A Year Later

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #10! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

This Week

It’s been a very good week with spring-like and mostly sunny weather here. The daytime high temperature reached 17C (63F) on Thursday. I complete my meditation, body weight workouts, and yoga at home before going outside to cycle and walk most mornings.

A beautiful day by the pier.
A beautiful day by the pier.

When I walk in the parks and along the lake shore, I see and hear red-winged blackbirds, sparrows, starlings, woodpeckers, ducks, geese, gulls, long-tailed ducks and swans . Most trees, except evergreens, are still bare with small buds on the branches.

White birch trees.
White birch trees.

Nature continues to keep me smiling and feeling positive. I also blog, chat with my family and friends by phone, learn French and Spanish online, listen to music, sort my photos, read, and write. I just finished a very good thriller, The Suspect, by Michael Robotham.

A woodpecker.
A cute woodpecker.

A Year Later

One year after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, I reflect on some of what’s been happening:

SubjectMarch 13, 2020March 12, 2021
Lockdown in TorontoFirst lockdown lasted from March 13 until June 2020.Second lockdown that started on November 23, 2020 is still on.
Food and household suppliesShortage occurred (e.g. Flour, yeast, toilet paper).Stable supplies.
Arts and entertainmentAll venues were closed. Exhibits and shows moved online or outside.All venues are closed. Exhibits and shows are available online or outside.
City-led and City-permitted outdoor major eventsOutdoor major events were cancelled (e.g. Parades, running races, festivals).Outdoor major events are cancelled through July 1 (e.g. Parades, running races, festivals).
Personal and recreational servicesLibraries offered digital services and closed branches.

Hair salons, gyms, and swimming pools are closed.

Public parks are open. Going outside is allowed for essential reasons (e.g. exercise, health care, groceries).
Libraries offer excellent digital services and limited services inside library branches.

Hair salons, gyms, and swimming pools are closed.

Public parks are open. Going outside is allowed for essential reasons (e.g. exercise, health care, groceries).
Social distancingPublic Health advised people to practice hand washing and social distancing (2m or 6 ft. apart).

Masks were introduced later and mandated in indoor public spaces and on public transport.
The 3Ws (Wash hands, wear mask and watch distance) continue. Masks are required in indoor public spaces and on public transport.

Indoor gatherings are banned, except with members in the same household. Outside gatherings limit to 10 people.

International TravelCanadians abroad were advised to return to Canada.

Airline and tour operators started cancelling flights and tours.
Canada added travel restrictions (e.g. hotel quarantine, COVID-19 test).

Non-essential travel is discouraged.
VaccinesNo vaccine available.Canada has approved four vaccines and vaccine rollout is in progress.

There was a temporary relief in Summer 2020 when the first lockdown was lifted. I got a haircut, socialized outside, and enjoyed a fun-filled summer paddling around the Toronto Islands.

This 3-geese distancing sign reminds me to do my part while keeping a sense of humour, including in difficult situations like living in a lockdown and a pandemic.

Three-geese distancing.
Three-geese distancing.

A year later, the main improvements are stable food and household supplies and vaccines. Since December 2020, Ontario has started its three-phase vaccination plan. I’m in the last phase to get the vaccine at the end of summer 2021 depending on vaccine supply.

I choose optimism. Yellow is the colour of optimism. So I updated this post with some yellow flowers from my photo archive. All florals are shared with FOTD photo challenge and Life This Week.

Daffodils.
Daffodils.
Sunflowers.
Sunflowers.

How did your week go? What improvements have you noticed 1 year after the pandemic started? I’d love to hear your comments.

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121 thoughts on “A Year Later

  1. leannelc March 12, 2021 / 8:13 am

    Hi Natalie – it’s amazing how resilient we humans are – one year of a completely different way of life and we’re still going strong. We adapt and we make choices that help us to thrive despite our circumstances – and the 3 geese distance made me think about how we find humour in our difficulties too. When we were on Rottnest Island last year there was a sign with 4 quokkas lined up for distancing – it gave me a smile too. Thanks for another great link party 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 1:20 pm

      Hi Leanne, “Survival of the fittest” comes to my mind. Quokkas look cute and happy. I’d welcome social distancing signs with quokkas 🙂 Thank you for linking up with Weekend Coffee Share.

