As covid 19 cases drop, Ontario has moved to stage 2. We are allowed to physically gather in groups of ten, staying 2m apart. Churches may open at 30% capacity.
Around here shopping patterns seem to have dropped into something resembling normal. I went shopping at Loblaws in the middle of the morning - no lines in or out, the mix of shoppers isn't heavily skewed towards professionals anymore and it felt much less fraught with peril. I wore a mask along with a few others, but many people no longer wearing masks to grocery shop.
The big excitement is that we are now allowed to form social bubbles. These were described as groups of ten, for example two couples and six single adults, consisting of 2-3 households and no one belonging to more than one bubble. Clearly whoever came up with this definition doesn't have a large family. We talked about who to have in our bubble and quickly concluded that we need to have Margaret in ours since we are planning to go to the cottage together in August. We also wanted very much to include Chris and Yukiko and the girls for many reasons - allowing Margaret to be able to hug all of her grandkids was a big priority and we've really missed having all of them around. Elizabeth and Erika in particular have been missing each other - zoom and physically distanced is just not quite the same.
It seemed to us that the example given with 8 different families all buying groceries and making their own decisions about how to social distance from others is clearly riskier than our suggested setup, so we've decided to form a bubble of 11 but to respect the legal limit of 10 at any given time. Hopefully the size will increase soon!
The kids were very very excited to have grandma walk in the door - the first person in our house aside from the piano tuner on Friday - and the first person to give hugs. She came to watch the karate tournament and was even able to stay for lunch until after Erika's tournament was over near suppertime.
Elizabeth was over the moon to be able to hug her cousin again (everyone else was exciting too but not quite the same). I was surprised to discover just how much taller Maria has gotten - she towers over me.
Amelia spent the entire day circling from Grandma to Auntie Yukiko to Erika giving each of them a hug and then moving onto the next. It was super cute and also a little surprising to realize how much she'd missed not being able to touch people outside of our family. Matthew too kept asking people "Are you in our bubble?" and then being very excited if the answer was yes! He clearly expected that our neighbours ought to be in our bubble and was disappointed that we can't play with the super cute new baby yet.
Speaking of babies, Joel and baby Lucy dropped by on their walk and it was nice to see and chat with them for a short while.
After Grandma left for the day, Erika and Elizabeth were not ready to part. Even though they were going to see each other the following day. One thing led to another and I found myself making a little bit of extra chicken. Auntie Yukiko called Uncle Chris and Maria and they agreed to come over for supper.
"It's a bubble celebration day", said Matthew.