Stripped

A few days ago, I wrote about doing this…

Most of the sunflower stalks had been stripped of their leaves and tops, but the tallest ones were beyond the reach of the deer. I bent the stalks on each of those to bring the tops down.

This morning, they all looked like this.

They are all now stripped bare of leaves and seed heads! The deer were most efficient.

In other things I am happy to say I was able go pick up our new pasta maker in the mail. We look forward to using it soon! It had actually arrived on Friday, but I was expecting other things to be in by now, so I waited. Alas, nothing else had arrived. Including my Rare Seeds order. At this point, I suspect we won’t see either order from there from there until January, but the first part of my Veseys order should arrive next week.

Like everywhere else, people are ordering online a lot more, as local stores are either closed or not allowed to sell “non-essential” items. Like clothing. Our lock down was supposed to end on Dec. 11, but it’s already been announced that it will only be “relaxed” a bit. You still can’t buy new clothes, but now you can go to a thrift shop and buy used ones. You still can’t buy new toys for your kids, but you can buy wrapping paper and decorations, though those items are only temporarily allowed. Kids still can’t play hockey or go to the playground, but the NHL team is allowed to have practices now. They finally allowed the drive through light displays. Church services had been banned, but some had drive in services. After ticketing them for 10’s of thousands of dollars, the drive in services are now allowed, but with very stern warnings about compliance. The crazy thing is, these parking lot services went above and beyond, right from the start. Even the cars themselves were physically distanced, as if the virus can get through glass and steel and leap from vehicle to vehicle. They’re just a scapegoat, of course. Just like anyone who can’t wear a mask.

Something happened in the city just a few days ago that was incredibly disturbing. A young woman with PTSD had tried to go to a Giant Tiger to buy some groceries. Normally, why a person can’t wear a mask is not to be talked about, since it’s a privacy violation, but in this case, the young woman and her mother (who first shared the story on a group we’re on) were willing to tell why. This young woman had been raped as a child, and her rapist held his hand over her mouth as he attacked her. She now cannot have anything in front of her face without triggering her PTSD. Not a scarf or a blanket, nor a shield or mask.

When she went into the store, she was told she needed to wear a mask. She explained that she was medically exempt. Instead of honoring the mandate, which explicitly states when people are exempt from wearing a mask, they called the police.

What happened next was horrific. SIX squad cars responded. When she tried to explain she was medically exempt from wearing a mask, she was attacked, thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and a mask forcibly put over her face. She was then arrested and taken to a police station.

In the end, they let her go, because she had done nothing wrong. Later, after so many friends came to her door to check on her, she made a short video of herself, so she wouldn’t have to keep describing what happened, over and over. As you can imagine, the whole thing traumatized her all over again, but she assured those who cared for her that she was NOT suicidal, and that she was going to get through it. She just needed to be left alone for a little while.

This sort of thing is increasing. A politician in another locked down province recently shared what happened to his own son. His son and a friend were in a bar, which are allowed to be open. They are both medically exempt. His friend went to the bar to order a beer and was told he had to wear a mask. He explained he was medically exempt. They called the police. The politician’s son tried to stand up for his friend, explaining they were both medically exempt.

He ended up being tazed in the back.

As you can imagine, as someone who cannot wear a mask, these sorts of things really concern me. It’s not too bad when I go to local stores – I only go to the ones I know are safe – but I will have to go to the city to do the second half of our monthly shop. I was hoping to be able to do it after the lock down expired on the 11th, but that no longer matters. Nothing of substance is changing. I’m fortunate, in that I can get away with wearing a shield for a short time, but in some places, not even those are accepted. They say you have to wear a mask under it. Meanwhile, I struggle even with the shield, if I wear it for too long.

Part of what’s frustrating is when well meaning (and sometimes not so well meaning) people suggest wearing a mask anyway, to avoid all this. It’s just a few minutes, after all. That’s like telling someone with a peanut allergy that they should just try a different brand of peanut butter. :-/

Well, I’ve gone off on a tangent. I do try to keep things on this blog neutral but, from the start, I wanted to keep things as real as possible, talking about both the positives and the negatives of restarting our lives here. I didn’t want to put forward any illusions that things are sunshine and roses, because nothing ever is. Personally, I think we often learn more from the negatives than the positives! I never imagined I would find myself writing about being stripped of our basic human rights and dignity, but it is what it is. It’s one of the things we have to deal with.

I will say, though, that I am really, really glad we are no longer living in the city! The province we moved away from just entered a new lock down, too. Things are even worse, there – and I don’t mean with the virus.

We’re living in a house that needs major renovations, on a farm where most of the usable tools disappeared before we moved here, are being sued by the person who took them, for more money than replacing the roof would cost, and have to maintain security cameras in case our vandal does something stupid again, while our peace bond application against him has been delayed due to the Covid restrictions.

And I am still grateful to be living here.

The Re-Farmer

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