Barbara Moser in self-isolation: It’s Week 3. Time to declutter

In my third week of isolation, the times definitely are ‘a changin. I am prolonging my time at home, because I’m 70 and because all of us have been told to stay home.

We’re into a routine of cleaning, organizing, preparing bags to give away, and throwing things out…. On that score, Irwin just walked into the kitchen and showed me some buttons, many old keys, some badges from the first referendum, a used toothbrush or two and asked me what to do with them.

Out, I said calmly and he complied.

Every day he goes through another box that has languished in his office since we moved in 2 ½ years ago. I’m thinking more and more that I don’t want to burden my children, who don’t even live in Montreal, with throwing out so much. I worry too about the paintings, the books, the heirlooms. What will happen to them?

It’s hard to throw out photos. Maybe I’ll get some addresses from family and send them out to them. But still there are too many.

Yesterday I went to Provigo at the corner for the first time in a week or more. The line was short with everyone standing six feet apart. There is a big plastic screen in front of each cashier and I thanked mine for her service. She asked if I had my Optimum Card. Really?

It took too much time using my gloved fingers to press my interac card info since my order was over $100. Provigo is not accepting cloth or re-usable bags, and are giving out plastic bags free. So I suppose that the virus trumps climate change. But should it?

Maybe there’s another way. I ended up putting items in my cart and pushing it home and then Irwin pushed it back. We’re lucky we are so close to the store. Most people aren’t as lucky but if they drive they could bring the cart with the groceries to the car and put them directly into the trunk.

Am I being ridiculous?

I mean writing about nothing while people are getting sick, while our seniors in residences are in danger and not in touch with loved ones except by letter or through a phone call or window.

Don’t we need some levity in all of this?

But levity has its place. Some close friends sent me what they later termed a “joke.” It was a “promise” from our prime minister to give seniors $750 a week to stay home. When you open it, a monkey with a finger appears. I couldn’t believe my friends would send such a thing. At first, I thought they didn’t realize what it was. But they replied: “Didn’t you get that it was a joke?” A joke?!

I was angry about that stupid email for two days. Why are people so insensitive? The promise of government assistance is going to help thousands of people who are worried about putting food on the table and paying their rent. It is nothing to joke about.

I try to leave time every day to do what I love. Painting. Writing. And the things I like to do: Emailing friends and family (I’m not a facebook person) working on the layout for our April issue, cooking dinner, and trying not to let things get to me too much.

There’s only so much we can control. We can’t control the kids smoking and doing cannabis on the streets, endangering themselves and others, we can’t control the ministers and pastors who won’t close their churches because “God will help us!”

Speaking of plagues, my own people have a lot of thinking to do about how they will celebrate Passover… or not. Will they venture out to buy kosher meat or go vegetarian this year? Will they invite neighbours and family or be vigilant (as they must be) and go it alone?

Whatever your decision, remember that health comes before adherence to Jewish law. Stay safe!

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1 Comment on "Barbara Moser in self-isolation: It’s Week 3. Time to declutter"

  1. Sylvia Wedge | April 4, 2020 at 6:38 am | Reply

    Suggest you scan the photos for your own record and then send some to relatives and friends. They can be great topics for interesting conversations at this challenging time.

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