      Like

  2. Jill Weatherholt March 12, 2021 / 8:23 am

    I’m sorry to see you all remain under such a tight lockdown, Natalie. Fortunately, here things are slowly opening and most importantly, the children are back in school. We are already in Phase 4 of our vaccine schedule. I had my first shot last week and I’ll go for the next in 3 weeks. I’m also enjoying the sights and sounds of spring slow arrival. We are going to be close to 80 degrees today, but temperatures will drop over the weekend and rain is predicted for much of next week. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 1:32 pm

      Jill, I’m glad to hear you’ve got your first vaccine shot and the children are back in school in your state. In Toronto, schools have been opened, except for the usual spring and summer breaks or when there are reported cases in the school. Children in elementary and secondary schools have two options to either attend in-person or online. Post-secondary schools are online. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  3. Coffeeandcream March 12, 2021 / 9:00 am

    It’s so crazy how much things have changed in the last year yet also haven’t changed at all. Here’s to hoping it will continue to improve and we can return to normal life as soon as possible!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 1:39 pm

      Sometimes it feels like one step forward and two steps backward with this pandemic. Here’s to hoping it will continue to improve and we can return to normal life asap!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Annika Perry March 12, 2021 / 9:42 am

    Natalie, a beautiful reflective post of the last year! It’s lovely that the weather has brightened for you and you can go out to enjoy some of it. The goose social distancing sigh is sweet and a welcome change from the usual ones! Here we are still in deep lockdown apart from schools going back this week … see how that goes. Exciting news for me today is my first vaccine (owing to health conditions), second one in three months time. It does feel more hopeful. The biggest change I’ve noticed is the fantastically improved air quality, wildlife flourishing and deers in main roads is now a common (and dangerous) sight! Here’s to a good spring and summer full of travels and seeing family! Xx 😀🌺

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 1:50 pm

      Annika, I’m so glad to hear you’ve got your first vaccine. Extra protection to covid-19 virus is a great thing. Wildlife has been more visible here, too. Deer on main roads are indeed dangerous for drivers and the animals. With nicer weather and warmer temperatures to come, I look forward to seeing my family and friends again even if we have to meet outside. Here’s to a good spring and summer!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Astrid March 12, 2021 / 10:01 am

    I’m so glad food and household supplies are available now, but so sorry not much else has improved. Same here. I already got my vaccine, had my second shot last week. It’s interesting that, if I didn’t live in a care facility, I’d be in the last group to get the vaccine too based on my age and medical status. Now, I was in the first.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 1:58 pm

      Astrid, I’m glad to hear you’ve got your vaccine. Does it make you feel safer to interact with people? Ontario is ramping up its vaccination program so more people are receiving their vaccine every day. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Astrid March 13, 2021 / 7:42 am

        I’m not sure it helps me feel safer. I never quite feared becoming very ill with COVID, as I am healthy and in my 30s. I hate the need to self-isolate though and that unfortunately hasn’t changed yet.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Natalie March 13, 2021 / 10:16 am

          Self-isolation must be hard. I hope your weekend is going well and you have a great week ahead.

          Like

  6. Cheryl March 12, 2021 / 10:01 am

    Hi Natalie, this time 12 months ago I was one month away from leaving Russia and embarking on a 6 month plus tour of SE Asia and Australia, with plans to travel in Europe after that. Less than a week later we were quickly packing up what we could fit in our suitcases and evacuating (husband lost his job in Moscow) to Romania, to lock down, and to an uncertain future – as covid refugees. A year later and we’re now in another totally unexpected situation! We’re almost farmers! Well, we have a little vegetable garden, some flowers, 4 cats, and soon some chickens in a small Bulgarian village. Who would have thought 12 months ago that we would be living like this? Not me!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 2:04 pm

      Hi Cheryl, I was about to leave for Spain a couple of days after the pandemic was declared. Fortunately the airlines cancelled my flights and issued me full refunds. All of my subsequent trips to Iceland, California, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, etc. were cancelled. 2020 threw many curved balls yet you and your husband managed every single one of them. You now have your own home with a garden and animals to enjoy. Well done!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cheryl March 14, 2021 / 3:18 pm

        We didn’t get refunded for most of our flights that we’d booked. After a few emails here and there I decided that it’s not worth the stress to try and get the money back (we bought our tickets through agents, not direct from the airlines). So we lost a lot of money on top of everything else. Some things you just have to let go of and get on with life! Yes, we managed to get through the horrors of 2020, and honestly right now I think we’re in one of the best places for us in the world. I look forward to sharing more of our new life with you!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Natalie March 14, 2021 / 4:08 pm

