need I say more?

I went for an evening walk and saw clumps of dog walkers chatting away, not taking social isolation seriously. But the streets were strangely still, except for more joggers and walkers than usual. On the way out I reached in to tidy the books in my Little Free Library and then realized – I TOUCHED STRANGE BOOKS. Stranger danger! Pulled out my hand sanitizer. Terror lurks.

But despite our isolation, thanks to our devices we are not isolated. I taught the last U of T class via Zoom today, emailed friends from around the world, FaceTimed with Anna and the boys, who were waiting impatiently for Thomas to set up the new trampoline – she doesn’t waste time, my daughter – and did a few minutes of an online exercise class produced by the Y before finding it too absurd and dull. Now watching Steve Paikin’s show about – what else – how to keep safe.

As a friend of Anna’s wrote on FB, one day when our children or grandchildren are listening to their own kids complain about some deprivation, they’ll talk about this time when they had to do without so much for weeks, possibly months. “This is their ‘walked 2 miles in the snow to school’ moment,” she wrote, and it’s true. It’s also a kind of 9/11, in that it’s something that touches the whole world and that none of us will ever forget. Though unlike 9/11, this disaster directly affects nearly everyone.

Now work is over for the term, and possibly for NEXT term, who knows? The calendar is bare. Every single thing is cancelled except Gina’s miraculous line dancing.

An interesting time. Steve just speaking with a pain doctor who reports they might have discovered a vaccine in Marseilles. Fingers crossed. Otherwise – Tylenol.

Funny – just got this from Air Canada, a reminder that I was due to leave tomorrow evening for Paris.

I guess someone there isn’t paying attention to the news.

And then, there’s this, to cheer us up:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.


Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.


I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.


Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.