A few days ago, Toronto learned that someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 had taken several trips on the TTC, our public transportation system, after they began coughing and showing other symptoms of that disease.
Our local media has been publishing many stories on the Coronavirus outbreak these winter alongside their regular winter features on cold and flu season. While I have some mixed feelings about how they’ve reported on this new outbreak in particular, it’s difficult to ignore all of the new information pouring in about COVID-19 and how regularly new cases have been diagnosed in Ontario lately.
Like the rest of the world, Toronto is nervous about this topic. There have been so many folks stocking up on toilet paper and other supplies that some stores here have actually put limits on how much of those items you can buy at a time.
I happen to be part of an age bracket that is at very low risk of developing complications from Coronavirus, much less dying from it. I also don’t have any pre-existing medical conditions that would make it harder for my body to fight this illness. If I were to develop it, chances are excellent that it would be no worse than a bad cold or the flu for me if I even developed symptoms at all.
Still, I’ve found myself staying home more often these days. I’d hate to accidentally spread this illness around to people at high risk of complications if I’m one of those young, healthy people who have it while showing few to no symptoms of it.
When I do go out, I’m noticing that our libraries, stores, and malls feel a bit quieter than usual. My guess is that other folks are cutting back on spending time in large crowds when possible as well.
Since most of my favourite places to visit are outdoors and I’m trying to reduce my time spent in crowds, reading seems like the perfect solution.
March is a chilly, sloppy time of year in Ontario anyways. Might as well read until the weather improves and the spread of this disease is hopefully slowed down while scientists work on a vaccine for it.
This means that you may be seeing more book reviews on my site over the coming weeks. I love writing them, but they take up so much time and energy that I generally can only get through a certain number of them in the average month.
There are only so many TV shows I can watch and hours of Minecraft I can play before needing to do something else with my free time, though, so reading it is.
I already have my first review of this semi-quarantine season ready to go for next week! Thank goodness I still have a big pile of library e-books to plow through as well.
How have your daily routines changed this cold, flu, and coronavirus season? How are your countries and communities reacting to COVID-19? Are you all staying home and getting more reading time in than usual these days, too?
14 Responses to Stay Home and Read
Things are uncertain here too. We have at least eight cases in Colorado so far and the number increased quickly. Schools in Seattle, where we have friends, are going to on-line instruction Monday. Like you, I am inclined to stay home more, especially since, when I do go out, I have to take the bus. Like you, I have noticed that when I am out and about, there are fewer people around. Our local book store is usually bustling, but the last time I was in there, it was almost deserted. I am also re-thinking travel plans.
Hoarding supplies is a problem here too. I’d like to have enough of what we need for two weeks or so (fortunately, we keep an abundant store of books on hand at all times), just in case my husband and I get sick simultaneously and can’t get out, but I don’t want to stock as if for the Apocalypse.
It’s hard to know how to behave when we have so little information. I’m trying for cautious, but not panicked. Your book reviews will be something to which to look forward, though.
Stay safe and well, Lydia!
Thank you, Ruth. You’re in my thoughts, and I hope you stay safe and well, too.
Good luck with your decision on how much to stock up. That’s a real conundrum. I’ve heard so many conflicting pieces of advice about it.
We’re going nuts for toilet roll to the point that people are fighting over it in supermarkets. As well as rice, flour and pasta. And it’s nuts. I am more careful around people these days — I walked up to a till to pay for something today and a man just turned and sneezed (he didn’t know Iwas there) and I side-eyed him so hard. I felt so bad after that!
Sheesh! I haven’t seen any fights over stuff yet.
I hope that guy didn’t get you or anyone else sick.
We’ve all been told that at this stage we should “Keep Calm and Carry On” so I’m still going out dancing. Given that most Londoners are still travelling to work by public transport, I think that there is little chance of avoiding it without quaranteeing ourselves and thats practically difficult until there is official guidance to do so.
It’s a fluid situation, though, so we’re taking it a day at a time.
That seems like very sensible advice, Tom.
And, yeah, going into full quarantine mode would be hard for sure.
I’ve been trying to be more cautious than normal, and there are times we’ve stayed home when we might not have otherwise. But I have books, movies, and video games, so I haven’t been put out too much. Also, if I needed to, we could self-quarantine for 2 weeks with what we have at home (no extra shopping needed) so I haven’t been panic buying either. Though I’d be awfully sick of rice and beans and canned vegetables if it did come to that…
That’s great! But, yeah, a diet of those three things would get repetitive after a while for sure.
Do you have any canned, frozen, or dried fruit in your house? I bought some of that, too, just for some variety in case we are quarantined.
Things are uncertain here as well. I am in Nebraska and our first case was diagnosed last week. I am a bit more worried, as the person lives here in the same city as my daughter and I. Like you, I am fairly confident I would survive as I have no underlying conditions either. I worry so much for those who are at-risk though, and would feel absolutely horrible if I were to pass it on to someone whose body could not fight the virus as mine can. I will not hesitate to pull my daughter from school and self-quarantine for as long as it takes. Unfortunately I might lose my job (I am a teacher), but on the other hand, schools may be closing soon anyway. I really appreciate that you think the same way, protecting others is so important too.
Yes, it’s very scary.
And thank you. I hope you and your family stay safe.
Most of my friends are older than I am (and I am 63) and my dad is 93, so I have worries about them. I’m hoping the warm weather will drive this virus away.
I’ve heard some experts say that’s a possibility!
I had to do research on Covid19 to figure out a plan for my job. I was really looking forward to being inside all day with my books, but now I’m just obsessively reading the news and looking at projections. I have contact with 0 vulnerable people but still worry a lot about spreading it without knowing.
I totally hear you there.