          Yes, sometimes letting go is the best decision to make. I look forward to reading more about your new life in Bulgaria.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. rawsonjl March 12, 2021 / 10:05 am

    We’re seeing a slow return of all kids back to school (each school handles this differently though). We’re supposed to have new lighter restrictions put into place this coming week allowing more travel, gatherings, and such but we’ll see what that means…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 2:09 pm

      Joanne, I hope all goes well with the lighter restrictions and return to school in your state. In Toronto, schools have been opened throughout the pandemic, except for the usual spring and summer breaks and when there are reported cases in the school. Children in elementary and secondary schools have two options to either attend in-person or online. Post-secondary schools are online.

      Like

  8. Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com March 12, 2021 / 10:10 am

    Things are getting better! We went from “this will be over soon” to “OMG, this will last forever!” to “wow, we got vaccines so soon… pretty soon, it will all be over.” My heart breaks for those who were most impacted but I do feel a great sense of hope for us all.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 2:12 pm

      Janis, I’m also hopeful even though this pandemic has been an emotional roller coaster for all of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Molly Totoro March 12, 2021 / 10:15 am

    I like your Covid summary chart. I think I might modify and do one of my own.
    In my journaling today I recalled how one year ago I went to the grocery store to “stock up” and was amazed how many staples were completely gone: flour, yeast, chlorox wipes, and toilet paper. While life here in the states is slowly progressing to an open environment, I know we will never go back to the way things were. We will establish a new normal.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 2:16 pm

      Molly, I thought I’d write down some of the pandemic-related changes that have been affecting my day-to-day living before things get better and the optimistic me would forget what it was like in the first year of the pandemic. We’ll adapt and thrive.

      Like

  10. Suzanne@PictureRetirement March 12, 2021 / 11:11 am

    Natalie, selfishly I am hoping that Canada will open up in time for summer travel. Malcolm and I are among the 67% of older Floridians who have been fully vaccinated. Next month we move into the final phase of vaccines and our daughter and her boyfriend will be eligible. We expect their respective workplaces will recall them by June or July, leaving us ’empty nesters’ once again. We are anxious to hit the road. Our warm climate and outdoor lifestyle have been a godsend for helping maintain some sense of normalcy this past year. I know you fully relate to the healing powers of nature. The next step for us is to begin socializing with friends who have also been vaccinated. One step at a time.

    Your optimism is contagious!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 2:25 pm

      Suzanne, I’m glad to hear you and Malcolm have been fully vaccinated. I presume you now feel less anxious to be outside with other people, especially with friends who have also been vaccinated. I hear you about hitting the road. I hope to get a haircut this spring and be able to see my family and friends by this summer.

      Like

  11. Gary A Wilson March 12, 2021 / 11:24 am

    Our version of living with the pandemic is fading too. My wife and I have decided that we’re returning to our normal church service this Sunday rather than the online version.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 5:41 pm

      Gary, I’m glad to hear your version of living with the pandemic is fading.

      Like

  12. Ally Bean March 12, 2021 / 1:48 pm

    I’ve decided that this last year has been the making of me. Despite being stuck at home all the time, I’ve [we’ve] made the best of it. I’ve slowed down, become more intentional, and overall am happy. Suddenly good health is all that matters– and I have the pandemic for making that clear to me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 5:43 pm

      Ally, Taking care of our health is the best investment. I’m glad to hear you’ve made the best of this last year and you’re happy.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thistles and Kiwis March 12, 2021 / 2:03 pm

    Our first very strict lockdown started almost exactly a year ago too. At Level 4 only supermarkets and pharmacies were open, you had to stay in your neighbourhood for walks (we were lucky as we had the Botanic Gardens for our daily walk). That lasted from 25 March until 27 April. We then moved to Level 3 27 April to 3 May – that meant takeaway food could be bought and some other restrictions lifted. At level 2 we could go to the hairdresser etc. but there were restrictions on gatherings. We have been in and out of Levels 1 and 2 since then, so things have been mostly normal, as you may have seen from my blog posts! As to vaccines…guess the end of 2021 (probably our spring ie September/October). We have been so lucky in New Zealand…closing the borders early was the best thing.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 5:46 pm

      Early, quick and decisive actions by the government to curb the spread of the covid-19 virus are so important. I love to see the mostly normal living in New Zealand via your posts.

