Only Child on why I’m angry about Covid-19

Siting in the chair instead of standing on it.

It is 5.45 a.m. and I am standing on a chair and reaching over to my smoke detector. No, no fire and no smoke (a plus) but the damn thing woke me up with a beep, then a few minutes later, another beep, then… and so on.


You guessed it – the battery needs changing. Because of the Covid-19 I can’t get a friend, my son, a neighbour or the handyman (all of whom have helped me with this in the past) to do this. I can’t and I will not have them coming into my house (even if they would do so) because we need to self-isolate ourselves for our own and others’ protection from this virus.


So there I stand, first trying to get up on the chair and then standing on it to change the battery. The damn beeping woke me up and I won’t get back to sleep if I don’t change it now. So, I risk my health and safety to do so – despite having a bit of arthritis in my right knee, despite getting sporadic occurrences of sciatica in my left thigh, and despite being blind in one eye.


I am swearing and yelling as I do this task. One thing I have learned over the years (and not just from this virus pandemic) is anger gives me strength – physical and mental. The trick is to use it for something positive and that is definitely NOT going around killing people. So, I manage to figure out how to open this newer smoke detector model (the old one died a year and a half ago and had to be replaced – by the handyman) and I manage to change the battery. For good measure I also change the battery in the nearby carbon monoxide monitor, although it appears to be still working. At least this one is reachable from standing on the floor, and as I have done this change before, I know what I am doing.


While I’m at it, I want to mention one other big hurdle to overcome because of the fallout and repercussions from this virus. But first I want to give thanks and praise for our government leaders – Canadian federal and provincial and especially Dr. Theresa Tam, the Chief medical officers of health, for what they are doing. I like Dr. Tam’s no nonsense approach, but she is informative and not rude, not condescending , not dictatorial. And she has experience in dealing with pandemics.  Yes, our Canadian leaders have made mistakes and could have done more – like started earlier with some of the “procedures”. But they are out and up there doing what needs to be done to the best of their abilities.


Having said that, I have one big bone to pick with part of one procedure – what has been kicked off the list of businesses in Ontario that are essential – hardware stores. They were on the first round of essential businesses that could stay open, but went out the door (literally, if you need to do business with them) the first weekend in April. I was shocked. I depend on Home Depot, almost as much as the grocery stores, and I am sure I am not alone here – if the lineups to get in (which I saw on the news just before they had to close their doors) are any indication. True, they have online ordering with the option of pickup outside the store. But to do that you need two things I as a low income senior do not have – a car and a cellphone (the latter is also because of my vision problem. While I can see and read what is on my computer screen, cellphone screens are too small and never mind increasing the size to see three words at a time). The way the pickup at the store works is they let you know by email when your order is ready for pickup. You drive there, and when you arrive in the car lineup to pick up your stuff you call them from your cell phone.


So, if I go that route what do I do? Phone from home just before I leave and lineup up behind the cars? I will be phoning Home Depot later this week to see what they have to say. I know from previously seeing people on the local buses carrying stuff bought at Home Depot that I am not alone in being a walk-in customer.


Yes, there is ordering online for delivery. But not everything in the store is on the online shopping list. No plants, no yard waste bags (Home Depot has garden centres) and God only knows what actual hardware is missing from the list. And except for a few items, you have to pay for the delivery. Most of my list (at this point) includes stuff not on the free delivery list and I resent that because I live just a few blocks from Home Depot. So, I would walk there and buy what I needed and can carry. For the annual garden supplies I would ask a friend or the handyman (if he was picking up stuff to fix something in the house anyway) and I would go with them to pick out the supplies and pay for them.


Can’t do that now. Not safe for anyone. We have to stay healthy and try to help others to do so as well.


For those of you reading this who think I am way out of proportion in my thinking, think again. Gardening (as well as writing, connecting on Facebook and Zoom with family and friends, reading and walking) is for my health – mental, physical and spiritual. This damn virus has just made it more difficult.


