Monday November 23, 2020 L e a n n e   V e r k l e y not logged in

Red.

Today we enter the red zone.  
https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open.  
Below is a copy of what we are to abide by in our region.  We now have 419 active Covid-19 cases in Durham Region.  So, today, Durham goes red.  12, 918 active cases in Ontario.  Toronto and Peel Regions are now in FULL lockdown.  
For us, we don't really feel any change as we have opted for the stay home unless absolutely necessary option, but for our region in red, this is what we face:

Organized public events, social gatherings and religious services, rites and ceremonies
Limits for all organized public events and social gatherings:
5 people indoors
25 people outdoors
Religious services, weddings and funerals:
30% capacity indoors
100 people outdoors
Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments
Maximum number of patrons permitted to be seated indoors is 10
Require patrons to be seated; 2 metre minimum or impermeable barrier required between tables
Limit of 4 people may be seated together
Outdoor dining, take out, drive through and delivery permitted
Dancing, singing and the live performance of brass or wind instruments are prohibited
Require contact information for all seated patrons
No buffet style service
Night clubs only permitted to operate as restaurant or bar
Strip clubs closed or permitted to operate as a restaurant or bar
Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metres distance and face covering required
Face coverings except when eating or drinking only
Personal protective equipment, including eye protection required when is a worker must come within 2 metres of another person who is not wearing a face covering
Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible
Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request
Sports and recreational fitness facilities
Maintain 2 metre physical distancing, unless engaged in a sport
Gyms and fitness studios permitted to be open with maximum of:
10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors in classes
10 people indoors in areas with weights or exercise equipment
Team sports must not be practiced or played except for training (no games or scrimmage)
No spectators permitted (exemption for parent and guardian supervision of children)
Activities that are likely to result in individuals coming within 2 metres of each other are not permitted
Exemption for high performance athletes and parasports
Patrons may only be in the facility for 90 minutes except if engaging in a sport
Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible; measures to prevent shouting by both instructors and members of the public
Face coverings required except when exercising
Increase spacing between patrons to 3 metres for areas of a sport or recreational facility where there are weights or exercise equipment and in exercise and fitness classes
Require contact information for all members of the public that enter the facility
Require reservation for entry; one reservation for teams
Require screening of members of the public, including spectators (for example, questionnaire)
A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request
Meeting and event spaces
Maximum of 10 people per facility indoors or 25 outdoors
Booking multiple rooms for the same event not permitted
Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Require contact information for all seated patrons
Limit of 4 people may be seated together
Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible
Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request
Retail
Fitting rooms must be limited to non-adjacent stalls
Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metre distance and face covering required
Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible
Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
For malls:
Maximum number of patrons permitted to be seated indoors in mall food court is 10
A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request
Requirement to maintain 2 metres while standing in line and flow management
Personal care services
Oxygen bars, steam rooms, saunas, bath houses, other adult venues, hot tubs, floating pools, whirlpools and sensory deprivation pods closed (some exceptions)
Services requiring removal of face coverings prohibited
Change rooms and showers closed
Require contact information from all patrons
Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request
Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
Maximum of 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors
Table games are prohibited
Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Require contact information from all patrons
Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request
Cinemas
Closed, except for:
drive-in cinemas
rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event
Performing arts facilities
Closed to spectators
Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event permitted
Performers and employees must maintain 2 metre physical distance except for purposes of the performance
Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or other impermeable barrier
Drive-in performances permitted

- Leanne Verkley

Brian goes out - 8 months - Report Cards - Peru

The last time Brian left and got in the van was before the shutdown that started in March.  So, it has been over 8 months since he has left our property.  This weekend, he left for the first time.  We have taken this pandemic seriously and we only go out when necessary.

Annually we go to check out the furnace filter at our rental property and change it to make sure that it is taken care of.  It gives us an excuse to walk through the house a little and connect with the renters if nothing else throughout the year comes up.  
Since I have never done this job by myself, it was up to Brian.  The furnace is from 1983, and it is the old style, not the new easy style that we have at our house that I change easily.  So, off Brian went to change the grated style filter that is actually a little labour intensive.  

Brian said he was surprised with how normal it looked on the streets.  With a full pandemic happening, there are so many people out and about doing whatever.  He was shocked.  To be fair, I go out during the week to do the necessary things, so his experience going out on a weekend would be way more than what I see as people that work even from their houses need to get groceries some time and I would guess it would be on the weekends for the most part.

Since I have been the one going out, I helped get him get equipped with lysol, sanitizer, a mask, and he even took protective goggles which is something I don't normally take with me.  
While he was out he also did his first curb side pick up at Lowes to get the plumbing parts we need to install the sink in the upstairs bathroom.  He said all went smooth. Of course this is something we could have waited on but with curb side pick up available, where they load the order in the back of your van, we ordered online and linked this pick up with an outing that we needed to do.  A project for another day while the parts sit quarantined.  Our mudroom is full of deliveries that have dates on them, so they can quarantine for the suggested dates that Covid-19 can live on things.  For example, we ordered some books, but the suggested amount of time that Covid-19 can live on paper is 28 days... so we wait.  
I still lysol all groceries that come into the house before putting them away, except produce.  I wash produce with water as suggested, and put in a bowl set aside from other food. To eat a banana for example, we carefully peel it, wash our hands and then eat the fruit.  It is work.  But we are healthy.  I am okay being over the top if it means we stay healthy.  The saying goes... "the days are long but the years are short", so I work to have the years ahead to enjoy in the future.

