Accelerated second shots are now available for those of us aged 40+. Unfortunately the demand for said shots FAR FAR exceeded supply.
Booking a covid shot was somewhat less sketchy for us personally than the first time - no calling random personal cellphones - but it did involve navigating the Ontario central booking system. Many reams of ink have been spilled on the disaster that is Ontario's covid shot "hunger games" but I thought I'd summarize our own experience for posterity.
First of all, the website was not capable of handling the demand, so there was a "waiting room" page that kept you in line. You couldn't book multiple appointments at the same time. There was a cute little guy who walked along while you waited and waited and waited.
Once you got to the head of the line, you had a limited amount of time on the site before you got booted and had to start all over again. The time allotted was seemingly generous, except that the process for booking was ridiculous. You would enter your location and it would then pop up numerous clinics with booking times to select. Unfortunately, people took the appointments so quickly that selecting the location often would lead to a page with a message telling you that there were no available appointments. If you happened to get times, often they'd vanish while you were in the process of clicking on them. Long story short, there was a lot of refreshing and clicking required.
The system was so difficult to navigate that a volunteer system sprang up on Twitter and Discord called "Vaccine Hunters". Volunteers would help you figure out eligibility (not always easy with ever changing circumstances) and contacted pharmacies and mass vaccination sites to get tips on when appointments would be opened. I helped a number of people get appointments with the help of vaccine hunters, including one helpful volunteer who managed to wrangle an appointment at a Walmart for Grandma J by first reserving it for himself and then entering her details(!)
Part of the problem of course was that there were many different waitlists. In any case, St Laurent opened many appointments about 2 minutes after my window with Brendan's information got booted out. So I was able to get an appointment two days before Brendan based entirely on luck. It was supremely frustrating to be watching the little man walk while being locked out and knowing appointments were being snapped up but thankfully there were a few left when we got back in.
My experience getting my shot at St Laurent was uneventful. They were short staffed so it wasn't quite as smooth as Elizabeth's shot but overall pretty safe. I still would have preferred an outdoor waiting option.
The next day I felt a bit off and cranky. Brendan had very mild flu symptoms - he was tired and a bit dizzy for twelve hours. Definitely no big deal.
Elizabeth was selected to play in the ORMTA Canada Day virtual recital again this year! She played "After the Rain" by my aunt Joanne!
The kids haven't had too much opportunity to prepare for the swimming portion of the upcoming triathlon, so everyone was happy when Dianne and David offered us the use of their pool to practice. We may have also borrowed their slack line... It was a little strange to use the pool without getting to swim with their kids (due to distancing requirements they went for a hike and then swam after we left) but we enjoyed it greatly. The kids were definitely much less comfortable in the water than last time we got to swim, but we're sure all that's needed is a bit of practice.
It's practically summer, but we'd been hoping regulations would loosen enough to allow inviting Erika and Maria over for our spring tea party and finally we are allowed to have people over outside. So we invited last summer's "bubble" for tea and we had a lovely time.
I have missed having people over very, very much.
Amelia's class did much math using stories. Her Thursday atelier was cooking again so we made cookies while Matthew prepped supper. On Friday she had a beach day and with the background and the (real) sandbox I thought the effect was pretty good. She was outside basically all day but her small group was so interested in doing a show and tell of ALL the various seashell items in their houses that instead of doing class for 20 minutes Amelia stayed in front of the screen chatting for over an hour and a half! I think her teacher missed her break but everyone was clearly loving it so I didn't intervene. There was also a story about a little turtle and an apple tree.
Matthew biked at forest school and played in the sprinkler afterwards to cool down. The sprinkler was apparently shaped like a caterpillar and extremely amusing to play with. For shop class, Matthew and Daddy cleaned bike parts.
In virtual school this week Elizabeth had to pick a job she would like to do and write about it using the Metiers Quebec website. She started looking into various scientific employments but in the end decided to write about being an artist. I wondered when the look and feel of this website was first implemented hahaha. She had to draw a self portrait. She was not happy with the results. There was a wood louse in her bed so she did a little art therapy to cope. Elizabeth and Daddy marked the boundary line between our house and our neighbours house using the survey holes from an official survey done by Brendan's parents as the neighbours wanted to plant a tree but not too close to the fence that isn't there yet. She found the process very interesting. In art class she learned to draw a space scene, which I found amusing as we're planning something similar for our next paint night. She did it twice because she was having so much fun, apparently.
Michael continued to attend Grandir ensemble and did lots of playing outside this week. He likes to tell me about toys that are on the back porch that "I want to play with" so this week he talked me into dragging out the firetruck popup tent and the balls to play in.
Of course we continued to bike every day, even though some of the days were brutally warm. There were caterpillars everywhere. We also did lots of gardening. Our neighbour Hannah and Mike two doors down gave us their cute little playhouse and the kids spent some time cleaning it to get it ready to paint.
We celebrated Elizabeth's baptism birthday over zoom with Creighton and Rachel and Dave and Karen. Although it's not as nice as doing it in person, it is a very convenient way to get everyone together on the actual baptism day!