Ringing my bell: every night at 7:30

Week 4 of isolation. The days blend into one another. As one wag wrote recently: “it’s the eleventy-seventh blursday of bejebuary”*. How do we even know what day or time it is? And why does it matter? I basically gave myself permission this week to not obsess anymore about why I wasn’t practicing. I just embraced the need of the moment to either connect or not (sometimes too much time online is just as bad as not being connected at all), to work in my garden, to get my house in order (hello, organizing my drawers).

But one routine that I have religiously kept up with over the last two weeks at least has been to go outside every evening, rain or shine at 7:30 pm and ring my bell. I’m usually joined by a growing number of folks–banging on pots, using pot lids for cymbals, and one intrepid neighbour who cruises up and down the street on his Segway, either ringing a bell or juggling 3 pins (it’s impressive!). It’s all in the name of supporting our health care workers, several of whom live on our street. We’re making noise for them from our splendid (?) isolation and it gives us a feeling of doing something positive, of giving back during a time when we can feel so powerless.

I’m not singing, but I’m ringing my bell. One day, I might even sing my song. But for now, the bell is enough.

*Dr. James Maskalyk quoted in Patrick White’s April 9, 2020 article “Toronto ER doctor garners social-media following with personal COVID-19 updates” in the Globe and Mail.