In the Wake of Turmoil
Are we sick of COVID-19 yet? Lets be real - because IT is, despite the nay-saying tin-foil-hattists out there who say it's all a ploy. COVID-19 has ruled my life for the past week or 10 days. I work in a college, and all of our students have been sent home. My department works primarily with Apprenticeship students, and it was just announced last night that all Apprenticeship classes are cancelled until the following academic year (which starts at the end of August 2020). The Government of Alberta is recommending closing any venues with more than 50 people, and our companies solution while they figured out how to uncover loop holes in contracts, was to remove some chairs in the common areas, and later we were told to isolate to our private offices and only conduct business with colleagues (who are in the same building) through e-mail, telephone or video chat... but don't worry, IF and WHEN you show symptoms, you can go home... By then, it's too late folks, c'mon!
All jokes aside - this is a big corporation in the shadows of a massive budget cut and I can't fault them for scowering contracts and collective agreements to find some sort of financial silver lining for their bottom line - but in the mean time, our lives are at risk. There is far more than 50 people here, no one is isolating to their offices, and at least 1 colleague has been in close contact with his dentist, who was at a convention where there were several people who tested positive for the virus. The chances of COVID-19 already circulating my work place is much higher than the chance of it not being present. There are whisperings of us being sent to work from home and I'll be surprised if it doesn't come to that point in the next 24-48 hours.
What does this mean for my horses? The majority of my horses are at home on my private farm, with the exception of Sierra so there's little disruption in that sense. The barn where Sierra is located is currently closed to the public, which is a huge financial hit to their pocket book, but it was the right thing to do. Boarders are welcome, but that is it - which I think is the unfortunate but ethical decision. That being said, I have made the decision that if we get sent home, I will bring Sierra home prematurely. My board is paid until April 7 and I won't get a refund if she comes home early, but I live 20 minutes from town (where the barn is located) which would require me to make that drive where as I typically go there on days that i'm in town for work anyway (Mon - Fri). In addition, I am a believer in the importance of isolating yourself during these trying times IF you have the option to, and even though there is less foot traffic at the barn these days, all it takes is one person to transmit it. I'm pregnant, and there is conflicting information about it's effects on pregnant women, and at the end of the day I just feel strongly that IF you have the means to take yourself out of the stack of petri dishes, why wouldn't you? I can * easily * do my job from home and I feel as though it's my civil duty to do my part in remaining in self isolation on my own farm. Not everyone has the opportunity to work from home, move their horses home, etc - but I do, so why wouldn't I?
At this point, as it has for the past week or so, this situation is changing by the minute and no one really knows how to handle it - the goal to flatten the curve and remain on top of this pandemic calls for drastic, but necessary, measures. There is no doubt a lot of media hype, but this situation is very real and while I joke about being 'born for self-isolation' as i'm a happily self-proclaimed introvert, my goal is to keep myself and my friends and family safe and healthy. The Alberta Government anticipates this to peak in our province in 4-5 weeks if things continue on the trajectory it's currently travelling, but unfortunately, only time will tell.