The news comes at noon.
“You can leave, now. You’re gonna work from home.”
“For how long?”
“We don’t know.”
Like many people, I’m sent home as the Province of British Columbia closes the schools and other businesses in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
The skytrain is nearly empty with only six people, sitting far from each other. A few wears surgical masks.
I make a quick visit to the Accolade cherry trees on 5th and Nootka. A last attempt at cherry blossom viewing before the city declares a state of emergency.
Unfortunately I’m too early. There are lots of buds, but only a few blossoms. The Accolade are not “ready”.
What about me? Was I “ready” for what would come next? The long period of isolation, the frustration at not being able to go outside, empty grocery store shelves, the closures of libraries and movie theatres, the cancellation or concerts and festivals, and any gathering of more than 50 people…
How can anyone ever be ready for this?
We don’t have to be ready. We just have to accept it.
When I look closely, I do find some blossoms, which makes me feel better.
Before heading back, I take one last photo. My camera whirs and shows me five different colourful versions of the same photo. I accidentally set my camera to “Creative Shot” mode. The last photo is surreal.
This is the new reality. It might not be what you expect, but it’s what you get. You have to accept it. And, you know what, it’s not that bad. Different, but not that bad. We can get through this.