Siege Diaries 6/28/2020


I remember a few weeks ago, when the Snowbirds flew over in their ill-fated tour, several people commenting that they’d know things were getting better when they saw VeRA (the Canadian Warplane Heritage Lancaster) again in the skies.

She’ll fly on Canada Day.  After that, the Museum will once again be offering flights in her, along with a handful of training aircraft.

I did my first Tour Guide shift at CWH today.  Planes were not yet flying again, but if you ignored the face shields we were all wearing and the masks the guests wore, along with the plexiglass shields in the canteen and the shuttered flight sims and VR display, it felt a little like old times.  Guests wandered around, looking at the airplanes, taking photos.  We answered questions about paint schemes and history, and directed people to the canteen or the washroom.  The first hour was a little slow, but it picked up–not quite up to a regular Sunday yet, but the people there were clearly happy to be visiting.

Here in Ontario, testing and contact tracing appears to be increasing.  Outbreaks are being spotted and contact tracing ensuing quickly.   Agricultural outbreaks are still the big worry–the only places in the province still at Level 1 are Essex County agricultural towns.  It’s gotten to the point in smaller towns where outbreaks can be isolated to a single business–and the bad publicity associated with such outbreaks may serve as a cautionary tale for other businesses considering slacking off on the safety or countenancing employees going to work sick.  But we are all also watching in slack-jawed horror what’s happening in the US, particularly in Texas, Arizona, and Florida.  I think Florida in particular hits hard for a lot of Canadians, many of whom winter or spend vacations there.  I think just about everyone in Canada is wondering why on earth their main response to the spike in cases is to stop serving alcohol at bars.  Meanwhile, countries around the world are closing their borders to US travelers–and rightly so.

We all know now we’re in this for a long haul.  If we keep at it, we might be able to expand our circle of friends a little more, maybe have slightly larger gatherings.  None of my friends is believing there will be a vaccine in September–or even by December–to suddenly make this all go away.  We plan for the worst and hope for the best.  But at least we continue to learn.

Back at the end of February, when I did my last museum shift before the lockdown, I wasn’t able to be there every Sunday.  There were concerts and gaming days and meetings and such–all just memories now.  There was a meeting today in its usual timeslot, but it was conducted virtually, instead of in St. Catharines, and there was no board gaming session afterwards.  So it looks like I’ll be making it every Sunday for awhile, provided I stay healthy and the Museum stays open.  With any luck, next Sunday I might hear those lovely Merlin engines start up again, and they will have to suffice as the only live music I am likely to hear for some time.