Siege Diaries 5/19/2020

A PPE tableau

A post for catching up on activities and news over the past few days..

Last night, I finished up a large run of PPE for donation to Canada Sews.  This time, I was able to work from a kit of pre-cut materials, which was an enormous time-saver.  As a result, I was able to donate 90 items – 50 masks, 30 headbands with buttons, 10 scrub caps, and three scrub bags.  (It would have been 103 items had the scrub cap material been less flimsy and not required double-layering.)   Again, I’ll likely take a couple weeks off from sewing and then determine what the need is.  I’m starting to see a pivot away for masks from health care providers–who are now in most need of the headbands–to non-medical folks who might not be able to buy one.  More and more people are starting to wear them in public, which makes me happy–I’ve seen some good evidence that, in combination with physical distancing and handwashing, widespread mask wearing can really cut down on the transmission rate.  I do wish it were more strongly worded than just an “encouragement”, and as retail stores start to reopen in Ontario, I’m going to keep an eye on which stores have their staff wear them and ask their customers to do so as well.

On that note, I’m not hearing a lot of evidence that the limited opening up of outdoor activities and retail stores is resulting in a huge spike in crowds, or that cottage country was overrun this past weekend.  A number of stores, in fact, are opting not to open completely yet, continuing the online sales or curbside arrangements they already had in place.  Friends reporting issues at particular stores are quickly switching to stores with better measures in place.  The mood here is definitely more one of caution.  Today in Ontario, it was announced that schools would not reopen this school year, and it was confirmed–to pretty much universal relief–that the border with the US would remained closed to non-essential travel for another month.  Still, people are sad about the summer that was to be now out of reach.  I’m sad, too.  We’re allowed to be sad, even while we remain grateful for our health and the things we still can do, even while we acknowledge the larger tragedy.  Being sad for what we have lost personally, even if it pales in scope, does not make us bad people.  It makes us human.  It’s only when one’s own lost plans take precedence over the actual existence of other people that it becomes an issue.

I stopped in my first grocery store in several weeks on Sunday morning–our local Fortino’s, which is a large store.  It was not excessively busy, and those shopping were doing well at the physical distancing.  Staff wore masks, there were barriers and marks on the floor to keep 6 feet apart at checkout and the deli counter and the baked goods were all bagged. There was hand sanitizer at the entrance, and all of the carts were being wiped down.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about my burgeoning career as a YouTube star.  The videos were released yesterday.  The first is one of the “transformational” videos that’s been going around.  My bit is towards the end.

Ealdormere Glow-Up Video:

And then there’s this.  Friends who grew up in southern Ontario will likely know the show this is based on.  For me, it was a brand new experience doing the research for my character.  It’s amazing what a bunch of goofnuts can do in isolation with props found round the house and a little special effects magic.

The Mildly Humorous Castle of Lupinestein, Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Today in 1536, Anne Boleyn was executed.  She, of course, did not give Henry VIII the male heir he desperately wanted, but she did give birth to Elizabeth, the future Queen.  After investigation in April, 1536, she was arrested for high treason–including adultery, incest, and plotting to kill Henry– on May 2 and convicted on May 15.  It’s thought that her downfall was engineered by the king’s chief minister Thomas Cromwell, who had also played a significant part in her rise at the expense of Katherine of Aragon.  Cromwell himself would be executed for treason and heresy just four years later.

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