Pandemic hair and a socially distant reality

I need a haircut.

I’m a couple weeks away from taking things in my own hands with sewing shears and I figure grey roots will have made an appearance by then too.

But a seat in my beloved Drake’s styling chair is a metre too close for us both in a social distancing era.

This strangest of times, this science fiction life, has taken hold in just a week.

I’m supposed to be at a birthday party tonight. The invitation arrived a week ago. Cancelled.

Next week, a memorial service for my pal’s mom: cancelled.

My own birthday dinner will likely be Chinese take away from up the road. If they’re still open.

I went to the pharmacy yesterday to pick up a prescription plus some bandaids for my hands that are cracking from all the requisite hand washing and sanitizing. A note on the door said to knock. I knocked, the door  was opened, I asked to come in and was told to stay outside.

But I need bandaids, I said. And eye drops.

Stay there, we’ll get them for you. And that’s how things are being done in my corner of the world.

A text from Daughter #2 in Ottawa about a dream:

I dreamt we got a chicken so that we could have a steady supply of eggs. We named her Penelope but started calling her Pandemic Penny.

That sent me to the supermarket where, sure enough, Pandemic Penny panic had cleared out the egg cooler.

In Australia, where she is recovering from wisdom tooth removal, Daughter #1 dispatched her hubby to the store to stock up.

They now have a fulsome supply of Spaghetti O’s.

At least they’re soft, she sighed.

So, like most of you, we’re home. We’ve taken delivery of a heaping pile of mulch and topsoil that’s in the back yard waiting to be redistributed. I’ve read – I’m reading a lot these days – a dog’s sense of smell is thousands of times greater than that of humans so Herbert is happy as a pig in you know what.

I could use some new clothes to go with that haircut I’m not getting, but I did shave my armpits this morning (can you not keep some things to yourself? asks MrWI64), so I’ve not gone totally hobo.

But really, what mattered just weeks ago is a non-issue now. I figure we’ll all be looking pretty ragtag by the end of this.

Meanwhile, daffodils are blooming, cherry blossoms are blossoming and, with schools closed for the foreseeable, there’s the happy sounds of children in the air.

We’re doing stuff like this:

Stick fetching. Lots of stick fetching.


Face licking


And breathing in the beauty just down the road.


I’m taken by how measured people are being in this crisis. They’re reading, they’re taking up new skills and returning to old ones. They’re walking their dogs and texting their friends and staying kind and upbeat. I think they’re even driving more slowly.

It’s the weirdest of times and we’re all, every one of us, in it together.

So tell me, friends, how are you marking time in your own splendid isolation?




11 Comments Add yours

  1. rick stevens says:

    Gery? Wonderful writing/communicating from you as always! Not sure you want me to reply to your blog or just to you. I am a neanderthal in matters like this. I have been memorizing the intro to Canterbury Tales to keep my mind occupied whilst self isolating. Whan Zephirus eek with his sweet breethe Inspired hath in him every holt and heeth… etc., for many pages. Also cleaning the floors, etc. rick


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      You’re such a gem, Ricky. We really must get together… but I’m keeping my distance while cutting my hair. See Pat Ardley’s note to you on this page.


  2. Pat Ardley says:

    I just left my virtual book club meeting on Zoom. We were a group of refined dignified ladies! 40 minutes free, we were cut off at 40 minutes and switched to messenger. So much fun!
    And Rick, there is a fb post with the first line and the last line of 10 well known classics rewritten to fit in with our new situation!


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      People find wonderful ways of keeping on keeping on. Me: I mostly throw sticks.


  3. Pauline James says:

    A great read Gery– funny thing, I took to the shears today as well, party or no-party (sigh). Hubby and I are enjoying walks together to get our daily dose of Vitamin C, while staying the requisite 2 metres away from any other passers-by, of which there are few. Hoping to get down to some serious exercise tomorrow morning (at home) to help balance off the after-dinner inertia from watching Wheel and Jeopardy (which temporarily erases the bad news of the day). Life is feeling sedate as I ponder my social contact being so limited at home, for an known period of time. As I said to hubby, it’s a darn good thing we not only love, but truly like each other! Tomorrow we’ll have happy hour on the driveway with the neighbours, sitting a healthy hockey-stick length or two apart, while enjoying hearing the birds and the kids down the street playing in their own backyards. There’s one thing about a crisis— it brings you up against things new and strange, but can also lead you back to things old and familiar. Now if only we could play a good game of hide-and-seek!


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      You’re so refreshingly positive, my friend. Love you for that.


  4. ridykun says:

    Thanks for another comforting bit of writing, Gery, especially appreciated in these weird times. We were thinking of our dog and how she would have made things seem more normal with her clockwork routines and boundless joy. For now, I’m painting almost obsessively as there are no excuses to pull me away from the canvas. Take care.


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Thanks, Rick. You too. Strange, strange times.


  5. alisonamazed says:

    I connected today on instant messenger with an old high school friend. We chatted for a long time, long stories about our lives. And I was struck by his life as a baseline for a film that would take you on a Forrest Gump kind of journey, make you laugh and cry, and just feel good at the end. He’s had an amazing career journey as an electrical engineer, working on CANDU reactors and space projects and now works for Cavendish potatoes in PEI where they have been declared an essential industry, churning out 2 million pounds a day of fried potatoes in all shapes and sizes for the eastern Canadian market! An interesting COVID physical distancing fact, eh!


  6. alisonamazed says:

    By the way that was after serenading you with birthday greetings! I haven’t been on messenger much ever! That’s maybe my a Pandemic response. Now I’m here on WordPress reading your, who knows! Maybe I’ll do an A-Z challenge in April! Whaddya think Gery? Ever done an A to Z challenge?


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