Pandemic perspective

By: Anne Corke

Apr 29 2021

Tags: , ,

Category: Life stories, pandemic


As spring 2021 begins to colour our world once more, we continue to mask, distance and wash in our COVID isolation as the pandemic persists in countries around the globe. None of us imagined that, more than a year after the virus was recognized, we would still be locked down, still keeping to ourselves, watching endless COVID updates on the news and waiting for a sign that the latest wave is ebbing, that we are starting to win this battle. And though there are hopeful steps as vaccines start to roll out, each day brings news of ICUs at capacity, health professionals struggling to survive under the unrelenting strain, and sadly, more deaths. Epidemiologists and critical care doctors are the new television stars appearing throughout the day on newscasts, achieving fame they never wanted especially under such circumstances. For those of us in the mature category, the risks are higher should we fall prey to the virus. And if we remain well, we wonder will we live long enough to see the end of this plague and a return to a more normal life? Will we take tea with friends, greeting one another with warm hugs? Will we enjoy a live concert or theatre production? Will we savour a meal at a favourite restaurant? Will we share new experiences with our grandchildren? For now though, we wait in hope. As a senior living alone, I am permitted to gather with my son and his family. As always our little family circle brings me much love and joy.

But even when I am alone, I am not. My two dogs keep me company. They pay no heed to doom and gloom on television news. They care not that shops and theatres are closed. They aren’t worried about the unseen threat of the virus. All that matters to them is that we are together. For them, the virus has brought unexpected benefits, more cuddles, more treats, more playtime, more country excursions, more drive-throughs for Timbits or ice cream. Early mornings will often find all three of us napping on the recliner, Danny lying across my legs, Sophie in my arms with her head on my chest, all of us under a soft throw, waiting for the rising sun to warm and wake us. A leisurely cup of tea is followed by a leisurely breakfast followed by another leisurely cup of tea. With nowhere to go, I often linger in my pyjamas ’til almost noon.

In the afternoon, we may venture out into the countryside to cruise the backroads. Or we might just enjoy a bit of nature observation from the deck. Summer birds are starting to arrive and we listen intently for their songs and celebrate their return. “Spring of the year” sings the meadowlark, such a welcome yet sad song as many of the birds of the meadows and grasslands have declined severely since I moved here. The brown thrasher flies in for his morning recital, his repertoire is most impressive. The cardinals sing from the top of the trees declaring their territory while the robins chase off intruders – I haven’t managed to find their nest but they have definitely staked out my yard so it must be nearby. The chickadees and goldfinches join in the chorus and, for a moment, I forget about COVID. Instead I wonder what progress the hummingbirds have made on their return journey, when our sweet wee wrens will return, will there be more swallows this summer?

The gardens are slowly coming to life. Snowdrops have finished blooming but the bluebells continue to spread across the property popping up in the most unlikely places, their petals reflecting the blue of the spring sky. Pulmonaria also have spread far and wide but I don’t mind. I welcome these volunteers with their charming pink and blue flowers and spotted leaves that look like they’ve been spattered with white paint. The bumblebees are fond of them too, bouncing from one to another, unlikely gymnasts in black and yellow leotards! Grape hyacinths and daffodils are popping up too but it looks like something ate my tulips. In the rock garden, the fernleaf peony is emerging, new shoots reminiscent of the Muppets! And of course the daylilies are shooting up in every garden. It’s a magical time of year, a time to count our blessings and steel ourselves as we continue the battle against COVID. Let’s be safe, be vigilant, but let’s not forget to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.


Copyright 2021 Anne Corke

2 comments on “Pandemic perspective”

  1. Beautifully poetic Anne!!!❤ Hope springs eternal indeed!!

  2. Anne, that is lovely; reflective. Write more. Marie

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