Why I Made The Corona Chronicles A Series

Casey's Corona Chronicles — How to Outlast Your Kids in the Midst of a Global Pandemic — Empty Grocery Store Shelves
Is this what the world’s end looks like? Credit to André Proulx.

What do you even write about when the whole world’s burning down? Multibillion-dollar sports empires ended their seasons early. The travel industry shut down in one fell swoop. I didn’t start talking about COVID-19 right away because it was all anyone could talk about, but as soon as we closed schools down for three weeks across Ontario, how could I not?

When I first published The Corona Chronicles on March 13th, though, I was so short-sighted. I called the three-week quarantine “March Br3ak”, thinking this would all somehow resolve itself by April. I didn’t jump on long-term prep right away, figuring I could do some catch-up once things calmed down a bit.

But then our businesses shut down on the 16th. Travel another four days later. We learned that this was no small thing—we needed to learn a “new normal” with a very uncertain future ahead. This was no three-week ordeal.

And as the days dragged on and I kept writing about the experience, it only grew clearer there was more going on than a single post could contain. I needed a full series.

So here, in week eight of The Great Quarantine, I’d like to welcome you to The Corona Chronicles: The Series, where we talk about life as a family in Toronto, trying to stay sane each day as we find new ways to adjust.

I, for one, look forward to returning to some semblance of normal soon, but until we do, you can expect me to keep writing about it.

Be well, everyone, and keep doing what you need to to make it in these times!

Until the next, I remain,

cep wrap-up logo

The Corona Chronicles | Day Four | Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 | You Know I’m Trying to Work Here, Right?

If St. Patrick’s Day happens and everyone forgets that it’s St. Patrick’s Day, did it even really happen?

The funny thing about me forgetting about St. Patrick’s Day, in particular, is that I’d bought a green shirt from UNTUCKit on my recent trip to DC with the express purpose of having something thematic to wear when the day came along.

But COVID-19 changed everything, and I forgot all about it.

It probably has something to do with the childminding not ending up as equitable… or as easy as either of us initially imagined.

The Corona Chronicles | Day Three | Monday, March 16th, 2020 | A Strange and New Normal

And so begins the first day of a strange and new normal.

Casey's Corona Chronicles — Casey Holding Some Toilet Paper

Working from home isn’t entirely new to me—I’m fortunate enough to work for an organisation that values flexibility alongside productivity—but I’ve rarely done it with my kids underfoot, constantly seeking entertainment and asking for something new every five minutes. I don’t quite know what I expected—perhaps that with how well I knew my job, I’d be able to do it all without a problem.

But if this first day was a taste of what things could look like in the weeks ahead… we might be in for a problem.

The Corona Chronicles | Day Two | Sunday, March 15th, 2020 | The Last Days of Normalcy

Day Two had me feeling a bit more like an outdoor cat trapped indoors, clawing away at the screen door for the world he thinks he’s supposed to be in.

Casey's Corona Chronicles — Day Two — Selfie at the Park

The weekend’s over and tomorrow will be the first real taste of just how much the world has changed for many Ontarians. For those of us not working at home, or employed by one of the numerous services already shut down in the province, it won’t be a regular Monday, and will start to set the tone for the next few weeks ahead. But rather than dwell on the negatives and let them burrow deep inside us, we should look at all this as a challenge to our norms, giving us new ways to do the things we’d always taken for granted.

The Corona Chronicles | Day One | Saturday, March 14th, 2020 | So You Find Yourself Under Quarantine…

The Corona Chronicles | Day One | Saturday, March 14th, 2020 | So You Find Yourself Under Quarantine… — Chicken WingsIt’s Day One, and things are still a little surreal. We still went forward with our plans, shopping for furniture and taking a leisurely lunch while our kids’ godmother looked after them at home. We’ve shut down just about anywhere where 250 people or more could gather, but it was clear there’s still several of us not quite ready to shut ourselves off from the world.

This is only short-term, though. The restaurants and small businesses operate in constant fear of a national lockdown, barring doors and keeping everyone at home, so we’d better enjoy it while we can, right? But I’m taking every spare moment I can find to jot some thoughts down, sure they’re a lot better here than jumbled inside of my head.

I think I’m trying to hold on to a sense of normalcy as long as I can, fully aware that it could all get a lot worse before it gets any better. But the most important thing we can do right now is prepare, and that includes what we’ll do while the kids have nowhere to go.