      Like

  14. Deborah Drucker March 12, 2021 / 2:35 pm

    I wrote my post about the past year and the pandemic as well. I have written a few posts during the past months about my experience. We are looking at a possible loosening of restrictions here by early next week. I hope the opening of our society will last this time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 6:53 pm

      Deborah, I’m glad to hear about a possible loosening of restrictions in your area. The lockdown is still on here although this past Monday, non-essential retail stores were allowed to open at 25% of their indoor capacity and with public health measures in place.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Deborah Drucker March 12, 2021 / 7:00 pm

        I think we are starting out with the same as we open, about 50% capacity. I haven’t read the confirmation of that as yet. Thank you, Natalie.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Bear March 12, 2021 / 3:01 pm

    It HAS been a YEAR to remember, that’s for sure. I know that we’ll not soon forget the levels of fear or loss. I wrote a recap post of the year… it was hard to write. I’ll write something more positive for coffee share here in a few. Until then, I am happy for all my online friends who have survived the year and are here to tell about it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 7:02 pm

      Bear, We’ve all experienced losses this past year, some of them are small joys from what we used to be able to do, and for some people, it’s the tragic loss of a loved one, whether from COVID, or whether from other things. I’m hopeful that things gradually improve from now on.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Sagittarius Viking March 12, 2021 / 3:45 pm

    Thank you for the coffee. Your weather this week sounds lovely.
    The difference between this time last year, and now is maybe that people are less afraid. Living in the pandemic is the new normal, sort of.
    Enjoy your weekend.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 7:07 pm

      Maria, The sunny and warmer days this week have been glorious. Next week we’ll be back to seasonal temperatures. You raised a good point about being less afraid while still living in the pandemic. Living without fear is less stressful and that’s an improvement. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  17. Susanne March 12, 2021 / 4:06 pm

    That’s some awesome weather you have there, Natalie! I just dream of warmer weather now. We’ve had 4-8 degrees and clouds for I don’t know how many weeks. Today there was some sun actually but still cold. This week has been a quiet one which is good, I guess. I’m planning for our St Patrick’s day party on Zoom which is good fun.
    Here it’s almost a year since the beginning of lockdowns – around today’s date, Covid-19 started spreading at more serious levels in Ireland and the Sunday before St Patrick’s day all pubs had to close. A week or so after that, we were in strict lockdown, more severe than we have now. I suspected at Christmas that this wave and accompanied lockdown would be similar to what we had a year ago.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 7:16 pm

      Susanne, The sunny and warmer days this week have been glorious. We’ll be back to more seasonal temperatures next week though. St. Patrick’s Day celebrations here are online this year. Pre-COVID, Toronto usually has St. Patricks’ Day parade with thousands of people in attendance. Have fun with your party planning!

      Like

  18. Sue from Women Living Well After 50 March 12, 2021 / 5:04 pm

    Hi Natalie we are heading into Autumn although where i live on the Gold Coast it is still quite hot. I can feel crisp mornings and evenings starting thought which I love. We were very lucky in Queensland during COVID and despite an initial lock down period I can’t say we really suffered too much from the restrictions especially compared to my friends who are still experiencing a restricted lifestyle. Great to take stock of one year isn’t it and to remember what the year of COVID was really like. Thanks for the opportunity to link up at #WeekendCoffeeShare and have a great weekend. xx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 7:20 pm

      Hi Sue, It’s great that you haven’t suffered much from pandemic-related restrictions. We’re still in lockdown here. I thought I’d write down some of the pandemic-related changes that have been affecting my day-to-day living before things get better and the optimistic me would forget what it was like in the first year of the pandemic. We’ll adapt and thrive. Thank you for linking with Weekend Coffee Share. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Like

  19. Laurie March 12, 2021 / 5:15 pm

    Choosing optimism is usually a good strategy. Can you believe that we are marking the one-year anniversary of the pandemic? I never thought it would last a whole year! I believe we can see some light at the end of the tunnel. In our county, 15% of the population is vaccinated.

    Our weather was beautiful this week too. I have spring fever now!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 7:25 pm

      Laurie, More and more people in Canada and the USA are getting vaccinated every day so I’m hopeful that we’ll be in a much better situation by June. Spring nice weather is great for going outside. Enjoy the weekend!

