Most years we are at the cottage as soon as ice is out, but living in a COVID-19 world things changed. The early spring was consumed by the pandemic that has so dramatically changed our lives.
Every day we were receiving new information about the virus, the impact of the virus, new policies and procedures to manage it and the ongoing requirements to live in a world that was essentially shut down. So, we opted to stay home and focus on other things in the short term.
It was interesting though, listening to the many narratives that were swirling around. Everything from conspiracy theories, to fearful mainstream media commentaries, to lively conversations between cottage owners and locals in Parry Sound, Muskoka and throughout cottage country - each standing their ground on individual rights and freedoms whilst trying to navigate the health and wellbeing of communities, people and managing the resources of our healthcare system. Are we doing the right things? Is our government? And more recently, are masks effective in reducing the community transmission of COVID-19?
But, this weekend we left the world behind us and we made our way out to the cottage in the Parry Sound area - our piece of paradise on Georgian Bay. It is much quieter than normal as there are fewer cottagers and boaters on the water. Our American neighbours have not been able to cross the border, and day boating is still not allowed in the Parry Sound area during the emergency order. Many cottages still don’t have their docks connected, and likely won’t this year. In fact, the Iron City Fishing Club in our Georgian Bay neighbourhood will not be opening for the first time since their inception in 1881. It will be interesting to see how our seasonal waterfront restaurants manage this summer season. Typically bustling destinations in Parry Sound, Muskoka and on Georgian Bay, these establishments will be required to navigate their businesses differently as we continue to live within a global pandemic.
So many questions, concerns and unknowns for us all. However sitting by the water’s edge, I’m reminded of some deep truths. Nature is our healing nectar and time spent with Mother Nature grounds us and reminds us of our interconnectedness. As a species, we are all living this experience together, albeit in a multitude of different ways. We are all navigating these uncharted waters and hopefully when we reach calmer seas, we have learned more about ourselves, our loved ones, our communities and our world. Blessings.
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