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Part 1 May. 29th - Departure Day - Sea kayak Vancouver Island Circumnavigation

Updated: Jan 29


Around Vancouver Island by Kayak

Covid complicated things for the days before departure. I had rented my house for the two months I’d be traveling, the renter had already checked in, and my plan had been to stay with my mother for the last week. “Well, I suppose you can’t be on the street if you’re sick, so we’ll have to quarantine you in the guest room. You’re not coming out until you test negative, because I’m not risking catching the disease, even though I’ve had my second booster dose already. I’m nearly seventy, and I sure hope one day I’ll be around to see grandkids from you.”

It was fortunate for me to have my mom around for the quarantine. During the start of the pandemic there were horrifying stories of people forcibly kept in their houses and having to ration their food. For me, the situation could not have been more different. Everyday my mother left a bag with three meals by my room door. I set up my workstation over the drawers and used the nightstand as a makeshift lunch table. Things were a little awkward, but far from uncomfortable.

The doctor was not wrong about the recovery time. Monday was the worst day, but by Tuesday the joint aches had greatly receded, and my strength came back fairly quickly. Compared to some flus I’ve had in the past, Covid was very mild, but I would not want to know what things may have been like without the vaccine and the booster shots.

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On Thursday I felt fine, save for some mild coughing, but my antigen tests were still coming positive. I called American Airlines and managed to change my flight from Saturday morning to Sunday night. Apparently, they had overbooked it. Usually there is no mulligan for getting your flight changed if you decide you want to travel on a different date, however, the airlines have been flexible for Covid cases. I suppose no company would want the liability of knowingly letting someone infected spending several hours in a crowded and confined environment. Lucky for me, in a way.

On Saturday night my antigen test finally came in negative. “I am really going! It’s all going to work out.” I thought, feeling relieved.

The next day I finally stepped out of my room. My mother wasn’t home and instead had left me a note on the kitchen table.

Dear Son,

I am so happy for you that you are heading out on your trip which you had been planning for so long. It is bittersweet that I can’t be there to give you a big hug and a kiss to see you off. Before you leave, please do a few things to take care of me.

1. Throw away all the trash you accumulated in your room directly into the dumpster outside the house.

2. Use the Lysol spray to disinfect the door handles, the bed sheets, and anything else you might have touched on your way out.

3. Keep your room door closed and the window opened to change the air. I won’t be going in there to have the sheets washed for at least the next three days.

I am so sorry to have to treat you like this, but I definitely don’t want to catch Covid. This terrible virus has taken five wonderful days which I could have spent with you, my only son, before having to miss your visits for the next two months. Will think of you every day.

Watch out for the bears!

Love you!

Mom.

In the past year and a half, the virus and the stories of people dying on ventilators in overcrowded hospitals really impacted my mom.

“It was the first time I thought death really could be right around the corner.” she said.

“Living in a community where nearly everyone is in the high risk age group, you hear more often than you’d want that someone you knew caught the bug and died. For the most part, they were unvaccinated; fools, but there was one person I heard that had both his shots, wasn’t in bad health for his age, and still he died. Stories like that really scare you. I’m in good health, but you just don’t know how you’ll be one of the unlucky ones.

I wished I could have said to mom how thankful and courageous she was to have taken care of me in her house for the week while I had the virus. The kind courage only a mother could come up with.


Sea kayak Vancouver Island Circumnavigation

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