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A Bit of Burgos by Dale Burgos

I spy with my little eye…

by Dale Burgos

      Plum Tree
 A plum tree

It’s now been over a year since the global pandemic has changed the way we conduct our daily lives. Today, our COVID cases are the highest they’ve ever been here in Canada. Across the world, India is seeing record numbers of daily cases. People are losing loved ones to the virus and we can only hope that it slows down very soon.

Thankfully, there are a number of vaccines being produced that will help fight the spread. The line-ups and waitlists grow here in Canada while we wait for more shipments of the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Personally, I’ve already registered for the British Columbia provincial immunization program and I’m on numerous waitlists for local pharmacies. I have no hesitation about which vaccine I get, as I know this is my best chance to take care of myself and my loved ones.

Back there, in my hometown of Winnipeg, my mom waits to get her vaccine and my sister is already slated to get hers some time this month. As I write this today, I can’t help but feel envious that Manitoba seems to be so far ahead in its immunization roll out. I see old friends the same age and younger getting the shot. I will wait patiently, as I know my time will come.

I have to give a shout-out to the many front-line workers, many of whom I grew up with – nurses and physicians alike. In fact, my best friend in junior high and high school is Dr. Jas Atwal, a key figure on Manitoba’s public health team. I also graduated with Dr. Brent Roussin, who needs no introduction.

In my article last month, I shared that I was appointed to the Government of B.C.’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Team here on Vancouver Island (population approximately 900,000). It has been a tremendous experience and will come to an end June 30. If we can get this under control, maybe earlier!

Like many of you, the pandemic consumes my everyday life. At times, it can get difficult because I feel there is no escape. The current restrictions here in B.C. prohibit indoor dining and large gatherings. I’m fine with the large gatherings, as we don’t have a large circle of family and friends here, so no biggie there. I do miss having the opportunity to go on a dinner date with Elizabeth. That time will come once again.

Seems superficial for me to want to get back to the little things like dinner dates or travel when so many others are losing loved ones or are suffering. I want you to know that I feel such tremendous sadness for their loss and hope for a full and quick recovery. I also want you to know that I am doing my part in trying to keep this virus under control.

But I’ll be honest with you; oftentimes I need an escape, a safe one mind you. What has been your go-to escape plan during the pandemic?

I spy with my little eye something that is…green. As many of you may already know, Elizabeth and I have gotten green thumbs after we moved out west. Gardening is therapeutic, but can also be tiring at times. We’ve got so many different trees and plants in our yard, and it is always the topic of conversation when I connect with my mom. We’ve got fig, plum, cedar and palm trees, many rose bushes, Japanese maple, and so many more that I can’t keep track. My problem is keeping them healthy by pruning and watering. Don’t even ask me what my water bill is during the summer months!

Last weekend, I got tired of looking at some grass growing amongst my trees and shrubs in the garden. It has now snowballed into full out weeding, trimming, re-tarping and covering with mulch. It’s taken up my evenings and weekends, but like I said, it’s therapeutic, right?

I heard baking was popular in the early days of the pandemic – evidenced by the shortage of flour at the grocery stores. I think this may be my next project. Soon enough you’ll find me selling Nanaimo bars at farmer’s markets across Vancouver Island!

Stay safe everyone.

Dale manages the communications department for a school district in B.C.

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