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Goodbye and Good Riddance

As 2020 limps to a close, I’m sure many of you are as willing as I to assist it out the door with a well-placed boot in the backside.

First, of course, is COVID-19’s complete upheaval of everything. If there is a single system or way of life not affected by it, I’d like to hear it.

Shopping, always an experience I dread, has gone beyond nightmare. I think if stores didn’t offer on-line shopping and curbside pickup, they would make very little sales at all. December in Canada is cold, often bitterly so. You have to be desperate to line up to be let in only when someone else comes out. Driving past lines of people huddled in their parkas in the snow, stamping their feet to keep the circulation going, you’d think you were in Russia in the starvation years.

There’s nothing I need that badly.

When this thing started I thought, as I’m sure many did, that it would be a minor inconvenience, over in a week or two. When the library closed and our writing group had to cancel its meetings, some of us tried for a while to carry on the activities by e-mail. That petered out when the situation dragged on, leaving a void in my life.

Then in August, I broke my right arm in two places. The orthopedic surgeon who examined the x-rays assured me my shoulder hadn’t been dislocated. Unfortunately, circumstances in my life forced me to use the arm in ways that weren’t conducive to healing, and it became dislocated. On subsequent visits, the surgeon said it was healing but distorted.

Did I mention it was my right arm?

I’m right-handed, but for weeks I couldn’t to use my right hand. The hand itself was fine, but any pressure on it or movement of it caused great pain in my arm and shoulder. Try brushing your teeth or peeling potatoes with your non-dominant hand.

Looking back on it, there was a humorous side, though I couldn’t see it at the time. I could only wash half my body and wondered whether people noticed. The first week or so I couldn’t dry myself after a shower, either. My husband had to do it, and I wish I had it on camera. He kind of patted me here and there with a towel, not having much effect. Meanwhile, water ran off my hair and down my back while he tried to help me dress.

Mealtimes were also fun. I couldn’t use a knife, so my husband had to cut my meat, like I was a toddler. That was later, though. A few days after I broke my arm, my husband was bedridden for a couple of weeks, unable to walk, so I had to figure out how to prepare meals and fetch and carry for him with one hand. We had very simple meals. I joked with him that between us we made one whole person.

Over the next three months, with the aid of a physiotherapist, I regained use of the arm and now can do almost everything I used to do, though there are still twinges of pain sometimes.

But I think my arm shrunk. I’m having trouble reaching some of the shelves I used to be able to access with no problem.

All my big plans for 2020 fell under the axe. But that’s a story for another day.

Here’s to 2021. It’s got to be an improvement.

What are you going to be glad to leave behind?

2020, COVID-19, humour, New Year

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