      Like

  20. Denyse Whelan Blogs March 12, 2021 / 7:23 pm

    Great minds! My post today, shared here is my wrap up of the second half of 2020. I would love to say things are going well immunisation wise here in Australia but we are a country run by state premiers in some parts of health and a federal one in others. Confusion abounds but I sense as an over 70 I will be getting my first shot sometime in the next few months..then as supply is maybe a problem it might be a long while to the next. We are far more ‘free’ to get out and about and I only wear a mask as required.

    Have a good weekend. I am off to see some nature today and the Autumn temp is forecast to be 30Celsius.

    Thanks for link up.
    Denyse

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 7:38 pm

      Denyse, 30C sounds like our summer temperatures in July or August. I’m free to get out and about but the city has been quieter than normal because many businesses are online or take-outs, and outdoor gatherings limit to maximum 10 people. The cooler weather also prevents people from being outside too long. Thank you for linking up. Enjoy the weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Denyse Whelan Blogs March 17, 2021 / 4:57 am

        Thanks so much for linking up for Life This Week #231. Glad to have you add your post as part of the community here. Next week. the optional prompt is Good. Hope to see you there. Denyse.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Jo March 12, 2021 / 7:44 pm

    I love your 3 geese social distancing sign. In far north Queensland it’s one cassowary apart or 1 large sea turtle. Wishing you a fabulous weekend.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 8:41 pm

      Jo, I had to look up cassowary to see what it looks like. It has a brilliant blue and turquoise face but I’ll keep a safe distance, away from its deadly claws. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jo March 13, 2021 / 4:44 pm

        Oooh yes, it looks beautiful but has quite an unpleasant temper.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Duwan @MakeLikeAnApeman March 12, 2021 / 8:08 pm

    Such an interesting comparison chart.

    It is hard for me to compare since I am in a very different part of the country from where I was this time last year. But here in the US things are opening up. Where I am in Florida now most people seem to wear masks but not all. Restaurants are open but when we driver by the library today it looked closed.

    Just talked to a friend in Toronto today who got the vaccine. Apparently he was able to get the vaccine before his wife who is older because this vaccine – AstraZeneca had only been tested on people in his age group. Interesting, huh?

    A year ago today we were just returning from being disconnected from the world for about a week to find that everything had drastically changed and the pandemic had gone from a concern to something more serious.

    Tomorrow we go to the Everglades in Florida to look for birds.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 9:14 pm

      Duwan, Good to hear things are opening up in the USA. Hope everyone stays safe and well.

      Toronto is vaccinating some people 60-64 years of age with the AstraZeneca vaccine since the vaccines arrived this week and they are good until April 2. It’s great that your friend received his vaccine. Concurrently, people age 80 or older are also receiving Pfizer or Moderna vaccines here.

      I visited the Everglades a few years ago and saw a lot of crocodiles and birds. I look forward to seeing your bird photos. Thank you for linking with #WeekendCoffeeShare.

      Like

  23. Terri Webster Schrandt March 12, 2021 / 8:28 pm

    What a difference a year makes, Natalie. But…a year?? Egads, I remember when people thought we would be out of the pandemic shutdowns in a couple of months. Sigh… I continually read the Commonwealth countries are in the longest lockdowns. California is finally breaking free, but here in Washington, the Spokane side (less populated) we’re now at a tier where gyms are opened, eating indoors is allowed, but wearing masks and staying socially distanced is still required. No vaccine for me yet (too young at 61 still, but since I had a mild case last fall, I don’t worry overmuch). I do love your socially distanced goose sign. Glad you can enjoy the spring air, too. I will link up on Sunday!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 12, 2021 / 9:21 pm

      Terri, Glad to hear Spokane is in a more open stage. Hopefully people continue to follow public health protocols and curb the spread of the virus. Toronto is vaccinating some people 60-64 years of age with the AstraZeneca vaccine since the vaccines arrived this week and they are good until April 2. People who are 80 years of age or older are also getting their Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. I’m in the last phase of Ontario’s vaccination plan towards the end of summer. Fortunately, I can get outside and enjoy spring with a lot of open space by Lake Ontario. I look forward to your post. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. midlifestylist March 12, 2021 / 10:15 pm

    Hi Natalie, it’s amazing to think where we were a year ago. Our lockdown didn’t start til the end of March. We’re in phase 1a/1b of the covid vaccine rollout here in Australia. If I wasn’t a nurse I’d be getting it in 2A which is not long after anyway. Hopefully life will get back to normal soon

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 13, 2021 / 9:50 am

      Hi Christina, I’m hopeful that this year is going to be better than last year overall. Life this week is already very good with the sunshine and nice spring weather we have here. Enjoy the weekend!

