English LingQ 2.0 Podcast #13, One Year Anniversary of the COVID-19 Pandemic Pt. 2

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In part two of their chat on the anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic Mark and Elle talk about how this shared experience may shape social norms, pandemic experiences of people they know and viscous raccoons!

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Elle: …because no one else, you know, everyone else wants to stay healthy.

Thank you very much.

Mark: For sure.

And I wonder, you know, while with, with all the mask wearing everything is down.

Mask wearin, obviously paying more attention to not being as gross as you say.

And, uh, even when you are near people, trying to maintain more distance.

Elle: Yes.

Yeah.

Not a bad thing, you know, like in, we’ve both lived in Japan and masks are the norm there.

If you feel even a little sick, you wear a mask.

I remember this time last year, I was an early adopter I guess you could say of mask wearing,

so I’d go down to Safeway in my mask and people would look at me like I was crazy.

I felt that way.

Maybe it was just me.

But I do feel as though at the beginning there was, there was definitely some…

Mark: No question.

Elle: Hm, do you, do you really need that mask?

That seems a bit extreme, but now of course, it’s commonplace.

Mark: Yeah and I remember thinking, you should wear a mask.

You feel self-conscious wearing a mask because you’ve never worn one.

Most people aren’t wearing them.

And I remember being in the bank with my mask on talking to you, there’s a, there’s a… A lot of banks will have someone at the front that’s like welcoming people or whatever it was.

And, um, eh, like she was not that young, this lady I’m like, she didn’t have a mask on I’m like, why don’t you have a mask on?

Elle: It’s interesting that the different approaches to this.

I had a naturopath appointment I remember a couple of months ago.

The naturopath’s mother.

Um, so my naturopath is in her seventies, her mother works the reception.

So this is a woman in her nineties and she wasn’t wearing a mask.

So I came in with a mask and there’s a station for, you know, hand sanitizing, but she had no mask on.

I wanted to say, one: why are you here?

And two, just at least wear a mask.

But yeah, it’s, she didn’t feel the need.

She obviously felt safe.

Mark: Yeah, it is interesting.

It is interesting.

I…what I wonder is, given the prevalence of masks now, has it been long enough that like in Asia, in the future, when people are sick, will they put a mask on?

I mean, they should, but, but will they?

Like… it’s still going to be… There will have to be some trends setters there I think.

To kind of make that part of part of the culture.

Like it is there in Asia, but I mean, I have no question that, or there is no question that it has to, has to has to work.

I mean, in Asia where I guess they, I mean, they have so many more people in, in, uh, smaller spaces.

I think that they obviously must have a significant impact.

We’ll see, we’ll see if that’s one of the changes that ends up lasting.

I have my doubts.

Elle: Yeah, I did too, actually, but we’ll see.

Time will tell.

So um, we’re coming into spring into summer now, thankfully.

Uh, do you have any… and restrictions are loosening, obviously we have the, um, vaccine, uh, how is your summer looking?

Different from last summer

I imagine.

Do you have any plans?

Mark: Well, last summer we were planning to do a trip to Europe actually.

Uh, uh, so that kinda got put on hold.

And then we thought about, or talked about trying to do it this year, but the consensus was, well, there’s no point going if it’s going to be half, half open or whatever, like it’s… might as well, wait another other.

So that, um, realistically, no real other plans for the summer.

Going to be local and, um.

There, it’s going to be more sort of, I guess, last minute, I mean, maybe go, who knows, whether to… yeah or go to the Okanagan or something, um, otherwise just be around.

I mean, it’s such a nice time of year, right?

Don’t tend to normally travel that much in the summer because it’s so, so nice here.

Um, the odd, you know, visit to friends up the Cunshine coast, uh, trip like that, but, um, tend to be around.

Uh, so no, no real plans.

How about you?

Elle: I think we might try… we, um, I have a two year old son and, uh, we, uh, thinking maybe trying to go camping on Keats Island with him just for one night this year, do you know Keats Island?

Mark: It’s nearby, like by whatever Gambier, Keats, it’s all over there.

Yeah.

Yeah.

So kind of, I don’t know, like a half hour boat ride from West Vancouver.

Um, yeah, so we’ll see.

I don’t know how, I don’t know if, the logistics of camping with a…we’ve never camped with him before, and the logistics of camping with a two year old.

I don’t know… who is like very high energy and like doesn’t sleep at the best of times.

Elle: How do you…

Mark: I was gonna say…

Elle: Do you lock them in the tent ?

Mark: I foresee some sleep challenges for everybody.

Elle: Yeah, for everyone.

Mark: I kind of feel like it’s kind of what camping… the image of camping is that anyway.

Birds chirping at four in the morning and stuff.

That’s maybe just me.

Elle: No, it’s yeah, it’s tough.

The last time we, we camped on Keats we had Sailor, uh, our dog was with us and there were raccoons around the tent all night.

