There’s no question that one day, when we are telling our future grandchildren about what the pandemic was like, we’ll be asked “so what did you do when you had to stay home?”
Now that we are beginning to see the end of some of the daunting restrictions that have closed restaurants, stores, gyms, the Legion, hockey rinks, golf courses and other key parts of our lives, it’s worth remembering what people got up to while stuck at home.
According to a story in Patch magazine, many of us have desperately been trying to buy more yeast and flour.
“For so many who’ve been holed up in quarantine, cooking — and especially baking — has meant either a return to the comforting recipes of childhood or a foray into a whole new world of culinary creativity. Baking bread from scratch, a long-ago tradition, is suddenly a focus, along with Zoom cocktail parties, Netflix binges, and morning gatherings around the TV to listen to New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo discuss coronavirus strategies, and yes, the meatballs and sauce of his childhood Sundays,” the story notes.
While various Internet-based teleconferencing apps, and drive-by birthday celebrations are a big deal, there are more basic ways to stay in touch with others, reports the CBC.
In the suburbs of Winnipeg, a group of seniors at a retirement home wondered how they would handle having to miss their usual weekly get-together in the facility’s restaurant.
“Every Sunday, dozens of people go onto their balconies or stand physically distanced in the courtyard at L’Accueil Colombien to bang on pots, ring bells and sing O Canada for about 15 minutes,” the CBC reports. And according to one of the founders of this new tradition, the goal is to stay in touch.
“I just thought of it because I had heard that somewhere, I think it was in France, at 6 o’clock they would come on their balcony and they would sing,” St. Vincent tells the CBC. “I’m not a singer, so I said, ‘Well, we can ring [bells], we can make noise.'”
Those of us who could continue working at home did, and for some it was quite an eye-opener, reports Global TV.
“A recent survey from Statistics Canada found that approximately 4.7 million Canadians who do not usually work from home did so during the week of March 22 to 28,” the network reports.
“I think this has been a revolution. It was something that was thrown at us, but we have found that working from home has really been working quite well,” consultant Barbara Bowes tells the network.
“I think that from an employer’s perspective, they can save so much money from rental spaces; they will seriously take a look at how they can balance how much time and who is in the office through technology. It is going to change the way we work altogether,” she says in the interview.
Another unexpected fringe benefit to the pandemic – a time when few are driving anywhere, since there is essentially nothing to do but shop for groceries, hit the drug store, or refresh your beer supply – is cleaner air, reports the Toronto Star.
“When you clean up the air, you see a reduction in mortality,” Stanford Professor Marshall Burke tells the newspaper. “It highlights the things we may want to change when we don’t have an epidemic.”
Finally, one last thing some of us are finding is that we aren’t spending as much money.
“If you add it all up, the average family is saving $1,700 a month when you factor in commuting costs, childcare costs, the amount of money folks are saving by not going out to eat, especially not going to the bars,” researcher Nick Johnson tells Milwaukee’s WISN.
It’s certainly been a strange time that none of us will ever forget, a once-in-a-lifetime thing – hopefully.
If you are among the fortunate few who have been able to keep working and have a few extra dollars left over, don’t forget to tend to your retirement savings. Those savings need a little care and occasional watering to grow, so any extra bits of cash you can spare today could be directed to your Saskatchewan Pension Plan account. You’ll be able to harvest those dollars, which will be professionally invested and grown, when you reach retirement age. Your future self-will, no doubt, thank you.
|Written by Martin Biefer
|Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock. He and his wife live with their Shelties, Duncan and Phoebe, and cat, Toobins. You can follow him on Twitter – his handle is @AveryKerr22|