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A new normal

Wow, what a crazy ride!

I don’t know how exactly COVID19 is affecting you, but I’m certain that it is in one way or another. We are all in this together; as families, as communities, cities and countries. I don’t know of one place on earth where this virus hasn’t touched lives. Nature Notes is still operating- although in a very different way than usual. This post is really personal.

Our new “normal” routine

My adapted work schedule

I still keep regular office hours but they are a bit more flexible right now. I still want to be available for my valued customers, even though I can’t meet with them. I take phone calls and emails and keep in touch through Instagram DM. I am so thankful for modern technology! I never thought I would say that! Folks are still able to place orders online and request local pick up or have their order mailed out to them. For local pick ups I arrange a time with the customer and when I see them arrive, I place their order on a small table I have set out for them so they can retrieve it from there. In this way we are able to comply with the current social distancing regulations put in place for us. In the future things may change, but for now, this is the new normal.

Please note: All of my market locations have been closed until further notice. Stay tuned for the day we are able to re-open.

My personal protective measures

If it feels like I’m spending a lot of energy on cleaning around the house, it’s because I am. What this looks like:

  • Washing my hands as soon as I come in from being away
  • Replacing hand towels in the bathroom at least 3 times a week
  • I am doing extra loads of laundry to also help mitigate germ transfer
  • Extra vacuuming, especially at the entrances so that sand and dirt don’t get tracked though my house, followed by the swiffer through high traffic areas
  • Wiping down of faucets, computer keyboards, door knobs, kitchen hardware etc. I wear disposable nitrile gloves for this job. I realize this is not zero waste, but right now that doesn’t take as high a priority.
  • Washing my hands before and after I touch food, my hair, blow my nose etc. You get the gist…this is a LOT of hand washing.
  • Wash down counter surfaces several times a day. I like to call this a “smack down” (this term got coined kind of accidentally…long story)
  • My immediate family members still get hugs.

Does this make me germaphobic? Maybe. Don’t care.

Elder care

Right now my parents are cooped up in their home. Both of them are over 75 and both of them have underlying health concerns. This is kind of scary for them, as they know that they would likely not do well should they contract COVID 19. We always keep the recommended distance while visiting them, even though we are family members. Seniors have a lot of worries right now. The biggest issues that I have noticed include:

Loneliness. Along with this is loss of mobility. Quick trip to Safeway? Nope, not happening. They aren’t taking any chances right now. One solution that we came up with is we take their shopping list and make their purchases for them and they use e transfer to repay us later. My dad wasn’t too keen on this idea at first, but we got him set up and now he is pretty comfortable with it. He likes to track all his expenses and is still able to do so. The pharmacy is pretty good at allowing family members to pick up prescriptions for seniors, too.

The loneliness setting in has a huge impact. I make sure that one of us either calls them- daily- or goes there to check on them. Now that it’s nicer outside, I’ve been taking my dad out for little walks. (Keeping some distance between us, of course.) This one thing has made more of a positive difference than anything else so far. The fresh air and sunshine is good for him, it gets him out of his house for a few minutes, and he has the chance to chat while we walk. Maybe soon my mom can join us.

Access to their regular healthcare provider does not exist. This one is pretty frustrating. My mom needed to see her doctor and the office is not open. At all. She was able to make a phone call appointment with a different doctor who cared for her while she was in the hospital recently, but now what? She’s out of much needed health care. And I feel so helpless.

Loss of corporate worship. Church gatherings have been cancelled all over the place. While modern technology allows for live streaming, this does not take the place of much needed human face to face interaction. Feeling disconnected from others is a legitimate loss, especially for seniors.

Not eating properly. Since both of my parents are a bit under the weather, they don’t have the energy to prepare food for themselves. Yes, I added a couple of extra items into their shopping cart to help with this, but the smell of cooking is a big problem for my mom right now. Tonight we are taking dinner over to their place- already cooked- so that I know they have some good food to eat. My dad has been trying out new ideas in the kitchen…good for him! The great thing about having them make me a grocery list is that it kind of makes them think a bit about some meal planning, including some nutritious snacks.

Financial concerns. Okay, I think all of us can relate to this but seniors are being hit hard with RIFF investment losses.

New reality is sinking in

I guess this kind of morphed into a post about being real with caring for my parents, but that’s where I’m at now. Maybe you can relate? I’m fortunate that they live within walking distance of us, as that saves a lot of driving time.

This is actually the main reason that I haven’t been offering home deliveries to my customers. I can definitely work customer pickups into my work day, but I also need to save space for my parents’ needs. They have done so much for me over the years, and now it’s my turn to care for them.

To my very special YYC Customers

We hope to open the Hillhurst Sunnyside farmers market for May 20. It will look quite different than usual, but I hope to be there for you.

Thank you for your support and understanding!

Recommended items to get now include:

  1. Soap
  2. Essential oil blends

Stay well, and love your family from a distance!