We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of when the realities of COVID-19 restrictions hit our area. It has been a strange year for all of us.
COVID-19 became a reality in our area toward the end of March 2020. We all worked in what were considered essential businesses. We built infrastructure at our workplaces to accomodate customers, and often had to be on the front lines. We were fortunate at the time to have all of us in one place though. There were many who had county and provincial borders between the members of their polycule.
Our lives went faily untouched by the pandemic for some time. We continued going to work, hanging out at home (which we did most times anyway) and wishing that we could see our families back in Ontario. Our only other poly friends live across the border in Nova Scotia, which became a major impass in us having a network of like minded people. We have very rarely known other polyamorous people in the course of our poly journey, so this wasn’t as much of a blow as it may have been to a group that was more active in the community.
The early days of the pandemic were stressful for everyone. For some, this was because they were forced to isolate and had financial and anti-social stressors. For us, our stress focused on working in public places in a time of such uncertainty. We also did not get to participate in the cultural renaissance of bread making and new found freedoms that dominated the summer of 2020. Not experiencing isolation was, in fact, isolating in itself.
Two of us had home based jobs in the past, and the three of us had discussed transitioning to all working from home many times. Life during the pandemic had become more expensive – we had moved to having items delivered to our home rather than brave the shops. We had to make employment concessions when we moved to New Brunswick, which had already reduced our family income. Working from home would mean that we could cash in on some of the savings others described as one of the perks of isolation. Also, working outside the home has its own built in temptations, such as buying lunches, snacks, etc. The movement toward working from home was staggered, as competition had an uptick for these jobs. We were able to begin the transition in the autumn, and by the early new year all three of us had better paying day jobs working from home.
We did have our own creative push during the first summer of COVID-19. There were a number of new releases for Richtig Haus over the past year. We all began working on new skils: music, digital literacy, video editing, new languages, baking, renovating, etc. Richtig Haus is getting a facelift and some needed reorganization. Rooms were shuffled to make way for new office spaces, and we’re in the process of turning other rooms into useful space. We are hoping to have the music room and library completed by the summer.
In August we had some guests from Ontario, which forced us into isolation. While the two week isolation drained our vacation accounts, it was worth it. At the time there was no one to replace us at our jobs, making booking vacation impossible (or at least the feeling was such). We took this time to take a breath. Five months of covering the work of those who forced into medical isolation took its toll. The time off helped us to refocus on what we needed. The ending months of 2020 served mostly as a denoument for the year that no one wanted to remember.
At the beginning of the pandemic many thought by 2021 all would be settled. People would be back to “normal” – which is incredibly subjective. Even now there are people calling for the end of masks and a return to life in 2019. How these people believe that we could or would return to the same practices that got us exactly where we are, strikes me that they are either delusional or foolhardy. Memories are short, however, and idealizing the past will never move us forward.
We are far from the end of the wild ride of COVID-19. We’re now sandwiched somewhere between variants and vaccines. Richtig Haus has not only serves as our home, but also our sanctuary where we no longer are required to leave if we do not want to.