      Like

  25. kirstin troyer March 12, 2021 / 10:35 pm

    What a year it’s been. Enjoyed your post. I’m looking forward to things returning to normal.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 13, 2021 / 9:51 am

      Kirstin, Glad you enjoyed my post. I’m looking forward to spring. Have a great weekend!

      Like

    • Natalie March 13, 2021 / 9:57 am

      Thank you, Donna, for your kind words. I often think of you and other blogger friends in BC and how you’ve all been staying active and positive. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  26. Moumita De Sarkar March 13, 2021 / 3:44 am

    By March 2022, I hope things (including your list which is quite impressive) get much better. You get to write:

    The gym and parlours are now fully open.

    People have started travelling once again.

    Wearing a mask is optional.

    And, physical tickets are all sold out for the upcoming rock concert 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 13, 2021 / 10:00 am

      Moumita, That’s the spirit. Thank you for sharing your optimism 🙂

      Like

  27. Ju-Lyn March 13, 2021 / 4:07 am

    Your comparison table is so well laid out and informative – I know restrictions are challenging, but I have to say they make me feel safer to be out when I need to be. We are able to be out and about in Singapore, as long as social distancing & masks are in place.

    Glad to see Spring in your images … it must be lovely to be outdoors!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 13, 2021 / 10:05 am

      Ju-Lyn, Yes, restrictions are also necessary over here at this time. I’m free to be out and about while following public health measures. The weather this week has been glorious for spring. Have a great weekend!

      Like

      • Ju-Lyn March 14, 2021 / 11:24 pm

        You too, Natalie! Be safe and well! Enjoy more fabulous weather this week!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie March 13, 2021 / 10:05 am

      Thank you, Pam, for your comment. I greatly appreciate it.

      Like

  28. trentpmcd March 13, 2021 / 8:48 am

    What a year it’s been! I’m glad I live in a relatively rural area so was able to spend as much time outside as needed. Sounds like you had a fabulous week 🙂 The weather was good over most of the eastern half of the continent this week. I hope your weekend is goign well and that you have a wonderful week ahead!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 13, 2021 / 10:08 am

      Trent, The weather has been glorious here this week. Next week we’re back to seasonal temperatures but still sunny. I can bike or walk to Lake Ontario and love the open space there. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • trentpmcd March 13, 2021 / 12:34 pm

        Same here. It will get pretty cold this week coming up, but it is spring! It is great that you can get out into the open spaces! You too, have a great weekend and a wonderful week 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  29. blogbyA March 13, 2021 / 10:54 am

    I particularly liked the way u started the blog post by warmly welcoming ur readers.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 13, 2021 / 11:38 am

      Thank you for your visit and comment. Your gravatar profile pointed me to skinfitnessandlife blog that isn’t active. I’d visit your blog if I could find it.

      Like

      • blogbyA March 13, 2021 / 12:32 pm

        Sry don’t know why it’s showing inactive. Could u kindly tell me how to make it active.

        Like

        • Natalie March 13, 2021 / 12:57 pm

          Go to gravatar.com, sign in to your WordPress account and update your profile to the correct URL of your current blog. I’d suggest that you do the same update in WordPress. I found another blog beautyandcream which looks like your current blog? Just make sure your profile points to the URL of the blog that you want people to read and comment. I hope this helps.

          Like

  30. Regina Martins March 13, 2021 / 12:05 pm

    It’s amazing how the last year has unfolded; it was interesting reading your comparison. In South Africa, it has been similar too.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Natalie March 13, 2021 / 1:06 pm

      Regina, I’m glad you found my comparison interesting. I wrote it for myself in the event some time in the future I want to look back to 2020 and 2021. Good to know it’s been similar to what you’ve experienced in South Africa.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. csuhpat1 March 13, 2021 / 9:28 pm

    Such beautiful pics.

    One year ago today was the last day for in-person classes at the school I teach in. It was a Friday, we were told that we suppose to be back in the classroom on April 6th. On March 16th, the whole Bay Area was closed. Later that week, we were told that in-person will begin on May 4th. And we have been out for now a year.

