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it’s looking a lot like Covid

So – everything here up in the air, right now. My top floor tenant Robin, who came home a week ago from nearly 3 weeks in London, took one of my home Covid tests, and it was positive. He then had a more official PCR test and is awaiting the results. He has no symptoms, and he and I have not been dancing together, no spewing droplets here, but he does live in my house. 

Sam is nervous and does not want to come until we know Robin’s status. He was due to come over this afternoon bringing various things we need, including a cage for – yes! – Hamlet the hamster. When I got to the pet store at noon, I learned they’d sold 5 hamsters already this morning, and I bought the last! Thank heavens I got there in time. He’s happily ensconced in a temporary cage with seeds, water, a cardboard house, and a toilet roll to chew. 

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse … except Hamlet.

Anna is sanguine about the risks, as am I – we both assume we’ll all get this thing at some point. She was extremely busy yesterday preparing big meals for scores of Indigenous elders. Sam came to help her. I am very proud of my children. 

But I always feel that Christmas is one hell of a hard and exhausting job for women. Name one man who does half of what women do to prepare the day: presents, tree, meal, even setting the table and decorating the house – it’s a huge job, and it’s done, almost exclusively, by one sex. When I think of what Xmases used to be for me, it’s a wonder I survived – buying presents for the kids from me but also from relatives who sent money so I could buy something from them; my demanding gourmet parents and others arriving for the holiday and various meals. To add a little more stress, I produced the pageant on Xmas Eve and was also dealing with divorce, the kids going back and forth from one household to another, perhaps a little more fragile than kids who stayed put. 

None of that, now, and yet there’s still stress, many lists, do we have everything we need? Will everyone feel loved and cared for? Should I rush out and get more? It’s crazy. No wonder people snap. The city is insane today – a fresh snowfall that’s melting already, the roads and stores jam-packed – how is this in any conceivable way a festival celebrating the Prince of Peace? 

And now, here, we may not be celebrating at all. But I will cook the turkey and there will be presents, no matter what. My tree is very small but my heart is big. At this point, I wrap everything. I bought a bag of Thomas’s favourite almonds at the market yesterday; they’re under the tree. Now time to fill the bird feeder, so everyone, with feathers and without, has enough. At least, everyone around here. How very many, I know and I mourn, will not have enough. 

Maybe one day these boys, in the Christmas pyjamas Holly buys them every year, will realize how lucky they are, to be so loved.

My ex just wrote that because of infected cast members they had to cancel all the Xmas theatre programming he’s been working months to produce. I hope against hope no one around you tests positive, except for joyful good spirits. 

Merry Christmas to you all. 

PS: Robin took the home test again: positive. I just took it; it’s like waiting for a pregnancy test. Mine was negative. 

Negative! HOORAY! All systems go.



4 Responses to “it’s looking a lot like Covid”

  1. theresa says:

    Oh, what a stressful time, in spite of the food, the lights, the gifts. We are a small group, 4, but had plans for spend New Years with others. No tests — we live in a remote area. But will probably not go to the event we look forward to all year. The 4 of us, healthy (so far), without any symptoms, will continue to spend time together, talking, eating, reading, walking. I hope you continue to be negative (at least in terms of tests…) and that you get to spend time with your family.

  2. beth says:

    Merry Christmas, Theresa. I'm glad your daughter and her partner have made it to you and that you'll all be together. Much love.

  3. Susan Kargut says:

    When you wrote in a previous post that you'd got the turkey and now just needed the hamster, I was stopped for a moment envisioning esoteric food choices until I realized only one was destined for the table. Glad to see Hamlet is doing well and will be a bit entertaining at your house until he can move to his intended home. I'm sorry to read that Covid is changing your plans but just hope you are well and continue to be so. We shared yesterday with live folk which was such a cause for gratitude even more than usual. And yes, I got my copy of "Loose Woman". Yay! Who cares if it's -38° when there are books? All the best.

  4. beth says:

    -38! Oh Canadians are tough. You made me laugh, Susan, with your assumption that we'd be having pickled hamster as an hors d'oeuvre. All is well, though I'm still not sure about my health status. But we were together with loved ones, like you, at this difficult time on our planet. A healthy, creative 2022 to you.

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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.

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