So she just growled and barked all night.

It got to a point where, because we could hear them scratching around.

I’m like, Oh, it’s just mice or something.

I was like “Sailor, my dog, there’s nothing there.”

And I, I put the flashlight on and there was the biggest raccoon I’ve ever seen just standing in front of the tent, like ready.

It was funny days later, but we didn’t sleep at all and so it wasn’t, it was kind of not worth it because I was just miserable and tired.

But it’s a beautiful place, Keats Island.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been.

Mark: I’ve been to Gambier, I’ve been to Bowen but I haven’t been to Keats.

Elle: It’s very, yeah, they’re all very much the same.

Just beautiful rocky little beach and gorgeous other islands in the distance.

Mark: The thing with raccoons is how unfazed they are by people.

They just do not care at all.

They look at you like, “what?”

Elle: This is my Island.

Yeah.

And they can be vicious.

Yeah.

I lived in the West End of Vancouver and, uh, There were, uh, around the time I was living there, there were raccoon attacks.

People would walk out of their apartment to go to work and the raccoons would just run up to them and attack them.

Mark: Yeah.

We had a friend that got bitten by a raccoon, but she, the raccoon was kind of attacking her dog and the dog laid down and played dead.

And she’s like worried that her dog was getting, um, yeah.

And so she went over and kind of, I can’t remember if she kicked the raccoon or tried to throw it off her dog or whatever she did.

So the raccoon bit her and then, and then I think went, ran off whatever, and then she picked the dog up and was, and there’s blood on the dog.

And, but the dog was fine.

It was her blood.

Elle: Oh no.

Did she have to get a, like a rabies shot?

Mark: I think so.

I think so you don’t want to get bitten by a raccoon.

Uh, so you get stitches and rabies shots and… yeah.

Elle: Wow, where was this, in Vancouver?

Mark: West Vancouver.

Yeah.

Yeah

Elle: Okay.

Good to know.

Don’t just don’t mess with West Vancouver raccoons.

I think most dogs, they like to bark at raccoons, but I don’t think they really chase them down.

They know better.

Mark: Yeah.

Elle: Yeah.

Yeah.

Would not be smart for sure.

Well, hopefully we are back in the office pretty soon when we get our vaccines.

Life can go back to whatever normal looks like after this pandemic.

Mark: And I think even if as, as more at risk people get their shots I think that the hospitals will have fewer patients and obviously fewer people die.

I mean, at a certain point, if there’s nobody in hospital and nobody dying, then maybe they relax things anyway, because you know, if, if everybody else is most likely just going to get sick, then maybe… although you hear the stories of the long-haulers or whatever.

Friend, or a guy I know that his son got it,

and, um, wasn’t that sick maybe for a couple of days, felt a bit sick and, uh, but lost his sense of smell.

That was in November, still doesn’t have it back.

Uh, otherwise feels fine, but I, you know, you’d be worried that you’re never gonna be able to smell again.

Elle: Yeah.

And that must have, that affects your eating and everything.

Oh, that’s, that’s terrible.

How old is he?

Mark: 19 I think, the kids.

Something like that.

Yeah.

Yeah.

So I think all things being equal, better get the vaccine.

Elle: Yeah.

A hundred percent.

Yeah, exactly.

You might not be someone who reacts badly in the moment, but yet these, this is happening and we don’t know who… like you say, he’s 19.

Mark: Should be fine, right?

And kind of was fine, except he has lost his sense of smell.

Yeah.

Elle: Oh God.

Yeah.

Yeah.

My mum also lost her sense… she has it back though, when she had it, she lost her sense of smell and had a headache.

Um, but yeah.

Mark: Yeah so your, your mum had it.

That’s right.

I forgot that.

Elle: Um, my mum had it, my sister had it.

They’re both, uh, they both work in healthcare in the UK, so it was kind of, not inevitable, but they were high risk.

Mark: It just seems like it’s way more prevalent over there anyway.

I talked to my brother and his family and they know, like, I don’t know, 25 people that have had had it or whatever.

I mean, I don’t know anyone, like few people that I know of have had it, but no friend, I don’t know, real close acquaintance has had.

So it just itseems maybe we’ve been lucky here, I guess, just way less prevalent.

Elle: Exactly.

Yeah.

And I guess we’re less packed in, a place like Vancouver, as opposed to I think your brother’s in London?

Mark: Yeah, yeah, he is.

Yeah, hm.

Elle: Let’s get that vaccine and…. until the next pandemic.

Mark: Yeah, hopefully we’ll be set up better the next time.

Elle: Exactly yeah, it’ll be a breeze.

Yeah.

Well, thank you, Mark.

Interesting chat as always.

And, um, we will catch up again for the podcast I’m sure.

Mark: Ok, thanks Elle. For sure.

Elle: Thank you.

Mark: Bye-bye

Elle: bye.

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