Waterloo Region Tiny Isolation Stories: Chapter 2

“I’m a single, full-time working parent of a two-year-old. During this period of social isolation, I’ve been balancing working from home with parenting a very busy child. It’s overwhelming at times, but I’ve realized that I’ve been missing out on so many little things that make up this tiny person’s big personality. Yesterday she said to me, “Mommy, I love puppies. I love tiny puppies and big puppies. I love mommy too. We give lots of huggies.” Although I’m stressed and exhausted, my cup is also overflowing.”

– Anonymous, Kitchener

“The beard trim was perfect. The hair: so-so. But, he can’t complain because he can have a beer in this homemade bathroom barbershop — and because we’re trapped together for an undetermined amount of time.”

– Anonymous, Kitchener

“A notification appears in the top, right-hand corner of my screen: “Coffee?” The team responds quickly: Thumbs up emoji. 100 emoji. Photo of a coffee mug on a messy kitchen table. Zzz emoji. Photo of a coffee mug held in front of a dog. My turn to respond: maybe the party emoji? Or maybe the one with hearts for eyes? Too late. It’s already been taken. Working from home is stressful.”

– Anonymous, Kitchener

“It’s funny how in a time of devastation if we allow ourselves and see past our anxieties, we revert back to simplicity rapidly. People are taking up simple pleasures now more than ever; all bread yeast, gardening seeds, and needlepoint looms are in short supply. Homemade soups are made by the gallon, board games never seemed so appealing, foster animals are sleeping deeper than ever in their industrial-chic doggie beds. In these uncertain times, be gentle and allow yourself to feel the beauty of slowing down through the simple acts we all seem to collectively yearn for.”

– J.D, Kitchener

“Late February, I lost my house keys. I couldn’t get in and my husband wouldn’t be home for hours. I tore my hair and considered my options. Go to the coffee shop and eat a slice of pie. Call a friend and catch the matinee. Walk to the Y and have a swim. Nothing suited me. It was the worst: I was LOCKED OUT of my home. Sooner than it seemed, my husband returned and cut me a new key. Two weeks later, COVID-19 arrived. Our office moved to WFH. Wouldn’t that pie taste good now?”

– Anonymous, Commuter

“It was just one of THOSE days. “Walk. Walk.” That’s the only thing I could hear in the house. I came downstairs to see my two-year-old daughter chasing the dog around the house with a leash in one hand. The dog was not cooperating. In fact, he came to hide behind my legs. “Mama, walk.” She held up the leash. The gathering rain clouds outside did not make it an appealing prospect but … “Go get your shoes.” Her smile was infectious. Clearly, I still had the power to brighten someone’s day.”

– Ana Birsan, Kitchener

“Awake. Go for a run. Breathe. Lungs still work. Try to be a mom. Work. Couch. Lose yourself in a show. Read Twitter. Have a panic attack. Did I just cough? Check temperature? No fever. Are my kids getting outside enough? How much screen time is reasonable? I think I’m breaking them. Should I eat that? I miss my friends. How many arguments with my husband is acceptable? I’m failing. Am I failing? Are people handling this better than me? My kids miss their friends. Lie on the kitchen floor. 2 a.m. Sleep. Get up. Do it again.”

– Kendall Fraser, Waterloo

“My 82-year-old mother is now isolated in her retirement residence room 24/7. She has no television, and as her dementia progresses, she stopped both reading and listening to the radio. It occurred to me that I could read aloud to her over the phone — the single piece of technology that is still familiar enough for her to manage. We started with Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince, a story she read to me as a child. I can still hear the sound of my parents’ voices. The stories they told us shaped how we saw the world.”

– Sandra Dunn, Kitchener

“One week into isolation I met someone online. This man and I connected on so many levels. The typical coffee first date was out of the question. We moved past that obstacle and more and are now planning our two-household bubble as soon as social distancing measures allow. I never dreamed a relationship like this would happen, but here we are. Pandemic isolation or not, this feels right and I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

– Anonymous, Waterloo

“After a six month journey, we are here with my husband’s Stage 4 cancer diagnosis and a last line medication. And as we wade through treatment waiting to know if it will work, the world is on pause. Just as we are. I ride a wave of resentment about what quarantine has meant for treatment options and gratitude for this space to be together with our son and watch him in breathtaking proximity. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring and I feel infinite comfort of knowing that no one does right now. I fit right in.”

– Anonymous, Kitchener

“We have been in isolation for nine weeks now, we started before everyone else because my child is high risk. My mom just got out of brain surgery and we can’t go see her … can’t wait for this to be over.”

– Anonymous, Cambridge

“I have been dating someone for a while and we’ve gotten serious and discussed future plans. I had just met his kids before COVID-19 hit. We decided it didn’t make sense to be apart indefinitely so we took the sink or swim approach … it was a risk but we’ve been living together for the last month and it might have been the best relationship move we could have made. I’ve loved getting to know him and his kids better than I could have otherwise.”

– Anonymous, Kitchener

“I’d been clinging to a full schedule, reaching forward to each obligation I’d taken on, to pull myself into the next day. I wasn’t ready to have any time at all (let alone all the time in the world) to sit with myself, and process fears from the past, present and future. Suddenly, there was no way around it. I’m lucky to have found a friend to lean on when my unhealthy foundation crumbled along with my schedule. I’m always gonna be thankful for that day, it was long overdue. Time to rebuild.”

– Anonymous, Kitchener

Tell us your Tiny Isolation Story here. Just keep it really really short.