Today is officially Day 282 since I began working in self-isolation from home for my university library system. We here in Manitoba are expecting a snowstorm which is slowly working its way east from the Rocky Mountains, bringing with it strong winds and blowing snow. I remain hunkered down in my apartment, well stocked with food and my prescription medications. It can snow all it wants; I’m not going anywhere.
Like so many other people around the world who are under a pandemic lockdown, this will be the first Christmas ever that I will spend completely alone. Manitoba is still under a code-red, province-wide pandemic lockdown, and visits from people outside one’s immediate household are forbidden.
But I don’t mind. I have gotten so used to being alone by now, it will not seem so strange. The rest of my family and I have already agreed not to exchange gifts this Christmas; in the case of my mother and stepfather who live in a seniors lifelease condo on the other side of the city, we’ll exchange presents when it is safe to actually meet in person.
And frankly, Christmas has never had the allure it did when I was a child, especially now that I do not attend real-world church services anymore. I will probably hang out with SL friends in my Second Life community of choice, Bray’s Place. I may decide to throw an open house at my new home at Bray’s Place sometime between Christmas and New Year’s, but we’ll see. I want to stay flexible with my plans this holiday season.
My decision to write up a daily blogpost covering that day’s Advent calendar gifts has kept me pretty busy most mornings. I am now on three weeks of Christmas holidays from my full-time paying job as a librarian, so I have time to devote to the task. (I also have a pile of dirty dishes that I need to put through my dishwasher, and some vacuuming to do, but that’s not nearly as much fun as hunting down fabulous freebies in Second Life! December is truly freebie season!)
And I have been following the news media and social media regarding the global COVID-19 vaccination campaign, as the first vaccines roll out. Here are a few statistics dashboards that you can check to follow the progress of this endeavour:
- for Canadian stats, we have the COVID-19 Vaccination Tracker website;
- in the United States, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center has set up a Vaccine Tracker page;
- and for global data, there’s the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccinations page maintained by Our World in Data.
Stay safe and stay healthy!