Wednesday, May 13, 2020

My COVID-19 story

It's been two months since the Blue Jays last played a game (a 7-5 spring training win over the Pittsburgh Pirates). As I write this, the Blue Jays should be wrapping up a series in Texas before moving onto the windy city to take on the White Sox. Instead, we are left to watch occasional bullpen sessions from Marcus Stroman when he posts on twitter, or go onto YouTube and watch retro games from season's past or watch retro games on Sportsnet. Nobody has a clue when players will be able to pick up a ball again or swing at a pitch. The MLB has currently sent a proposal to the player's association on a possible truncated season scenario. It may involve something like the NHL is doing with various teams gathering in hubs and isolating in the nearly empty hotels. Of course any start-up plan will be foiled the moment a player or team official tests positive for the COVID-19 virus. The other question is whether players would be willing to sacrifice several months away from their families. Blue Jay's pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu and his wife are expecting a child in the summer. Will he want to be in Toronto while his pregnant wife is in Florida? Anyway, there's still lots of hurdles to overcome, but I want to get to the point of this post.

On a personal level, this pandemic has been an especially challenging time. One major challenge has been dealing with my mother, who has Parkinson's Disease. The biggest battles with her have been with getting her to eat on a regular basis and picking her up when she has a fall. It's been difficult to watch her wither away in bed for most of the day, getting up once in a while to use the bathroom and come into the dining room to eat. She is currently in hospital because I discovered yesterday that she was not taking her meds properly. Her blister pack was all over the place with random days open. I believe this is a big reason why she was unable to hold her head up or sit up straight. She literally could not walk yesterday and it took a tremendous effort to get her sitting on her walker. The paramedics who came were caring and efficient in running a few tests before loading her on the portable stretcher. In the interim, it will be me, my dog, my dog walkers and you guys. I hope a solution can be found so that she can come home, but I'm not stupid and wouldn't be shocked if she never came home. Of course, that would effectively put me on the streets as I have no place to go, nor the money to cover the rent where I am currently. I'm not in physical shape to look for work between my back and my left knee. Anyway, the competition for jobs will be fierce with all those who were laid off trying to get back to work.

My beloved dog has been my rock and one of the few things keeping me going in these troubled times. I miss baseball and sports because they also gave me something to look forward to. This pandemic really sucks because it took away my two volunteer jobs and shut down the clinics of my massage therapist, chiro and physio. Libraries, community centers and many stores, restaurants and cafes were also closed. Neither my dog nor I have had a hair cut in this calendar year. All of the above have affected my mood and irritability. Not to mention the relationship with a certain neighbor that wants to pick a fight with me and troll me online. Transit has been scary to take. Our local skytrain was packed last week (there are no social distancing measures in places, unlike the buses where half the seats are closed and you can only board in the rear doors, with the exception of wheelchairs, at least for this month.)

I guess I just needed an avenue to vent a bit. I'll end things here by saying I hope baseball and hockey can find ways to safely return to play (although hockey really should wait until October and start with the 2020-21 season). At the same time, I recognize that the players are human like the rest of us and share the same concerns about getting and passing on the COVID-19 virus. Thanks fore reading this post, stay safe and hopefully my next post will be a game recap!

Note: I chose this picture of Joe Carter to remind us of happier times