6b418a7e1c894727282ae55335b6bb1aLike butterflies coming out of cocoons, we’re gradually emerging from the Covid-19 shutdown and figuring out what living in this new world is going to look like. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m finding it a little bit unnerving. My cocoon was comfortable. I knew exactly what to do and what not to do. I wasn’t worried about contracting  the virus because we easily kept our distance from other people and almost never left our county where there hasn’t been a single confirmed case. Thankfully, I was able to fit the local golf course into my cocoon!

Even though Alberta entered the first phase  of a three stage relaunch strategy back on May 14, nothing really changed for us. Now, with the introduction of Stage 2 on Friday, a week ahead of schedule, bigger changes are happening. In addition to those businesses that were deemed essential and never closed, as well as those that reopened in Stage 1, theatres, libraries, places of worship, casinos, bingo halls, arcades, and recreational facilities including gyms and pools, as well as many other similar facilities, can now be open. Personal services, including skin and body treatments, facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing, and tanning are also allowed now.


Life at this stage is a bit like the newly emerged butterfly; somewhat fragile and facing many unknowns. As we step out of our cocoons, we need to decide which of the many available options we feel comfortable resuming right now and what precautions should be taken when we do.

Though we’re being reminded to remain diligent about social distancing and to wear masks when that’s not possible, I’m concerned that many people seem to think the crisis has passed and are becoming lax about following the recommendations. If that continues to happen, I foresee an upswing in Covid cases and possibly a need to shut things down again. Though my cocoon was comfortable and safe, I don’t want to have to hide away in it for any longer than necessary, so while we spread our wings, please let’s do it with care and caution!


3 thoughts on “Emerging

  1. Your column on returns and online shopping somewhat upset me, and that is why I felt it would be best to wait a few days to respond.

    There is another side to this issue.

    Online shopping is a boon to mothers with small children, especially those who do not have a spouse or relative around to babysit. I well remember when my children were small and I needed to order from Sears, Roebuck catalog. (I did not drag my children from pillar to post, as you see so often nowadays.) The same holds true for those who must care for an ailing spouse or relative in the home.

    Online/catalog shopping is a boon to the elderly who tire easily, cannot navigate in small spaces, who need more room than the regular dressing room (which is little more than the space of a bathroom stall) with a chair to sit in. Some stores do have a handicapped stall but usually only one.

    If one lives in a medium to small town, local retail can be sadly lacking. We have recently lost both Penney’s and Sears, and I fully expect two other department stores to close in our town. I do go to a local upscale clothing store but, sadly, they do not carry any petite sizes, so I usually only buy accessories there. Most small towns are left with WalMart and some consignment stores. And trying to find a decent pair of shoes with arch support that aren’t athletic shoes–impossible.

    I, too, love to try on, feel the material, look at the quality and fit. But I have to travel at least an hour to even get to nice stores that carry petites. Sure, I often have to order several sizes. And sure, I have to return items. If the stores (I hope not many) choose to destroy the items, rather than return them to stock, that is on them, not me.

    Perhaps I am somewhat defensive about this issue, but there is another side to this.

    • Thanks for expressing your views, Alene. I do know where you’re coming from. I live and raised my family in a small rural town of 800 people. With the exception of one second-hand store, there is absolutely nowhere to buy clothing or shoes. It is a one hour drive to a town large enough to have a Walmart and two hours to a city with a full range of shopping options. In spite of these limitations, I feel that it’s my responsibility to do the best I can to be an ethical shopper. That involves educating myself about things like the pros and cons of online shopping. As a fashion writer, I often choose to share what I learn with my readers. What they choose to do with the information is entirely up to them.

  2. I welcomed the information in your column but I failed to see how it was more ethical to do in-person shopping (with the fuel used for a long-distance trip) . And currently, due to COVID restrictions, travel is not encouraged. Our local stores, at the present time, have closed their dressing rooms so one runs into the same problem with returns.

    Here I am, 73 years old, a widow (no husband to relieve me), a full-time caregiver for my 95 year old mother. So online shopping it is for me for the time being. I have no problem with your personal commitment but just did not like the feeling I was getting after reading your column that my choice, somehow, is not ETHICAL.

    To me, it makes more sense to encourage companies to hire more people and stop this wasteful practice (if we are aware of which companies are guilty).

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to present another viewpoint.

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