This week... our region is going into Orange, a new measure of Covid-19 levels.  Our numbers are going up and up. For us... not much changes.  We stay home and only go out when we need to.  But for lots of people this means change.  
What this means for most people to consider is:  10 people gathering indoors, and 25 people outdoors.  Which to me is crazy, since that means ten people can gather one day, and a mix of those ten can gather another day... the spread of the virus is real and people are dying.  So for the 1.3 million people that have lost their lives worldwide and to protect our own lives... we stay home.  Yes I want to see my friends and family.  And some days are harder than others, but we are safe, and healthy.  I won't lie.  I have cried for the missed moments gone by and for the moments ahead like Christmas.  However, a vaccine is close.  Pfizer and Moderna have announced vaccines that are over 90% effective.  Both Companies Canada has signed agreements with to get these vaccines when available.  We don't know when that will be yet, but it provides hope.  

The kids received their report cards this week and we were very happy with how they are doing.  We did an online video call/ parent teacher interview with each of their teachers.  They are both lovely teachers and we are happy with how online learning is going for both kids.  

This weekend we decided to do another staycation to Peru.  We looked up fun recipes.  Breakfast was Papaya juice, tea, fruit, fresh bread and dulce de leche spread which is like caramel spread for your bread.  Lunch was Peruvian Lomo Saltado which is a tomato steak sauce that we made mixed with french fries. We looked up games, and bought a fun puzzle of Machu Picchu.  We watched a documentary about how they are famous for Machu Picchu of course, but also surfing with waves that come from Hawaii, rainbow coloured mountains, the Amazon, river dolphins that have adapted from salt water to the river, Nazca lines of pictures on the rocks, and so much more.  While watching this documentary that Hadley found, we had snacks...toasted corn (corn nuts) and salted plantains.  We actually bought fresh plantains to make ourselves but we just couldn't eat any more, so maybe we will have them with another meal this week.  Easton made Machu Picchu out of blocks. For dinner we had Squash and Quinoa soup (I realized that I am not a super fan of squash, but when in Peru, try it).  We also had Papa Rellena.  This is mashed potatoes flattened, filled with a beef, tomato, onion boiled egg, peppers, and raisins, and then covered with more mash potatoes and then fried.  So, basically fried shepherds pie.  I realized after that I don't really eat a lot of fried food so my stomach didn't love it even though it tasted good.  To finish the food for the day, Hadley made cookies. Alfajores.  These took hours to make and basically, they were shortbread with dulce de leche spread inside.  
We spent most of the day doing a 1000 piece puzzle which we only got 3/4 finished but we will work on the rest this week.  
I canít believe it is mid November.  We press on.  

- Leanne Verkley

Halloween

This year Halloween was very different than past years.  We stayed home.  
However, we made the day as fun as possible.  Easton had a virtual birthday party for Nathan's 10th birthday.  Mostly just online video games, but a brief break for freezer cake that was previously dropped off by Nathan's mom, but the kids dressed up as well to make it more fun.  They did a video call so they could see and talk with each other as well.  
Hadley did an online coding class through UOIT at the same time Easton was attending the birthday party.
Then we carved our pumpkins, the kids drew up ideas for their pumpkins and Brian carved them. Both kids have no interest in cleaning out the insides of the pumpkins so that is my job every year.  
I was so thankful that I could order pumpkins through our online grocery order at the beginning of the month, however I do miss going out with the kids and actually picking our pumpkins.  
The next day I put a mask on Hadley's pumpkin to let it live out the rest of its days during Covid-19.  (I thought it was funny.  Easton's pumpkin mouth was too large).  
Back to Halloween day...We watched some Halloween themed shows, dressed up in our family Among Us costumes that I made for all of us.  I spent a few weeks cutting, colouring, and making the costumes.  The kids were so happy for this newly popular social online game costume.  
At night, Brian and I went behind the playroom door and the kids did laps around the house before knocking on the door multiple times.  Each time Brian and I found new costumes from the costume bin to answer the door with.  Easton loved it and laughed at almost every costume, and Hadley seemed mildly amused.  Since we bought the candy this year, they were able to pick exactly what they wanted and trading candy wasn't necessary.  However, Easton still sorted his Aero and Rockets and a few Crispy Crunches which he knew would give him trading power on a different day.  We bought 4 large boxes of candy but somehow we missed buying Crunchie, Oh Henry and Reece Peanut Butter Cups.  However, one of the boxes had large chocolate bars which the kids loved.
All in all, the kids had a very good attitude about the new experience and totally understood the safety factor and really made the most of it.  I am so happy for how things went.  Another new memory made.    

- Leanne Verkley

Selinah is One!

So, we made it through Easton's birthday and Thanksgiving without extended family, but doing a virtual first birthday with Selinah is just not the same as seeing the actual cake in her hair!  However, she is now in daycare as Julie starts back to work in a few weeks, and the risks for us are just too high with Covid-19 in the second wave.  So, we opted to join in her fun virtually.  This meant mailed gifts and singing virtually.  I so wish to snuggle this sweet little girl.  I can't believe she is one!  

- Leanne Verkley

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    Score = 7.0

    year : 2005
    month : 09
    day : 04
    hour : 18
    minute : 52
    second : 58
    season : Labor Day
    country : Canada
    province : Ontario
    city :
    location : Cole Cottage
    description : Bruce Cole the Happy Cottage Cowboy
    people : Bruce Cole
    photographer : Leanne Verkley


    Created by Brian Verkley ( brian@verkley.com )
    761949 page views since September 12th, 2006