Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!


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A little self-isolation

Well, the world is certainly a different place than it was two weeks ago. Not unexpectedly. Confirmed cases of Covid-19 are jumping and  death rate is climbing. Several friends around the world are now reporting family, close friends and neighbours are infected. There was also an employee from the college confirmed – travel related. So shit is getting real.

Here in Ontario all but essential services are now closed. People are to stay home, and only leave their homes to get food and medicine. You aren’t supposed to be within 2 metres or 6-10 feet of other people. Unfortunately a lot of people just aren’t getting it!

The government is going to start enforcing the stay home rules, and are already arresting people who break the mandatory 14-day quarantine after returning to the country.

People are still hoarding… really difficult to find toilet paper and disinfectants. Some stores are gouging – saw Ontario Premier Doug Ford on the news and he was LIVID. They will be enacting legislation about it tomorrow and he said they are going after the price gougers. Good. Hopefully that will apply to the cretins who bought up everything they could to resell.

I’ve decided to stay off Twitter – too much US news. It is terrifying to watch the damage Trump has caused by his inaction and greed. I firmly am of the opinion he was stalling as he was trying to figure out how HE could make money off of it.

It is nice to see some billionaires actually doing something – Dyson designed a new ventilator in 10 days and is building 15,000 for the NHS in the UK. Elon Musk has been getting shipments of PPE and other equipment to hospitals around the US for over a week, and is getting set-up to manufacture ventilators. Some corporations are still paying their staff after closing. Others are… well selfish bastards. Imagine the richest man in the world setting up a Go Fund Me to cover employees who can’t work??? Well you don’t have to imagine it because it is true! All this stuff is in the news.

My poor hands are so dried out I’ve scraped my face with the skin on them! Now… I know you aren’t supposed to touch your face, but my hands are clean! And how the hell do you NOT touch your face. I have to keep remembering to moisturize.

Trying to get groceries delivered or order for pick-up is not working for me. All the local ways to do that have about a 10-day wait, and that’s for pick-up of an order! It is nuts.

As I had to go to a eye appointment (not something I could put off) early on Tuesday, I decided to stop for groceries on my way home. I really did not want to go to a grocery store, but I needed fresh food. Luckily it was just after 8 a.m. and there were only a few people. Lots of fresh vegetables, NO frozen, none. Well, except okra but who eats that? I kept away from people and wiped down things when I got home. Washed and prepped the vegetable and put away.

The college is now completely locked down as of Tuesday. Up until then they were allowing individual access to the studios, labs and computers. But once all non-essential services were closed, they locked down. And the date they had given for return was cancelled, with no new date. So we won’t be returning.

Everything is online now. Which is an adjustment for me. I am trying to keep to a routine. And make sure I don’t miss due dates which is hard when you have no idea what day it is! I am working through all assignments that are open for me to do now. I like to work ahead if possible. Then I don’t have to worry about forgetting or being overloaded at the end of the semester.

I’ve been making art – doodling and watercolour. I do have some assignments as well which I will get at over the next few days. This is some of the stuff I’ve done over the last week.

The doodles were done with really cheap dollar store felt pens – I thought they were ballpoint when I bought them a couple years ago. They are decent – lots of ink and really excellent nibs. They aren’t Copics or anything really excellent artist quality, but for what I am doing they work great, are nice and bright and don’t bleed.

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A friend in the UK is doing a daily watercolour class live on Facebook (7 a.m. my time) so I’ve been participating. A good reason to keep to my early morning schedule. Everyone is staying home around the world and having an activity do like this is a good motivator to get up and do something.

Here’s my worktable. The LED lamp date/time is wrong. I had finally figured out how to set it but the power went off a couple weeks ago, and I can’t be bothered. My radio is precariously balanced to the right of it against the wall – and leans on the base of the lamp. Took two-days to find a spot in the room where the reception was steady so I have no desired to move it now! It is actually lying on its side as that is the only way to get a signal. The volume control is underneath now, so it stays on all the time.

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I am posting daily on my FB page in My Pandemic Journal. Just my observations about what is happening in the world and my life during the crisis. If you want to check it out it is linked. Nothing earth shattering, just daily ramblings and images.


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Well, aren’t we in a mess?

I am in Canada.

Today my college (and all colleges in Ontario) cancelled all in person classes until March 23rd. My college said it will be switching all classes to online for the rest of the semester.

Three of my classes won’t be too much hassle to finish online (there are only five weeks left in the year) but the other two are studio classes. They told us the campus is currently still open so I can go to the studio or workshop to work on my projects, but it won’t be a class for now.

They indicated we would be informed once things are sorted out and set-up for the rest of the semester. I hate waiting for information and answers but I am only one of some almost 14,000 full-time students so I will just have to take a breath and wash my hands, again, and wait.

I’m not sure if I will be able to, or required to, go to work at my student job at the college. Those wages are important – as a student employee I am an hourly employee, with no sick time. Also, my full-time summer job is supposed to start May 1… what happens then?

No one knows how long this is going to last. I’m all for taking every step and precaution possible to slow down the spread of the virus, but how long will it take to get this under control? I think it has been three months since it surfaced in China, and now it is pretty much everywhere.  I know no one has an answer to that…

Canada issued a Travel Advisory today to avoid all travel. So that means my planned road trip down to the states to visit some friends between end of semester and starting my summer job, is most likely not happening.

Over the last week I was face to face with at least a half a dozen sick students who were NOT being careful. First off, they were at school when they should have been home. Secondly, I witnessed many coughing and sneezing around groups of people (in line at the Tim Horton’s for example) without covering their mouths. Thirdly… NOT washing their hands after using the toilet – if they don’t wash them then, they aren’t washing at all. So lord knows, I may have been exposed already.

I worry a bit as I am not under 40 and I have a couple of underlying conditions that seem to be common in those that have died. On the plus side I am healthy and take care of myself so should be resilient. I am being careful, avoiding being too close to people, washing my hands, etc. But hell… not touching your face is HARD!

I went and got prescriptions renewed and filled them yesterday. Today ran some errands and picked up a few groceries. There were more people than usual in the places I stopped, BUT it wasn’t the mass riots seen on the news. Everyone only seemed to have a usual assortment of items and were a lot more conversational than I typically find. Although none of the stores had any toilet paper, hand sanitizer or disinfectant left, there was more coming – there is NOT a shortage of toilet paper.

What is with the toilet paper hoarding? We make the stuff here – all across the country, it isn’t hard to find, and always available. I just don’t understand it?

There is so much information – from downright dangerously wrong to expert official instructions – that is causing overload. It appears it is going to get a lot worse before it starts getting better.

So… be careful, cover your mouth, wash your hands, tell your loved ones you love them *hug them if safe to do so, snuggle your pets, eat good healthy food and indulge in your favourite treats, take your vitamins, get out in the sunlight, read some books, and seek medical attention if you get sick – call first per your local instructions! There’s not much else we can do other than keep positive… And for the love of all that’s holy: STOP HOARDING THE TOILET PAPER!