Figured I might as well keep a written record for whomever is curious in the future.

The first 7 days were relatively action packed. On Saturday, March 14th, my girlfriend and I decided that things have finally gotten bad enough to consider leaving Toronto. She has asthma and is at risk of complications should she catch the virus… We found an AirBnB cottage in a nice little town of Deep River, Ontario: 4,500 people, 5 hours away from Toronto, a nice place to wait out the plague and see how it develops. We booked it through March 31st.

We left on Sunday afternoon and spent the night in Huntsville. I had arranged to work from home with the boss-man, and spent Monday WFDing (working from diner haha) at Wimpy’s – a diner with a surprisingly good menu and very friendly staff. (All the coffeeshops in town were either long out of business, with derelict Google listings, or not allowing customers to sit inside.) It was more than a little disturbing to create financial reports, deep-dive into discrepancies, etc, while the TV in the background kept talking about the first round of border closures and their implications; while the stock market crashed; while the diner’s staff were whispering about the sudden lack of business. (This was the first round of border closures: tourists were still allowed through, but that got changed to “essential travel only” later in the week.)

We reached Deep River late. The cottage was nice, and cozy, and amazingly well stocked – more so than any other AirBnB I’ve ever stayed at. The host, Brady, even left us 3 rolls of toilet paper – that most improbably precious commodity in these strange times. (We brought 6.5 rolls of our own: together, that should be enough for a downpayment on a house in Toronto.)

The town is tiny. One Chinese restaurant, a couple of competing churches, one food store that has improbably nice selection: Jan’s Value Mart might not be accepting returns (I spent $50 on the wrong kind of dairy products…) but they’re stocked better than most Toronto stores. They’ve changed their hours to close earlier, and set up an early-morning hour just for the elderly shoppers.

We’ve stayed inside since our arrival – streaming TV shows, reading the increasingly more disturbing reports of the coronavirus on Reddit, learning how to cook new and delicious things. WFH is easy when there’s reliable wi-fi, and all we really need is one extra PS4 controller so we could play shoot-’em-up games together. We’re feeling fine, though gf’s new keto diet resulted in a rather bad case of keto flu. Not even reacting to the stock market’s fluctuations anymore. (I sold my stocks on Monday and went all in on oil; it dropped hard, but once it returns to baseline, I’ll make a nice profit. A few months away, perhaps?)

The news reports have gone past disturbing and into the surreal territory. A video clip of a man in Spain who walked a toy dog on a leash to get past the lockdown rules. A video of cops and hazmat-wearing people tackling European teenagers in a park. Over 600 people dying each day in Italy. The rising panic in the US. A picture of a completely empty Los Angeles freeway. Disturbing pictures of the Las Vegas strip with dark casinos and empty boardwalks. A friend’s wife’s family saying they lost their casino jobs. Gf’s Toronto roommates reporting they’ve run out of toilet paper – they didn’t take the warnings to stock up seriously. Heh.

It’s Saturday, and it’s cold out today. -9. A bit too cold for hiking, but we might brave a trip to Pembroke (a slightly bigger town of 13,900 people 30 minutes away) to pick up that extra controller at Walmart and see how people are reacting. Stay safe out there, y’all, and consider keeping a written record of your own.