Fifteen Months of Sheltering in Place

Toronto feels like a city gain.

On Friday, Ontario opened up retail businesses to limited capacity and allowed outside dining on patios, and while I managed to avoid the lineups and had breakfast by my lonesome outside my favourite diner, it felt like a breath of fresh air had swept through and that we could breathe again. There was also the late-breaking news that a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine would be offered to those a part of Generation AstraZeneca (which includes yours truly) 8 weeks after the first dose instead of the customary 12 weeks, and that we could pick our brand. There are several (thankfully short) articles on the tradeoffs involved, though it must be said that the necessity of what really amounts to flow charts is the result of public policy and messaging. How hung up am I on it? I wasn't going to vote for the political party in power the next time an election rolls around anyway, and I don't know anybody who is, so I'll take it as a win that I have some agency in the decision.

The better weather means eating outside on my balcony more, and I aim to eat all three meals there as many days as possible.

I've been listening in on Clubhouse, the drop-in audio voice chat mouthful application, and heard one person says "we've spent fifteen months inside," and until then it didn't sink in how long it has been since I've attended an in-person event. My American colleagues are returning to the office as to weeks ago, and we're treated to scenes of fans at sports games while all events in Toronto have been cancelled until at least after Labour Day.

I did get to see illegal fireworks on the May Two-Four long weekend, which made me feel like a real Torontonian. That weekend also featured a one-day-only edition of the Lakeshore Boulevard Activeway, which I caught the very end of. No more for the rest of the summer, so I've been taking an hour-long walk on weekend days. It has been impossible to plan more than two weeks ahead, but with vaccine uptake what it is, I now expect that time horizon to expand for the rest of the year. I have vacation coming up, making day trips a lot more feasible. I expect to spend most of my waking hours at home still, but this feels a lot better than the previous 14 months.