Splendid Reintegration by @EdenBaylee

March 2020, two months after Authors Electric welcomed me, I wrote a blog called “Splendid Isolation.” It was named after Warren Zevon's song about the difference between being alone and being lonely. Feel free to hop over and read it if you haven't already.

During that time, much of the world was trying to figure out how to combat the Corona virus. In Canada, we were doing the same. Even though there was a lot to deal with—closing borders, face coverings, shutting down businesses, our leaders worked together and appeared to be taking the right steps forward. There was so much to learn. 

The pandemic also produced an explosion of neologisms. Phrases and words like: self-isolation; shelter in place; social distancing; flatten the curve; curb-side pickup became part of everyday news feeds and conversation. New acronyms cropped up too—PPE, WHO, Covid-19, HCQ.

We were more digitally connected than ever before—in a way we weren’t during the SARS outbreak in 2002. I zoomed daily with a girlfriend for a drink, did my workouts via Zoom, and took a month-long online French course. Instant access via social media had become an integral part of our lives, but I didn't want this type of existence forever. I doubt anyone did.

When the pandemic began last year, I never thought we'd be in this position 14+ months later. Some parts of the world were fortunate enough to have never experienced lengthy lockdowns, the politicizing of face masks, curfews, and everything else that took us away from life as we once knew it. 

Canada has experienced all of the above, with some parts of the country faring better than others. Ontario is the most populated province, and I live in the most populated city in it—Toronto. In terms of how we managed as a province, it's been a fail. I don't want to bore you with Canadian politics, so I'll refrain from ranting about how poorly our government has handled this crisis.

Instead, let me look at the potential of splendid reintegration.

As at this writing, we are still under a "stay at home" order. Come June 2nd, we hope there won't be another lockdown. We are vaccinating the population en masse because we finally have the vaccinations. One of the biggest learnings from this pandemic has been that we must have domestic vaccine production in the future. A program has been put in place for the next time we experience something like this. I sure as hell hope there isn't a next time, but it's the right thing to prepare for it. 

Time is what we have all lost during this pandemic, and some have lost so much more than that. Some have lost their lives, and it's a tragedy. In many parts of the world, this tragedy continues.

Reintegration into society is what we all want. I've had one shot of AstraZeneca, and I'm scheduled for my second one July 6th. With all the controversy that has swirled around AZ, there is now an overflow of it that must be used up before it expires.

I have no hesitation in taking it, even though the first jab was not particularly pleasant.

From the beginning, I've tried to keep myself connected. At times, it's been painful, but I could not have done it differently. I'm one of those people who needs to know—even when the news is bad. Given this, my hope is the news will be more positive going forward. There is still so much uncertainty, but I know that once I get my second shot, I will feel 100% better. It's science and psychology rolled into one. 

For those still fighting, please take care of yourselves and those closest to you.

May we all live to enjoy another trip around the sun. Be well, everyone. 



Dannie said…
I've enjoyed your writing here and look forward to your new adventures. You have faired well, dear Eden. I too had no hesitation at getting vaccinated. It was actually a big relief for me
Unknown said…
Dear Eden, what an excellent way to finish off your participation in the series! You are generous to characterize our leaders' handling of the pandemic as "a fail." Their shamefully disastrous handling of the viral pandemic has created or exacerbated all kinds of other crises and underscored their classist, racist, misogynist vision of the world. Despite them--or maybe because of them--we have demanded that reintegration be different, more equitable, and more just. As we know, this is what will create a "splendid reintegration," along with continued daily zoom drinks and workouts and then, hopefully, daily live drinks and workouts! It will be a relief to get the AZ booster and take another step out of this long period of isolation.
Peter Leyland said…
Thanks for this comment Eden on the crisis we have all lived through as a world. How interesting to read your critical thoughts on the way Canada handled it. In England we too have our criticism of the way our government dealt with the pandemic. This still has a way to run with an official enquiry now being designated for next Spring - too late for many unfortunately. Glad you got your first jab and hope the future goes well for you. I have personally found my writing for AE to be one of the best things to come out of this enforced shutdown of our lives. All best, Peter
D.L. Finn said…
Well said, Eden. I hope we never see such an event again. Things do seem to be improving. I have both my shots and ferlmuch more confident now.
Griselda Heppel said…
Vaccination is so clearly the only way through this. I'm sorry you had to wait to get it in Canada so the fact that your 2nd AZ jab is only 6 weeks away is excellent news. But to get social interaction back to what we took for granted up to March 2020... it will take a long time to rebuild confidence there.

