- The province announced last Friday that we will be moving to Stage 3 of reopening, this Friday (July 16th), several days ahead of schedule. I would have preferred to stick with the original plan (because so often, reopening earlier has had disastrous results in the past...), but I guess the temptation/political pressure was too great to resist.
- Daily new case levels have been as low as 114 this week -- numbers last seen in early September 2020. Almost 80% of adults in Ontario have now received at least one covid vaccine shot, and more than 57% have been fully vaccinated.
- Stage 3 will include indoor dining & entertainment (including movie theatres, museums, etc.), gyms, spectator sports (with capacity limits) and larger limits on gathering sizes, among other things. Mask mandates and physical distancing measures in public places will continue, at least until the fall.
- Getting haircuts on Saturday felt SO. GOOD!!! As I said before, I feel like ME again! :)
- My cellphone is literally falling apart (possibly the result of being dropped one too many times)(insert red-faced icon here...!). As a result, we will be heading to the mall next week for the first time since March 10, 2020 (!)(the day before the World Health Organization declared the pandemic). I've made an appointment at our cellphone service provider's store there to find a new one. Wish me luck!!
- We'll see how long we stay after that... I wouldn't mind visiting at least a couple of other stores, as long as we're there -- but I'm horribly out of shape after 16 months in couch potato mode, and I'm not sure I'm up to a full trip around the entire mall (especially while wearing a mask!). (It's a big one, one of the biggest in Canada.)
- Malls reopened on June 30th as part of our Phase 2 of reopening -- albeit at just 25% capacity, reduced hours and mask requirements. This should be interesting...!
- My parents have been asking when we might be coming home, now that everyone is (or soon will be) fully vaccinated and restrictions are starting to lift across the country. We haven't been there in 19 months (since Christmas 2019 -- normally, we would have been there for a few weeks last summer as well as this summer, and Christmas 2020).
- My inclination would be to visit sooner versus later, and certainly before Christmas! However, my sister's scheduled summer vacation is happening right now... her office is currently going through a merger, and she no longer has the flexibility to change dates that she had before. She does have a week off in early/mid-October around Canadian Thanksgiving, so we are thinking that might be a good time to go, albeit it's still a little too far off for my liking...!
- We've been having so much fun visiting Little Great-Nephew and his Nonna/Grandma (SIL) during the week (usually Wednesday mornings, before he has his lunch and then takes a nap... Mondays, dh does the grocery shopping; Thursdays, we usually do laundry; and Friday, we do the housecleaning). When we started paying them regular visits in mid-May, he was a little shy -- to the point of hiding behind Nonna's legs when he saw us coming! On a more recent visit, a broad smile broke out on his face when we arrived -- and then when we tried to leave a few hours later, his little face slowly screwed up in indignation and he started crying! Dh immediately capitulated (lol) and we stayed a little longer. Once he was in his high chair and happily distracted with his pasta lunch and a favourite show on TV, we made our exit!
- I love everything Yael Wolfe writes, but I especially loved this recent piece on Medium about menopause in the workplace and how companies are NOT dealing with it (although some in the UK are beginning to talk about it)(why is the UK always ahead of the curve on these kinds of things?). Says Wolfe:
"I have a uterus. I bleed. And I experience so many of those pesky symptoms that come with menstruation and perimenopause. My body does not hit the pause button so I can be a good, productive cog in the machine of capitalism. And I’m tired of letting the system force me to pretend that it does."
As someone who wound up doubled over with debilitating cramps and nausea on the office bathroom floor more than once (you know it was bad, because you've seen what those office bathroom floors can be like...!), I heartily concur.
- This academic article was shared in a Facebook group I'm on... I especially liked that the researchers (and study participants) were Canadian! ;) "The power of potential: Assisted reproduction and the counterstories of women who discontinue fertility treatment" uses "a post-structural feminist interpretive framework combined with a narrative methodology... critically examines the ways in which social and cultural narratives about gender and biotechnology shape women's accounts of discontinuing ART." Highlights of their findings include:
- To discontinue (pause/end) fertility treatment is difficult, fraught with ambiguity.
- Social and cultural values and clinical priorities shape women's experiences.
- Careful clinical attention and support for discontinuation is needed.
This is all pretty obvious stuff for any of us who have been through and discontinued treatment, of course -- but it's validating to see it being treated as a subject of serious academic study -- and if it helps medical professionals and policymakers take us and our concerns more seriously, all the better! (One caveat that some readers might want to be warned about: A few of the women who participated in the study had children, either prior to fertility treatment, or after pausing or permanently leaving treatment.)