Life has changed considerably during our “lockdown” during the pandemic.  We are not allowed to leave the building grounds or have visitors.  In order to do some walking for exercise, we are allowed to walk in the basement parking garage or in front of the building where they have a sidewalk taped with red tape, the width of the building.  We have to keep within these two lines, only one person, or a couple at any time, for a limit of 15 minutes.  Smokers are allowed to be in the courtyard for 15 minutes on one side of the building, whereas residents with dogs can go out either in front (one at a time for 15 minutes) or the other side of the building where there is a fish pond and greenhouse. If a person goes to a drug store, bank, shopping, a doctor’s appointment or has been to the hospital, they are put in 14 days isolation  with meals brought to their room.

On my birthday, my daughter came from North Vancouver with her guitar, and she and her partner sang “Happy Birthday to me over the fence.

Meals and meal times have also been changed.  We now have three sittings instead of two where we have assigned seats, sitting at least six feet apart, by ourselves.  Conversations are quite limited.  I had my meal time changed from 1:00 p.m. to 11:40 a.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 4:40 p.m.  The menu has changed in that we only have one choice instead of two. And if we wish something from an alternate menu, we have a choice of a BLT or eggs.  We no longer have a buffet breakfast, but have to line up 6 feet apart for a paper cup of coffee or tea and a paper bag with a muffin, small box of cereal, an apple or orange.  Only two people are allowed to sit at a table in the “walkway”.

The programs have been changed dramatically–  No bus rides or outside outings, no musicians for dancing, no other outside entertainers, no hairdresser, foot care, physiotherapists, etc.  Our half-hour morning exercise classes are limited to five people, as are movies, documentaries and any other programs.  Our little concession store where we sell toilet paper, Kleenex, chocolate bars, toothpaste, etc. is closed.

Occasionally, we have had a musician or musicians performing for us on the street, which is very much appreciated..

So far, these restrictions have worked as we haven’t had anyone here with the virus, but we hope it will soon be over!

Lavina Shaw