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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Total disconnect

BY Sonny Orr May 9, 2021

I’d like to recount an isolation session during which I survived with only a landline to the outside world. It was comforting knowing that the earth still turned, even without my help, as I slipped into a time zone that could be controlled by a remote. I had no real connection aside from television, then I discovered that the cable wasn’t connected. So, I scrounged around for some DVDs and found a few decent ones, even an eclectic one, with a combination of humour, action, mystery and comic-book heroes.

I started with a Korean production, a gritty thriller featuring a chain-smoking inspector and his protégé mole who was placed near the top of a local gangster mob group. In the end, it was very ironic and somehow satisfyingly perfect in its delivery. I then slipped into some Rowan Atkinson movies and had a trio of movies that made me laugh out loud and startle myself because I hadn’t heard my own voice for a while. I’m not big into talking to myself unless I need to remember numbers.

Then came a knock on the door. My room-delivered pizza slices made my day as did the groceries to cover my basic meat, bread, eggs and juice diet. I managed to save a few snacks from my isolation in the south and wished that I had bought a few DVDs, but heck, talking to myself sounded like a good option for a while.

Then there was the sleeping with a new apparatus to quell the thunderous roar of my snoring and force air into my depleted lungs. This called for some practice time as I adjusted the hoses, snorkels and headbands attached to my cranium and muzzled my dainty nostrils. Eventually, as I rose from the tossing and turning that I call sleep, I felt somewhat refreshed. Hmm, there’s something to all this snorkeling.

Then, I spied a small radio among the debris on the kitchen table. Thankfully, I could hear the good old JBCCS morning show with a tasty espresso and some bacon-smothered eggs. Against all medical advice, I chose comfort food in these trying times despite the possibility of a blood clot. It helps to pass time quickly by doing things as slowly as possible. It left me lots of time to think of my family back home in Chisasibi who are dealing with losses of their own.

I decided to think positively. Then, a call from the local clinic for a second dose of the virus preventer added a brighter hue to my isolation blues. At least something went right for me; enabling my contribution to herd immunity and the rescue of human civilization. 

After shaking off the blues even further with a hot cup of java, I phoned the local Covid guys to see if there was any glimmer of hope on the horizon. To my surprise, I discovered that I could now actually venture out in my vehicle alone! I rubbed my eyes and pinched myself to see if I was dreaming – it’s true, I can go outside! Ahhh, finally I can get some sunshine for my stubbled caveman face! 

I’m free now from those days of confinement, but I sympathize with many others who have to endure it – keep your chin up! Signing off from post-isolation….

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Sonny Orr is Cree from Chisasibi, and has been a columnist for the Nation for over 20 years. He regularly pens Rez Notes from the cozy social club in Whapmagoostui where he resides.