And all because of some stupid unhealthy practices at open markets in Wuhan and their government’s lax laws on food health and safety, which started all this.


So, I will fuel my anger to get the things done for my house and garden – even if it means standing on a chair at 6 in the morning.


How are you coping with Covid-19?


Backyard summer 2019. What about this summer?





Only Child Writes


Filed under Anger, Family and Friends, Gardening, Health, Only child

3 responses to “Only Child on why I’m angry about Covid-19

  1. Rio

    If you fell off the chair and broke something you would have to have people come in your house and take you to the ER which would make all your self isolation moot.
    Get someone to come in, both of you wearing a mask, you in another room preferably, them with a spay bottle of cleaner (a tablespoon of bleach in a reg. size spray bottle will do) and change the battery, wipe everything down and leave.
    Better than that, get them to move the smoke detector to a place where you can reach it without having to climb on a chair, like where your carbon dioxide detector is.
    If you break a hip you will end up in a care facility! Nobody wants that!
    As for being angry making you strong, that is a dangerous illusion. It has been proven that when we get really angry it narrows our perception and that can lead to accidents and often terrible mistakes.
    A lot of us are angry, frustrated and sad right now. You are not alone in this. What is important is that we get through this. take care.

  2. Thanks for your comments. Your idea at the beginning could work for when my handyman comes the end of this month/beginning of May to do the usual stuff (mainly outside) for the yard. For example, hook up the hose, switch the setup for the downspouts, etc. I can hand him the hose and other supplies that are inside the house. But where your suggestIon will come in handy is for turning the water on from the ceiling in the basement to open the water going to the outside tap (it is one of these new-fangled thing with no tap, just some blue band you have to press somewhere (with the old tap I could do it myself, but it got permanent leak), and for opening the kitchen window (the outside window – this is an old window). It is the inside window I have trouble opening far enough up so that I can get at the outside window to open it. That’s because there is a bloody sink in the way and I can’t get close enough to get enough strength to do this window opening. So, somebody else has to open it in the spring and close it late fall.
    However, I disagree about using my anger to get things done, to right wrongs or at least get things started to right wrongs, and not just for me. I learned that using my anger constructively, i.e., as the impetus to fix wrongs, many years ago ,works. This was when I ran into a roadblock with my subsidized regional home daycare for my son in Aurora. I was paying the minimal $10 a week and when the provider quit (her prerogative), the regional government agency did nothing to get me another daycare provider, until I phoned my contact there and – well, bottom line is I told her all this situation of me being in the lurch was her fault because she was doing nothing. My anger was the impetus to do this, but it was a controlled anger. The result? She got me home daycare very quickly, satisfactory daycare that I had for several years for my son. That experience taught me a lesson, one I now use when necessary. The squeaky wheel gets results (or something like that).

    Right now the closure of hardware stores and gardening centres (sometimes in the same place) for this Covid-19 business are (is?) is the current wrong to be righted although, not necessarily by just me. Four provinces have re-opened gardening centres (including Quebec with the highest number of virus cases and deaths). And hardware stores were previously on the essential business list. I may need a hardware store to get another 9-volt battery (my last one went into the upstairs smoke detector). Shoppers Drug Mart sells batteries but not 9-volt batteries. Otherwise if the downstairs smoke detector battery dies and starts beeping to be changed), I’ll just have to disable it.
    It’s not just me complaining about Ontario’s garden centres being closed. Read Heather Mallick’s column in today’s Toronto Star It is also in the print version.
    Anyway, my seed order from William Dam Seeds just arrived xpress post. I heard it left on the veranda and went out to get it and thanked the Canada Post Delivery guy – he was at the curb and I was on the verandah.
    Off my soapbox now. Stay safe and stay healthy.

  3. Of course, “hand the hose etc. to the handyman” in my reply , not literally, but “put it in the driveway for him to pick up there”. Can’t figure out how to edit comments and the instructions are too technical for me.

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