Is it COVID or is it a COLD? | The Corona Chronicles | Day One Hundred and Ninety-Five | Monday, September 28th, 2020

“Get used to it, buddy—this probably won’t be your last one.”

— Sarah to our six-year-old as a long swab’s inserted up his nostril to test for COVID-19

I’m not one to stand in line for tickets or the latest restaurant opening, but if you want me to wait two hours to get a COVID-19 test for my kids, apparently I’m about that life.

After catching a slight cough last weekend that’d be nothing to worry over in The Before Times, we feared that they wouldn’t take our four-year-old in his kindergarten class, so at 7:50 Wednesday morning, I got in line at Michael Garron Hospital to get COVID-19 tests for the fam.

But don’t get me wrong, this was no easy undertaking—I was already fiftieth in line, and that’s before counting the extra people who were doing what I was doing… snagging spots early so their kids would have to wait as little as possible.

And it’s a good thing, too, because despite showing up forty minutes early for doors opening at 8:30, we’d spend over two hours in line, much of that with a couple of kids who didn’t shy away from letting us know how they really felt.

What it’s like to get a test for COVID-19.

This could only end well….

Now, did all four of us need to get COVID tests? No, but it was better to be safe than sorry. After all, even if our youngest was negative, if another case got in the house because we didn’t bother to check, what would this all have been for, anyway?

So we stood in that line, armed with devices and snacks waiting to experience this test that everyone’s been talking about.

The Corona Chronicles | Day One Hundred and Eighty-Nine | Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 | What’s Next?

It’s a lot easier to look back and see what one’s life’s been like in a pandemic so far than it is to figure out what’s coming ahead in such uncertain times. COVID-19’s messed with us all, bringing everything to a grinding halt, but it didn’t mean that the world stopped turning just because we were all trapped inside.

But if anything, the pandemic let content creators slow down enough to take a solid look at ourselves and get a better idea of what we’re about when the world takes so many of our supports away. Who are you without events and travel? Who are you when you’re not out showing outfits off on the streets or trying restaurants on a whim? The pandemic’s made us all re-evaluate how we do things, and as the world starts to get its footing again, we all need to ask ourselves one question:

“What’s next?”

The Corona Chronicles | Day One-Hundred and Eighty-Seven | Sunday, September 20th, 2020 | How a Global Pandemic Changed Me

This past Friday, Kat Dickson from the Toronto Bloggers Collective issued a challenge to our near-600 members to pick a draft from our blogs and turn it into a full-fledged blog post by the end of the weekend. And me, I had 181 because I start so many ideas that I don’t always have the time, energy or innovation to see them through. Every post needs a featured image. They need search engine optimisation. I need to run text analyses to make sure they’re impactful and make sure the photos won’t make my site load too slowly… there’s a reason why my hobby grew into something more of a second job. It’s because every time I want to create something, I want to do the most fantastic job of it that I can—anything less is unacceptable.

But these last six months have got me thinking. While I wasn’t always ready to share because my creative process takes a lot of time, it had me look deep inside and start understanding what I wanted to do with everything I’d built so far and what I wanted from all the time that’s yet ahead.

This is how six months in a global pandemic’s changed me, and I hope it’s for the better.

Why I Made The Corona Chronicles A Series

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,

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.