    They say that SDC (Special Day Classes for Special Education students) will return for middle school on April 26th (I am a SDC teacher) for the last month school in my district. It is so weird because you can drive 15 minutes one direction and things are open and then drive 15 minutes in another direction and things are closed. It is weird.

    Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful week.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie March 14, 2021 / 8:08 am

      Patrick, It must be hard for you as a teacher and your students not to be at school in-person. Have you been teaching virtual classes since last March? Here in Ontario, the restrictions also vary from city to city. Toronto has been under longer and stricter lockdowns as it’s the biggest city in Canada and has high case numbers. Thank you for sharing your experience with us at Weekend Coffee Share. Have a great week ahead!

      Like

  32. Debbie March 14, 2021 / 1:48 am

    It was interesting to see some changes but not many, in your restrictions Natalie. I love your optimism and hope shines through your words. We are doing quite well here in Australia and our vaccination process has just started too. We are limited to where we can travel as we still can’t leave the country, and most state borders are now open. We hope things continue to carry on like they are for everyone’s sake.
    I have read a few of Robotham’s books (and The Suspect) and really enjoy them.
    I also love your spring flowers, as we start descending into autumn.
    Thanks again for having us drop by!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie March 14, 2021 / 8:16 am

      Debbie, I’m glad to hear you’re doing quite well in Australia. By restricting international travel, Australia is keeping the covid-19 virus and its variants outside the country. Toronto has a longer lockdown than other places in Ontario as it’s the biggest city in Canada with more movements and has high case numbers. Non-essential travel has been discouraged here to curb the spread of the virus although people can still travel anywhere in the province and to some other provinces in Canada. The vaccination program is ramping up though. I’m hopeful that we’ll be in a better situation by the time summer arrives in June. Thank you for sharing your experience and linking up with Weekend Coffee Share.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Hudie March 14, 2021 / 3:52 pm

    Three geese apart! That’s clever! Here, they say 1 moose apart! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie March 14, 2021 / 4:09 pm

      1 moose apart is easy to remember 🙂

      Like

  34. Jennifer Jones March 14, 2021 / 4:29 pm

    Hi Natalie really great to catch up with you after my break. Those geese made me smile. It’s quite a year that we’ve all had. We are covid free in Victoria at the moment but always aware of sticking to covid safe rules. My partner has been given permission by his doctor to go back to work so life is slowly returning to closer to normal #lifethisweek

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie March 14, 2021 / 5:00 pm

      Hi Jennifer, That’s great news in Victoria and for your partner. I hope you had a good blogging break. Thank you for stopping by. I’ll visit your blog shortly.

      Like

  35. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid March 14, 2021 / 6:14 pm

    Reading your comparison of then and now reminds me of how lucky we are here in Australia to be almost back to normal, albeit a new normal and albeit at a high price – there is a travel ban so it’s almost impossible to leave the country and flight caps so almost impossible to get back in (even for citizens.) I think if the past year has taught us anything, it’s that we humans are very resilient and we can do hard things. And here’s to optimism, a little goes a long way!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie March 14, 2021 / 6:27 pm

      Sammie, Yes, non-essential, especially international travel is discouraged atm. The vaccination program is ramping up and the weather is getting nicer and warmer here so I hope we’ll be in a much better situation by June.

      Like

  36. Erica/Erika March 14, 2021 / 9:14 pm

    Your title is very poignant, Natalie, since we do mark a milestone this week. Your table graph is fascinating. The three geese sign made me smile. I don’t recall seeing this before? The Spring flowers, like you say with the colour of optimism always fills me with hope. A great post! Wonderful photos!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie March 14, 2021 / 10:21 pm

      Erica/ Erika, The 3-geese sign was from last Spring. Optimism and humour help us get through challenging times. How are you doing in BC? I hope all’s well with you and your family. Have a great week ahead!

      Like

      • Erica/Erika March 14, 2021 / 10:46 pm

        No vaccines, yet for us because of our age. We are trying to be cautious over Spring Break. Only outdoor visiting with walks. I still count my blessings, as always, Natalie 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Natalie March 15, 2021 / 9:38 am

          Being cautious over Spring break is smart, Erica/ Erika. Have a great week!

