At Home Coping With COVID-19 travel blog

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KAPOORS ON THE ROAD

Well today marks six weeks since we returned from India, and a full month since we completed the compulsory two-week quarantine period. We decided that the social isolation asked of senior citizens in particular, wasn’t too onerous on us, so we would just continue it for the foreseeable future and make good use of the time and lack od distractions the situation provided for us.

Almost from the start, I copied the text that I was entering in my travel journal onto a Word document for safe-keeping. After the end of our first year of travels, when I had to go to an internet café and do all my photo uploading and story-telling, I bought my first laptop while we were in Kuala Lumpur. We were on our way home and I was under the mistaken impression that it was cheaper to purchase an Apple product in Asia than it was back in Canada.

In the end, the price was the same, and the support service I had from Apple wasn’t affected in the least by where I’d made the purchase. The only thing that happened was that my bank put a hold on the payment for the laptop thinking that it was a fraudulent charge, emanating from Malaysia. I quickly got that cleared up, and the vendor paid in full, but it was a relief to know that my bank was keeping a careful watch on my transactions.

Eventually, I did all my writing on my laptop, and it was very convenient when travelling because I could do a great deal of the work off-line. I took advantage of free bits of time to write about our experiences, waiting time in airports before boarding and between flights and time in the evenings at our hotels and guesthouses as we rarely went out at night in strange cities.

As I mentioned earlier, I got really behind when we were in South Africa during the period we rented a car for two weeks and zoomed around the Western Cape province. From there we went on a ten-day camping safari and we were offline for the entire time. Once that was over, we were in Europe for several weeks and I never really got back to completing the story-telling.

The one thing that I always made sure I did, was label the photos with enough information in order to provide my readers with an overview of the location and the events that happened while we travelled in the vicinity. About mid-way through our nine years of homeless travelling, I started providing additional background information for those who wanted to know just a little bit more about the history, culture and peoples of the regions we visited.

This was made possible when the Lonely Planet Travel Guides because available in PDF format. We started buying the guides on line because when we were travelling for nine months at a time, we often visited several countries in succession, and carrying the printed versions of the guidebooks was just to cumbersome. The added bonus of having e-versions of the guides was that I could copy and paste extracts from the guides into my journal entries to save hours of time. I made sure to reference the guidebooks properly, in order to avoid any repercussions from the Lonely Planet company. So far, so good.

Now, here I am, six weeks into our isolation period and I have managed to correct all the photos that were ‘flipped’ on their sides, and I started right back in Year One and copied all 25,000 photo titles into their corresponding Word documents. Phew! That was big task indeed, but it didn’t really require any creative energy, just dexterity in keyboarding.

I did appreciate the fact that I could listen to the news programs while I was copying the photo titles, because there was such a lot going on around the world, with the virus spreading from one country to another. We watched and listened in shock as the death tolls climbed in Italy, Spain and then America. We listened in horror and every night President Trump came on and gave his garbled news briefings, alternately promising an end to the epidemic in the near future, and then suggesting that citizens might consider injecting disinfectants into their bodies to fight off the virus.

By contrast, our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was a beacon of sanity during the last six weeks, giving briefings each morning in a calm and compassionate manner. It seemed each day he was announcing new programs to help those who had lost their jobs because of businesses being shuttered, programs for those who couldn’t afford to pay their rent at the beginning of April, and various programs for those whose situations didn’t fall into clearly identified categories of assistance.

We’ve pretty much stopped watching the news during the daytime hours, but settle in to watch the BBC World News America and the PBS Newshour each evening. Before sleeping we usually watch the National on the CBC. These are programs that we feel we can trust to provide us with accurate information in a calm and unassuming manner.

Now, as we start the next three weeks of isolation, I am going back to MyTripJournal.com and to my journal entries about our time in South Africa. It’s like being in a time-travelling machine and turning the dial back to January 2012. I can’t believe that it’s been eight years since we were there. I look at the photos I took, and it feels like yesterday. That’s a good thing, because the photos help all the memories to come flooding back, and it will make it easier to write about our adventures and misadventures. And boy, or boy, we had plenty of both!!

Stay tuned, I’ll let you know when I’ve made some progress…

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