Three Months of Not Sheltering in Place

Since July of this year, I've been to Hamilton twice, went to an Ontario cottage for the first time while living in Toronto, and have gone to a co-working space every couple of weeks or so. While I've mostly been working from home, I haven't exactly been sheltering in place like I did for the previous 16 months.

The two trips to Hamilton were to see the Honey Badgers of the Canadian Elite Basketball League. The second trip was my first overnight trip there, to see a playoffs game, that they would ultimately lose to the 4-10 Ottawa BlackJacks. (Yes, a team with 4 wins and 10 losses made the playoffs.) On my second trip, I stayed at a downtown hotel so that I could do a couple of things in the morning before returning home, which were to see the HMCS Haida and the Hamilton Art Gallery, getting around by bike share. On that second trip, I took advantage of the hourly GO Train to Hamilton West Harbour Station.

The cottage trip was to Kawartha Lakes, made possible by the invitation from colleagues on the board of the Icelandic Canadian Club of Toronto. Near the cottage is Kinmount, Ontario, the location of a failed Icelandic settlement, and the site of a monument commemorating the losses suffered by that community. The Club sells a book, Icelanders of Kinmount by Don E. Gislason, as a fundraiser for upkeep of the monument. It was a treat to sit on the side of a lake, read a book, swim, and relax in the sun at the end of summer.

The co-working space near my place has been open for the whole pandemic. I had gone once or twice pre-vaccination, but felt uncomfortable enough not to do it very often last year. I have a plan that gets me two days per-month, and back when I regularly worked at an office, it would be my "undisclosed location" every now and then just to get a break from having a(n admittedly short) commute. In the months of not going, I continued to pay, mainly to keep my membership alive, but also in hopes that it would continue operating. To my surprise, I had been banking up days this whole time, so that has made the decision to go in easier.

Restaurants aren't at full capacity, but sports venues are (I went to a Blue Jays game at reduced capacity and watched them lose to the Yankees), but you can do things if you wear a mask and follow directions. That's a lot better than I can say than 18 months ago.