Life has changed for everybody since physical distancing rules were introduced. How have people adapted to create a new normal in these very abnormal times? To get a little window into some of the ways our community is getting along, we asked a teacher, a reverend, a new mom, a small business owner and someone celebrating a birthday what their day looks like now. You’ll see that technology has supported and enabled many of them, but it is no replacement for face-to-face interaction. Will these few months change the way we live permanently, or is this just a way to keep going for now? Time will tell, but these snapshots capture some of the ways that times have changed, yet life goes on.
Julie Lobb, Teacher, Bayside Middle School
I used to greet my grade 8s at the classroom door. Now I speak to them through my basement computer while my own kids do their schoolwork elsewhere in the house. It’s challenging! So much about teaching revolves around fostering relationships. Technology allows me to connect and give students learning opportunities, but it doesn’t replace shoulder-to-shoulder assistance, group laughter or an encouraging chat over recess. I’m so proud of how our young people are stepping up to this “new normal” and doing their best despite challenging circumstances. I miss them and wish that we were all back at school together.
Devon Bird, owner, Moden Boutique
I usually enjoy the flexibility of making my own schedule, but I am also a creature of habit. Despite not having to abide by store opening hours, I continue to have my first cup of coffee at the same time before heading into the shop. It creates a moment of routine normalcy I find such comfort in.
I usually pack up any online orders first, then check in with customer emails. Online communications have become less confined to traditional operating hours, so I am regularly communicating with prospective customers on future purchases and desired items.
Having just extended the option for private shopping appointments, I am now working 1:1 with customers to meet their shopping needs while maintaining the distance and cleaning protocols that keep us both safe.
I end my day by making all local deliveries by hand. It gets me out of the house, cuts down on shipping costs, and I have really enjoyed getting to see more of the Island I call home!
Tara Carere, birthday celebrator
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented birthday celebrations. We have two April babies in our household – one turned three and the other five this year. We have always thrown fun little parties in the past, and we wanted to make this year special within the confines of social distancing. We decided to organize a car parade … and the guest list did not disappoint! We encouraged our kids to dress up and drivers-by were asked to drop a toonie into their piggy bank along the way. We worked with local Ruth & Dean to extend COVID-friendly, pre-packaged treats from the “safety rake.” We all had a few good laughs and the kids felt very special.
Cassidy Nunn, a new mom
In some ways, having a newborn in these strange times of the COVID-19 pandemic may not look a whole lot different than what life is like for anyone welcoming a newborn; we hunkered down at home during those first few days and weeks and adjusted to life as a family of three.
What I’m sad about and craving most are the social connections – our daughter meeting all her family and the many friends we’d by now have had over for a meet and greet. But every day I count our blessings and there’s so much we are grateful for: she’s here, she’s healthy, we had an incredible medical team for her birth, and in this day and age we have the technology to connect in so many other ways. I’m sure our family bond will be all the stronger because of this time spent together and introducing her in person later on will be all the more meaningful.
The Rev Dr. Eric Partridge, St. Andrew’s Anglican Church
When the virus first caused us to close our church doors, it felt like something we all could do; it was the right thing, the healthy thing, the loving thing. We started having online services, bible study and fellowship. We telephone our parishioners so we touch base with everyone regularly.
It felt temporary and like something we would get through before returning to what we have always known. But as the weeks have slogged on, we question what the future will look like. How are we going to gather in full strength – 120 to 140 people in one place – to worship? How are we going to support our elders? Online services are a stop-gap, but not a long-term solution. What will the “new normal” look like? We are all just trying to stay safe and figure out the future. Like everyone else.