It really looks as if the federal government is going to tighten our pandemic travel rules, a lot. The prime minister is being pushed that way, and, I think, is leaning that way. That means no travelling at all, either nationally or internationally.
Although I’ve hit a bit of a patience wall, I’m in favour of it. I want to do what’s in the best interests of the vulnerable. And the sooner we hunker down, the more we can control this wretched virus, and together with the vaccines, that means …
… going to a restaurant! Inside!
Meeting with family and friends! And being able to hug!
No masks! Hot, soggy, fogging-up-the-glasses uncomfortable. If I never have to wear a mask again, I’ll be very thankful.
And lastly, but definitely not leastly, just being able to live without covid. Without worrying about loved ones, without thinking of all the safeties you have to do to go to the grocery store, … without worrying about my son, the paramedic.
I was lately reminded that nothing lasts forever, including a pandemic. So yes, this, too, shall pass.
We have to continue to be patient. And safety conscious. And thankful for essential workers of all kinds.
If you’re interested in seeing them for yourself, there are many choices. Here’s the site for Yellowknife, NWT tourism: https://extraordinaryyk.com/
Thinking about travelling somewhere makes me wistful. Not that I need to (or want to) travel right now, but the idea of that freedom … I hope that we will soon have this pandemic under control, and such things as seeing the northern lights will become possible again. This weird perception that I’m “unfree” is strange. I’m not, not at all, but I feel an illogical and strong sense of entrapment. This must be my limbic brain kicking in. New normal? Hah! New abnormal is more like it.
… photographer Pierre Destribats. It was taken in Lapland, which is a part of Finland.
The light shown in this photo is very familiar to me. It’s that top-of-the-world, angled sunlight that is passing through a clear, cold atmosphere.
I have seen these formations here in Northwest Territories, but only occasionally and the result is much less impressive. What are they, you ask? These are actually snow-covered trees.
An icy coating forms over the trees when humidity in the air makes contact with the branches. The moisture freezes instantly and begins to form a layer of thick frosting. This results in these rather ghostly, human-like sculptures.
An alien landscape on Earth.
This photo was originally published in National Geographic magazine.
The Okanagan Valley is quite famous for wine grapes, but for many years before that it was well-known for its fruits and vegetables, especially its tree fruits.
I am not usually a big lover of fruit, but there’s nothing quite like a fresh peach, warm from the sun, gently sweet and juicy, slightly tangy but not acidic. And that heavenly peachy perfume! Such a treat!
So as I sit on the equivalent of a massive glacier, I can always dream sweet summer memories of peaches. Mummm, I can almost taste one.
I recently saw a sign that said “2020. Written by Stephen King. Directed by Quentin Tarantino.”
Well, yes and no. For all its tragedies, fears, stresses, economic disasters, fires. floods, storms, inconveniences and annoyances, 2020 could have been a lot worse. In fact, history has recorded quite a number of years that were much worse than this one. 1944 was the worst year of WW II; June 8, D-Day, saw the deaths of almost 7000 allied soldiers (British, Canadian and American) in that 24-hour period alone.
1918 was the start of the Spanish flu. That plague went on to kill 50 million people world-wide. Whole communities were wiped out.
And let’s not forget WW I. On August 22, 1914, 27000 were killed during The Battle of the Frontiers. That was a single day’s losses. In total, that war killed 1.35 million soldiers; that number doesn’t include civilian deaths.
I could give many other examples, but you get the idea.
In the scheme of things, 2020 just wasn’t that bad. In common with others, though, I did a lot of moaning and complaining. But really, I haven’t been that badly affected. It’s more precise to say that I’ve been inconvenienced.
I kept my job. I didn’t lose anyone to coronavirus. I had to stay locked up and quarantined for weeks, but Spouse and I are both introverts. It wasn’t really that difficult.
Given that situation, a spotlight has been focussed on some things to which we need to pay attention; it’s like we’ve been given a second chance. Let’s not blow it.
So in that spirit, here are some realisations, appreciations and habits I hope to take with me:
1. Respect for nature. We don’t need to spread ourselves over every single millimetre of this planet. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that this is the attitude that lead to (probably) bat, snake and pangolin DNA combining to bring about coronavirus.
2. Mindful travelling. (https://mindfultravelco.com/5-steps-to-mindful-travel/). Trying to cram an entire continent into a 10-day package tour where the point is to post as many braggy photos to Instagram as possible? That’s not travel. To me, that sounds like a lot of gobbling and very little appreciation. Much of this type of travel is causing extreme damage to the very things people want to see. And the environmental injury is becoming enormous.
3. Solidarity. We’ve all been hit by this. The whole world. Focussing on our commonalities is much better than focussing on our differences.
4. We are a lot more capable than we have let ourselves become. We figured out some amazing, innovative, and environmentally friendly solutions to the coronavirus issues. And those vaccines! So amazing and so fast!
5. There are wonderful people from all walks of life who have stepped forward during this crisis. And sometimes, I was very surprised by who did (and who didn’t). For all we think we know people, we really don’t …
In spite of the fact that 2020 wasn’t much liked, I was able to take a few decent photos. Some were more popular than others, and here are some of those, again. I didn’t necessarily take these photos in this order or during those months; they just match better. 🙂