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My partner and I (and our dog) are now past the half-way mark of our two-week, provincially imposed, self-isolation. Until Saturday, July 18, we are confined to our property on the north shore. We must remain on our property, and are reliant on friends and neighbours to drop off everything for us, from groceries to personal items we forgot to pack when we left Ontario in early July, for the 20-hour drive to P.E.I.
I’ll confess that one of my COVID coping strategies while cooped up in our 750-square-foot apartment in Toronto with two kids and a dog was to order in Uber Eats. Almost daily, I’m ashamed to say, I ordered in while working away on the laptop at our living/dining room table: Bubble tea, sushi, Craig’s cookies, Indian food, croissants from a local bakery ... whatever I convinced myself I “needed” immediately, I picked up my phone, and in 25-40 minutes, it was at my apartment door, left in a sealed bag with a friendly note reminding me to wash my hands before enjoying.
Mostly I was supporting small businesses in my community that were signed up with Uber. Or so I told myself (and my partner when the MasterCard bill arrived each month!) But a few days into our self-isolation period upon arrival on P.E.I., I was starting to get serious delivery withdrawal symptoms!
While it may seem pathetic that a well-paid public servant who can solve complex educational policy problems can’t even bake her own cookies, we all cope in different ways. No judging!
Also, I was super stressed about that daily check-in call from the government here on P.E.I. Did I have a runny nose today? Of course I did — my allergies were killing me after trimming grass for an hour before work! Fatigued? Well, yes, especially since I was up all night wondering if I should have left my ringer on in case they called while I was still sleeping. (For the record, they’ve never called before 10 a.m. so that was a waste of a worry! Although my new complaint is why do they always call right when I’ve got something going on the stove, or am in the middle of a meeting at work?!)
Long story short, I was stressed, and retail therapy being an impossibility due to the house arrest, I turned to my trusty old friend, Kijiji! Uber Eats may not be an Island essential, but Kijiji is alive and well as a procurement service of all manner here on P.E.I., especially if you’re within a half-hour drive of Charlottetown (we are).
Over the past week, I have managed to find parsley, chives and sage plants for my herb garden, a board game, a bird bath and even a teacher friend with a lawnmower to cut us some new paths through the back field to make our daily walks with the dog a little more interesting.
I also ordered a lavender eye pillow to help me get to sleep faster, but that one really was a local business, and not off Kijiji.
When you share your dilemma, most people are fairly willing to deliver; I guess *they* want me to stay at home until I’m proven sympton-free as much as *I* want to leave and go explore! I e-transfer money or leave cash in an envelope somewhere our paths don’t have to cross, and soon my retail therapy needs are met ... for another hour.
I may not be able to order bubble tea or sushi at the drop of a hat these days, but who needs all that anyway, when you have the Island breeze and the big blue sky to stare up at while taking a day-dreaming break from work? And for everything else, there’s Kijiji!
So far so good.
Vera C. Teschow is a certified teacher, lisensed pilot and parent of monozygotic twins. She shares her time between Ontario and P.E.I., and has been doing so for over a decade. Find her online at verateschow.ca or Instagram.com/schlagzeug_usw. Part 1 and 2 appeared Wednesday and Thursday. Part 4, Still not kicked off the Island, will appear Saturday in print and online at theguardian.pe.ca.