Over the weekend our shelter in place was loosened just a little here in Bermuda. We are now at stage one ‘to the new normal’, whatever that is going to look like. The general message was to keep social distancing, cover your face when you can’t, and if you go into the supermarkets or the pharmacy or other stores. The beaches and railway trails have reopened for exercise, there is takeout available at some restaurants, and some government departments are opening for limited services. The latter is taking your temperature before you’re allowed to enter. Post is limited to a few days a week on island, and international is sketchy as we don’t know how many days mail will sit there for before it’s shipped off. There’s still no dine in at restaurants, and groups are limited to ten people, but must keep six feet away from each other. Schools are not open yet. However we are still only meant to leave our properties if there is a good reason to. That is for exercise, buy food, work if you’re an essential worker, get items from the pharmacy, or pick up online orders for supplies. The Supermarket can only be attended on your specific days according to your surname.
So, because I’ve stacked on officially FOUR kilos in weight, we thought we’d go to our favourite beach at Clearwater on Coopers Island for a walk on Saturday. I have felt so frustrated being restricted to just a half mile walk from the house, so I couldn’t wait. It was packed! There was only one park in the car park and cars were all along the road and on the grass verge. We only saw one person other than us with a face mask, and at times it was impossible to use physical distancing on narrow parts of the track. One lady laughed at me as I pulled up my neck gator before passing her. What is it that people don’t get? I was protecting her. My lovely husband is an essential worker, and as careful as he is, one tiny microbe could infect me, and I could be carrying this awful flu asymptomatically and be infecting everyone I meet, for two weeks before I start feeling unwell myself. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s illness or death, that’s for sure. I find wearing a face covering quite stressful, as it makes me feel claustrophobic, but I do it because it’s necessary right now, and may be for quite a while.
So getting back to our walk. It was the most beautiful day and the pink coral sand is pristine clean with the bluest of water lapping at the shore. The smell of ganja1 was in the air, as people were making the most of their time outside and not being cooped up in their small accommodations. Music was pumping out of personal stereos and boom boxes on the beach. There were children in swimming which was nice to see. Most of the time people were careful on the track, to try and avoid getting too close. However there’s no doubt about it Bermuda has officially been let out. If this goes badly, I don’t know how they’ll ever get them all back in. And the weather hasn’t warmed up yet.
We did our walk and it was a bit quiet for us. We usually chat and marvel about what we see and where we are, but there wasn’t much of that on Saturday. When we got back to the car we kind of dived inside, like a refuge. I asked my lovely husband if he was okay and he said ‘I quite liked the quiet of lockdown’. Now that left me wondering if we’ve actually learned anything from having to live as though in quarantine for a month? Nature has definitely thrived, the tracks were over grown in places, and all along Bermuda roads wild flowers are springing up. It looks quite pretty. Birds and wildlife have moved back in. A lovely video went round social media showing the animals of the planet taking over.2 They’re not taking over, they’re taking it back. The air is cleaner and there are reports of people in highly polluted countries seeing blue sky for the first time in their lives. I went out, now that I can, and assisted my lovely husband during his rounds, waiting in the car on a street with the windows open. The noise, and fumes were hard to manage, after living so quietly for so long. I felt poisoned, and was relieved when he came back so we could move, and get back home again.
Now thinking about that, and my weight gain, the message of 2020 is to keep ourselves healthy. Anyone with a high BMI3, autoimmune, or heart and respiratory condition, aged or pregnant, are vulnerable to having a very hard time if they contract Covid-19. On that note, I was appalled that in New Zealand they had to bring in the police when people weren’t behaving on the first day McDonald’s re-opened in Auckland. People who have been deprived of nearly every freedom for a few months, rushed for their takeaways! What do they put in fast food that makes us feel we can’t manage without it? I’m guilty of craving my beloved sweet chilli crispy chicken wrap when I step off the plane on arrival in the UK. My lowest moment for takeaways however, was passing a piece of red rubbish here in Bermuda. I thought ‘Some lazy person has turfed their McDonalds fries packet!’ What was I thinking? There is no McDonalds here! But my brain automatically associated the red with it. Now that’s clever, or sad depending how you look at it.
Bermuda doesn’t have franchises. We have one KFC which was established here before the no franchise rule came into being, and has been operating here ever since. If it were to close, it could never get a permit to reopen. We are proud to say we have never been there. I feel we are quite lucky to not have those big names like the ones already mentioned, as well as Subway, Wendy’s, and the rest. We do however have the local ones like Buzz, Mr Chicken, Four Star Pizza, and other similar ones dotted around the island. My lovely husband said ‘We don’t really get many takeaways’. Hmmm, he’s quite wrong, we get them far more than we should. But even though they been closed, I’ve managed to put weight on without them! Now that’s confusing.
So I’ve cut all refined sugar out of my diet. I’ve reintroduced my intermittent fasting4 which I had great success with last time, before I got lax. Stepped up the walks, and cut my celebratory drink to one a day. A big one. I went for a swim on Monday, and holy mother of, well, lets put it this way, it was cold, choppy and exhausting. It was the first swim since being on the Tenacious, which now seems so long ago. ‘You have a wet suit!’ exclaims lovely husband. Yes, I do, but I can’t get it zipped up right now. Maybe in a month or so, but it will be warm enough and I won’t need it by then. My body is screaming for sugar on day three, with sore joints, headache and feeling a bit exhausted, but I know that will pass by Friday. I also took over the supermarket shop. We agreed that if lovely husband was out and about anyway essential working, it was silly to put me at risk too. He has been dutifully managing the groceries, with a greatly exaggerated list sporting chippies, and biscuits, and bottles of cider. My will power just hasn’t been there, a bit like the famous ‘see food’ diet. So now I’ve taken that back, I feel righteously in control. I bought treats that only my lovely husband can eat, and healthy nuts and carrots and salsa for me. He said It can’t eat those if front of you!’ Well he got over that sentiment, and scoffed a bag of cheddar and jalapeno crisps, while I played with my celery snack. There weren’t many tears, honest.
Now look at that, an idea just popped into my head and its lunch time – finally!
Remember if any of you would like a chat about any of the things I’ve mentioned today, or to share something that’s troubling you, just visit my ‘Let’s Chat’ page and I’ll be in touch.
More soon – Sally
- Ganja – Hindi name for hemp
- Watch the animals taking back their planet video here: https://youtu.be/kdyb9oIhtFs
- BMI – body mass index. You can calculate yours here if you’re interested: https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/bmi-calculator
- Intermittent fasting (IF) uses periods of fasting and eating windows to help rest your digestive system and control weight. If you are interested in IF please research it carefully and speak with your doctor first, as some people should not consider it as a diet choice. You can check it out here: https://youtu.be/Qngs_A2dnZ4