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Responses to the Pandemic by Donna Wootton and Mike Croucher

Wearing Masks

by Donna Wootton

All Sew Divas are now located on the shore of Rice Lake. They used to be in Port Hope. I needed a minor job done before my big move. Would I make the drive just for two seams? It occurred to me when I came across some material in the closet that the pattern would make pretty pink masks. I asked about the sewing jobs and yes, they were making masks, charging $2.50 each which they donated to charity. From the leftover cloth I got ten masks. One hangs permanently on my car mirror. Three I gave away. Six fit nicely on the hooks set in the door of the hall closet in my new condo. Now they are part of my wardrobe.

When first asked to wear facial covering in public, I tried a bandana. I have a big stash of bandanas and chose one shaped perfectly with printed ducks on green cloth. I found wearing it inefficient. It kept falling down, wouldn’t stay up covering my nose which was the whole point. So I abandoned my drawer full of bandanas for surgical masks.

They had them for sale at the pharmacy where I picked up a prescription of only 30 pills, rationed in case the health system ran out of drugs. No point even thinking about the impact on me and others of that possible shortage. The surgical masks were expensive. I put one on to go to the bank to protect the teller from my possible contamination. Then I threw it away. I did that a few times and concluded such practices could break the bank. So I was grateful to pay for my own cloth masks.

I find wearing a mask makes my eyeglasses fog up and leaves me sweaty. As soon as I reach my car after doing errands, I pull it off. How long will we have to wear them? Into the foreseeable future we’re told. The new normal. What’s normal about wearing a mask? I grew up in a culture where wearing a mask meant you were a bandit. They were part of the costume for playtime. The bandit I liked best was Zorro. He was a hero, like the three musketeers. Are we heroes for wearing them now? Maybe.

Photo from Museums Victoria

A Good Life

by Mike Croucher

Covid19 is nasty, and causes great anxiety. But as the saying goes, “We need reminding as much as educating.” History has continually served up frightening events, wherever and whenever we’ve lived. But, most weren’t amplified by the hysteria of social media.

I have a 98-year-old English aunt. I phone her every morning. We’ve talked about this. She believes, as I do, that major catastrophes occur at least once every twenty years. They are a part of life. Eventually they end, often to be quickly forgotten.

If we look at our own time-lines, with little thought we could create a list of these events. I’m not going to bore you with my entire list, but to give you an idea, here are a few that my aunt and I remembered from my younger years: German (Doodlebug) rocket attacks during the final years of WW2, post-war rationing, actually more restrictive than the war-time version, Scarlet Fever, polio and other illnesses. Most of these issues had world-wide implications.

Photo from Museums Victoria

As for the decades since, all of us could put together similar lists, starting with the Cold War’s nuclear threats, terror attacks and wars. Then SARS and other health scares. They were all serious, all frightening to a greater or lesser degree, all preceded and occasionally followed by other horrific events. But life went on. We licked our wounds and got on with it. We found enjoyment wherever we could, accomplished what we could, mourned losses and celebrated victories.

I recall these words from a Jimmy Buffet song “…some of it’s magic, some of it’s tragic, but I’ve had a good life all the way.” I think life is better when experienced like that.

2 thoughts on “Responses to the Pandemic by Donna Wootton and Mike Croucher”

  1. Thank you Mike and Donna for sharing I hope the reminder will have an extended impact, Mike. If we quickly forget, the pain and horror of this time, what a shame.
    Donna, those masks are great. I have a sewing machine that’s quite simple but I haven’t figured out how it works. I could be making my own masks.

    Liked by 1 person

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