I haven't done a Covid related update for a few months so I wanted to fill you in on how things are going in my city and for us. Ontario is currently in Phase 2 of its reopening plan - this has meant outdoor dining, outdoor fitness, larger gatherings of people (including inside!), and greater capacity at stores (including non-essential retail). On Friday we enter Phase 3 (earlier than planned) so there will be more indoor activities available. We don't know what is beyond Phase 3 but the Province is working on something. The Atlantic provinces are letting fully vaccinated people in without quarantine, so that's good news for us since my family lives there. The US/Canada border is still closed for non-essential travel but Canadians (citizens or permanent residents) travelling back to Canada do not have to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated.
Dare I say that I feel pretty close to being back to normal? It feels cautiously optimistic, and I know there are still many restrictions, but for us, we have been able to resume some of our normal practices:
The kids are at camps for most of the summer - day camps for Q and a mix of overnight and day for E. Soccer has started for Q and baseball for E. They are both tamed down versions of what would be a regular season, but at least they get to play.
I have been going into the office, and taking the subway, for a few days per week and there are other people at my office!
Dave has the house to himself during the day with all of us gone, and he gets a few rounds of golf per week.
We have family scheduled to visit throughout the summer and we have trips down East booked for September.
We had a friend over on the weekend and we are invited to someone's house tomorrow night.
Well, I still haven't gone to Homesense (!), cut my hair, gotten a pedicure, or gone to the gym (opening tomorrow), but I'm not in a big rush to do those things. I'm glad they are available for other people though. Mostly I am happy we have options now. It is not mandatory to be in my office yet so Dave, a perennial worker from home, wondered why I would want to go in if I didn't have to. For a long time I didn't have anywhere to really go, and even when I had to pop down to my office for something, I felt like it was a burden to leave the kids at home, and I was nervous (pre-vaccine) to be inside for long periods of time. Now I have the freedom and option to go somewhere other than my home. Dave has the golf course so that's his destination and the kids have camps/sports. I felt sequestered in my little space and I'm glad to get out. I have never really minded my commute downtown so I'm fine to be back on the subway with my uninterrupted reading time (about 30 minutes each way), and there are less people travelling so I get a seat most of the time. I also appreciate the ability to walk across the hall at my office to talk to someone or go out for lunch with a colleague.
At the same time, I realize that this could all be like last summer where we were met with another wave of Covid in the fall, and the variants out there seem to be doing some damage. I'm hoping that the positive vaccine rate in Canada continues, that people who are vaccine hesitant change their minds and get the shot(s) (I'm looking at you 50% of Americans, we want to open our borders, but not if it's too risky), and that people still wear their masks in close public spaces. We need to stay vigilant and I hope our government remembers to balance that caution with the urge to open everything up completely.
That being said, I do hope the Blue Jays get to come back to Toronto for the rest of their season; we will get tickets and I will probably cry. Am I right, Natasha?!