What is life like during the Coronavirus pandemic?

Life has certainly changed. I don’t have the same routines and neither do my friends or family. I miss going to the park whenever I felt like it or the quiet moments I had when I had my own time (it’s busy in my house).

Right now the famous cherry blossoms in High Park have started blooming and the City of Toronto closed the park. It’s a shame but it was probably necessary because of the fear of massive crowds gathering.

Weather has been very cool and spring feels like it’s coming slowly. Many days are between 5 and 10 – not very warm! But in a country where it does feel half the year is winter we are generally patient about this.

I don’t get outside very frequently. Unlike people who walk dogs I am indoors every day. I went only twice last month for outings nearby to get some fresh air and exercise (short bike rides). Otherwise I only go once a week to the grocery store and go out occasionally at sunrise to play with my son.

I am worried about people across Canada. Despite some recent improvements we have a long way to go in terms of lowering the numbers. I took screenshots from the New York Times which put it in perspective. Canada has been on a long upward trend for a long time and we have a difficult road ahead.

I’m also worried about my health and my family so we will continue this regimen of mostly staying indoors. We have our laughs and enjoy our time together. I’m optimistic by late summer or fall we may be able to resume some of our old activities. It’s troublesome though that health experts say a true semblance of normality could be 12-18 months away (vaccines often take many years!).

I think life will never be the same though and society will be profoundly changed from this. I remember after SARS struck Toronto in 2003 that I would always avoid putting a bare hand on the pole inside the subway – and I never stopped this habit. In public places like escalators I don’t normally place my hand palm down on the rail. This is far worse than SARS.

How will our collective behaviour change? What will be the impact on transit users? Will we be back to the sports venues or movie theatres this year or even next? How will this affect dating or impromptu coffee meet-ups with friends?

We will live with a “new normal” that will be perpetual. I’ll be back to the cherry blossoms in the park in the future years but I bet the way we walk, shop and interact with others will be much different through the next decade.

Days are warmer though and I hope to visit the cherry blossoms post bloom when I can safely stroll and practice my macro photography on any remaining flowers.

Wishing you a happy and healthy spring wherever you are! 

Mike Simpson