          Liked by 1 person

  37. Lizl Bennefeld March 15, 2021 / 1:04 am

    Our state never did completely shut down during the pandemic, but there were mask requirements and social distancing guidelines, as well as requirements to isolate/quarantine under some conditions. The rough part for me was the proliferation of bleaches, alcohol, hand sanitizers, &c, since I have fragrance and multiple chemical sensitivities. I am isolating from the safety precautions at this point, and I am not certain how much, going forward, that aspect will change.

    I finally got a call from the county public health office, this morning, and the person who asked if I wanted to take a newly vacant vaccine appointment, was kind enough to make a note in their records that I am waiting for the J&J vaccination due to allergic reactions.

    In the meanwhile, I am enjoying the increased social interactions via Zoom and other virtual gatherings. Saturday and Sunday, among the social, literary/professional, and online worship activities, I have to be careful to not push myself too hard. I cannot do everything that is offered, and so I now am faced with decisions… the feast after the years of famine! LOL!

    I kept up better with weekend coffee share, I think, when I had four days, not three, to fit in visits. The expansion of participants is somewhat daunting. Thanks, though, for bringing increased activity to the network. Is good! Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie March 15, 2021 / 9:43 am

      Lizl, It’s great that you’re keeping yourself safe and enjoying virtual social interactions. Don’t feel that you have to read or comment on all the blogs in the weekly Weekend Coffee Share link-up. I hope each blogger reads and comments on 3 blogs and more if you can do more. Thank you for sharing your experience during this past year and for linking up. Have a wonderful week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Beaton March 15, 2021 / 3:09 am

    Our lockdown has somewhat eased but this brings in new challenges as well schools are supposed to reopen today and there is going to be a bit of drama as I doubt things some things have been fully thought through fully but still we move
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie March 15, 2021 / 9:50 am

      B, I hope the school re-openings go well. Thank you for sharing your experience. I don’t see your blog in the InLinkz link-up. Did the Daylight Savings Time here mess up your link up time?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beaton March 16, 2021 / 10:16 am

        yeah the schools opening is predictably off to a rocky start *sigh*
        Hahahaha yeah got entangled with the Daylight Savings and Timezones so missed the link-up.
        ~B

        Like

        • Natalie March 16, 2021 / 10:54 am

          If you’re on WordPress.com and do ping back to my post, your blog post will appear in my Comments section so my blog readers and I can see your link. Hope that you join in the upcoming Weekend Coffee Share.

          Like

  39. Sanch @ Sanch Writes March 15, 2021 / 6:18 am

    I’m glad the panic buying has at least ceased! Not sure where we are with the vaccine but we did have tight borders and quarantine for people from overseas pretty early on and I reckon that’s how we got lucky. There’s still a lot of uncertainty of course, but I’m thankful for where we are. Hopefully things get better for you all soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie March 15, 2021 / 9:55 am

      Sanch, With the vaccination plan ramping up in Ontario, I’m hopeful that we’ll be in a better situation by June. The weather is getting nicer here and that also helps. Have a great week ahead!

      Like

  40. Dr Sock April 5, 2021 / 12:18 pm

    Hi Natalie. Throughout most of this long period of pandemic restrictions, I’ve been fairly ok and busy with walking, skiing, writing, and looking after my grandsons and so on. But this last two weeks, with the variants on the rise and the vaccines still rolling out so slowly, it has really started to get to me. It’s the Easter Long Weekend, and I feel sad that, for the second year in a row, I can’t get together with my kids. I never thought the pandemic would last so long, and even when we do get our shots, most parts of the world will still be going through it.

    Jude

    Like

    • Natalie April 5, 2021 / 2:00 pm

      Hi Jude, It must be hard for you not to be able to get together with your kids at Easter. The holidays heighten our emotions. I’m sending you my virtual hugs.

      From what I read in the last 2 days, Canada is receiving millions of vaccine doses this month so hopefully more Canadians will get the vaccine this spring and we’ll get a little closer to normality.

      In Ontario, just before Easter, the government announced a province-wide shutdown starting from April 3 for at least 4 weeks. Not that it changed much for Toronto residents like me because we’ve been in lockdown since November 2020. The buzz words changed but reality hasn’t. One sliver of light in the dark tunnel is that the vaccine rollout is ramped up here and I’m now eligible to book an appointment to get my first dose at a local pharmacy.

      Like

      • Dr Sock April 7, 2021 / 12:52 pm

        Great to hear you can book an appointment! Rob gets his first shot today, but I won’t be eligible to book one for several weeks yet. But it’s good to see the vaccines rolling out.

        Jude

        Like

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