My son is an actor and I know a lot of young musicians - I fervently hope for them that people take up the joy of theatre and concerts again or these talented and committed artists will have no careers and we will all be much the poorer.
Eden Baylee said…
HI Dannie, so glad you've been vaccinated. I know what you mean about it being a relief. Wish I could give you a hug. Here's a virtual one!

Eden Baylee said…
Hi Unknown, thanks for your comment. I'm with you every step of the way.

As you say, so much has been exposed by way of this pandemic. Canada has a long way to go to becoming the tolerant and just society it claims to be. We have nothing to chirp about, and our leaders need to be held accountable for the decisions that have cost lives.

Looking forward to jab #2!


Eden Baylee said…
Hi Peter,

Thanks for your comment. I think almost every western (first world country) has been exposed with this pandemic, and not for the better. With the inequity of class, race, wealth, gender, lives have been lost depending on where you fall on the spectrum.

Thank you for your kind thoughts, and best to you as well,

Eden Baylee said…
Hi Denise, Yay! So glad you are fully vaccinated. REALLY happy for you. xox It's such a comfort to know that you are seeing improvements.
I'm looking forward to it as well.

Eden Baylee said…
Hi Griselda, thanks for your comment.

I actually got my first vaccines April 6, so it will be 12 weeks before my second. If possible, I hope it's sooner. I agree it will take time to get back to life as we once knew it. This pandemic has shown us how small the world is. To say we need to live together harmoniously sounds so cliché, but it's the truth. So many of the challenges for us have been around individuals who refused to do the right thing for the good of others. It's this selfish mindset that has cost lives.

I hope your son finds work again too. More than anything, it's the arts that have sustained us during this time. We should not forget that. Where would we be without films, music, museums, galleries?


Eden Baylee said…
Thanks so much for reading and commenting William, hope you're having a good long weekend.
Brian George said…
I hope that your second jab is not unpleasant. My wife was pretty drowsy, sick, and went to bed wiped out after the first jab of AZ, but had the 2nd last week and came out for a meal, had copious amounts of white wine and has since been fine.
I had the Pfizer and have had no problems at all. Unless the embarrassing rash of skin tags in my groin could have been a side effect! But the wonders of tekkieness, a selfie of my balls to the new lady doc sorted it out with a fungal cream!!!!
Hope that has not put you off?
LOve all you do Eden. One day we'll blow some harp together or write a poem.
Eden Baylee said…
Hi Brian,

No one has ever talked so openly about their balls to me in a comment! You must feel very comfortable around me, so that's good. 😆🤣😂

Yeah, AZ #2 ... I've heard it's not as bad as the first, but either way, I'm looking forward to it.

Have a great week, and hope your rash is gone for good!
Brian George said…
Ha ha, of course I'm comfortable with you we've had so many fun discussions. Rash is way gone, lol. You stay safe and good luck with the jab.

Popular posts

A Few Discreet Words About Caesar's Penis--Reb MacRath

A Glittering Gem of Black, Gothic Humour: Griselda Heppel is intrigued by O Caledonia by Elspeth Barker

The Splendid Rage of Harlan Ellison - Umberto Tosi

Little Detective on the Prairie

Misogyny and Bengali Children’s Poetry by Dipika Mukherjee