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If you're from the Windsor area, and you watch CBC or CTV, or you follow their local social media platforms, you may know that I came down with covid a few weeks ago. That's certainly not an unusual thing, given the millions and millions of people who've suffered through the virus over the last two and a half years. In fact, it's almost unusual that it took me so long to be infected. My wife and I have been incredibly careful since the pandemic began. She likes to say that we've lived like monks, and while that's not exactly true, we've certainly been careful. I'm an essential caregiver to two medically fragile parents who live in a retirement home and I had no desire to bring covid-19 into their home and maybe kill a number of their neighbours, their friends, or maybe even them.
Anyway, in what could be interpreted as a lapse in judgement, we went on a cruise to Alaska last month. Even in this though, we were careful. The cruise line demanded that all guests be fully vaccinated, and produce a negative covid test within two days of the cruise beginning. Guests are encouraged to wear masks whenever they are in public spaces except when they're eating, and the entire crew is always masked while working. In spite of all this, as I mentioned at the start, I came down with covid.
I was put in isolation on the ship for the last day and a bit of the cruise, and then I had to spend eight days in isolation in the Vancouver Airport Sheraton. This was the reason for the CBC and CTV news stories. I think the news outlets were looking for an angry traveler story, but I wasn't angry. Not at all. I was happy that the cruise line did their best to make sure no other guests were infected, and I understand the need to isolate until you're no longer a risk to others. I did warn viewers that covid was still a reality; that trips like the one I'd been on are a calculated risk; and that it would be smart to factor in some extra time after such a trip in case they were unlucky, as I had been.
The interviewers were surprised at my non-anger, and that I didn't view the eight days in a fine hotel as a terrible thing. My wife had tested negative, and so she was allowed to travel home at the end of the cruise, so I was left alone. However, due to modern technology, I was able to speak to and see my wife several times a day, and she was able to send me a 'care package' of treats and writing pads and pens. I used the eight days of isolation as a Writer's Retreat, and started fourteen short stories that I hope will be finished off and become part of The Principal Chronicles Too/Two.
That's why I called this blog entry Serendipity. My getting sick (and it was really only like a mild couple day flu) gave me the impetus and time to work on my next book, in much the same way the pandemic, when it started, gave me the impetus to write and publish my first book.