It was down to the wire, we needed to make the call, cancel our two month trip to Europe or risk getting stuck in London, France, or worse quarantined somewhere. A gruelling few hours later, our decision to cancel our trip came early Friday morning, our flight was the next day. Shortly after we made our decision to stay home, the Canadian government imposed a no-fly advisory, thus confirming our decision. Extremely saddened, but feeling like we dodged a bullet, we watched from the comfort of our home as most of Europe closed its borders and more Covid19 cases grew.
Government of Canada
AN OFFICIAL GLOBAL TRAVEL ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT:
AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL OUTSIDE CANADA UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
AVOID ALL CRUISE SHIP TRAVEL DUE TO COVID19.
It’s surreal, to say the least, I’m sure I can speak for most everyone, I mean, there are sci-fi movies based on this very topic. We are officially in a “pandemic,” there, I said it! We can’t avoid the obvious, the world is running in every direction from the unknown. We look at each other as if each of us is the enemy or the carrier of a virus without a cure.
Don’t get me wrong, not being able to travel is a first world problem, the timing is impeccable for our two-month once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and yet we are so fortunate not to be in the epicentre of the mayhem that is unfolding on the other side of the globe. That said, we are witnessing similar preventative measures here in Vancouver and the rest of our country.
As we cancel our reservations with airlines, hotels, and the rental car agency, it becomes clear to me the impact this tragedy has on everyone. I’m exchanging emails back and forth with complete strangers, wishing them “good health” and “stay safe”. Responses back are “we are very sad”, or “we are well, thank god!” and “a very difficult time for us….” you can’t help but be emotional, at the moment, these folks are living in hellish times.
In an effort to stay calm and carry on, we decided that a quick getaway to Tofino at Long Beach on Vancouver Island was in order. We were welcomed at the beautiful Pacific Sands Resort with hand sanitiser before entering the reception area. Upon check-in, the hotel advised, to decrease social interaction, there will be no daily housekeeping and that a refreshment package will be placed on our door handle daily. The next morning, the hotel announced it will be closing its doors but would be honouring all reservations made the night of our arrival, thank god, which means we can stay for our original 5 nights. We clearly have horseshoes…or not? Here we are, on the beautiful west coast enjoying the surf and sand. It’s spring break but you wouldn’t know it. There are a few families milling around, as well as the local surf community, A resort, usually crowded, at the moment, very quiet. Tofino, a small town in BC now locking down, affected by a virus from the other side of the globe. We’re in this together…
Here’s an example of how we come together…I received this poem/thoughts in an email, the author unknown…
Yes there is fear
Yes there is isolation
Yes, there is panic buying
Yes, there is sickness
Yes there is even death
They say that in Wuhan, after so many years of noise, you can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet the sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi people are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the west of Ireland is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman is busy spreading fliers with her number through her neighbourhood so that the elders may have someone to call on.