Condo manager’s PERSPECTIVE - December 6, 2020

We last wrote to you on October 6th. Exactly 2 months ago! It’s not that we have forgotten about you; much to the contrary... But we did however believe we could all use a “break” from the Covid nagging…

Throughout 2020, our blog posts have been entitled « Covid-19 in Condos ».

I categorically refuse to entitle our December edition « Covid » anything! Also, save and except for a small bit about holiday fire safety, I also intend to resist the urge to nag!

Covid-19 – Where are we at TODAY?

Many things have changed over the last two months – including of course the manner in which Ontario now classifies the severity of Community transmissions and the resulting restrictions placed on our daily activities.

Gone are the days of Stages (goodbye 1, 2, 3…). We are now classified by (primary, secondary AND tertiary) colours. To all those budding artists amongst you: “Whip out that colour wheel… You are going to need it”. It gets a bit complicated from here…”

Personally, I would have gone with a cookie-themed classification system… (but that is just ME…)

Intuitively – we can all agree that

  • Green = definitely where you want to be (Gingerbread cookies for breakfast)

  • Amber (yellow) = not a bad thing… but DO proceed with caution (Cookies for breakfast – but they have to be oatmeal)

  • Red = this IS bad…. (From the Den Mother’s perspective this is a “Stop that – right now…” No cookies for you today!)

Less intuitively

  • Orange = you’re not using SUFFICIENT caution! Be more careful! (Cookies for dessert, but only at dinner and again, only Oatmeal WITH raisins [shudder])

  • Grey = You are grounded!! Go to your room! And stay there! (Don’t even think about cookies for the next week!)

All kidding aside, at the time of this blog post, the Ottawa region is in the ‘Orange = Restrict’ zone. Admittedly, any time you are contemplating cookies with raisins, there is room for improvement… But on the whole, for the time being, our community appears to be fairing better than other regions in Ontario.

This is a testament, I believe, to our ongoing efforts to wearing masks when we are with/near others, to limiting our in person-contacts and to making sure we remain connected with one another by virtual means…. While it may not be obvious and evident at the moment, our collective actions ARE making a difference!

MUNICIPALITY (Ottawa) – mask bylaw

There remains, of course, a City Bylaw concerning masks. You can read more about the City of Ottawa bylaw: here.

You can read more about masks on the City of Ottawa website: here.

Tools and Resources

If you are concerned that you may have Covid-19 you are encouraged to use the Province’s self-assessment tool – available here. The City of Ottawa Covid-19 Webpage: here.

The City of Ottawa website also has useful tools such as this self-screening infographic - a handy reference as we make decisions on a daily basis, as to whether or not we should be venturing out into public….

Celebrating the Holiday Season

Whether you are used to celebrating traditional, religious or cultural holidays… whether you are hoping to reconnect with friends and family – certainly just like the rest of 2020, December is going to be significantly different than previous years.

It will take some “will” and “determination” to make sure it is a season we CAN and WANT to remember for GOOD reasons, as well as for all the other reasons.

Many of us will reduce/cancel our usual seasonal social outings. Some, because of personal convictions, and others simply to remain within legal gathering limits. Whatever motivates your decisions, we all have an active role to play in keeping each other safe!

The City of Ottawa has a Social-Wise campaign – it provides some tips and ideas about how to enjoy seasonal festivities safely. A link is available here:

Fire Safety

Unfortunately, many of the seasonal things which bring us so much comfort, joy and cheer often result in costly, dangerous and sometimes deadly accidents.

Please be vigilant with decorations and lighting. ~ PLEASE ~ no candles in the tree! Please remember to inspect your decorations and lighting carefully before you put them up, do not overload electrical circuits and please make sure to turn the lights off when you are not home.

Also – thank you for being extra careful with candles. Lastly – please - no unattended cooking!

The Usual Seasonal Stress - with a little extra 2020 “Oumf”

Like it or not, we ARE all in this together. Like it or not, we DON’T all have the same ability to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape and to cope with challenges in the same way.

Trying to see things from each other’s PERSPECTIVES is vitally important. What is right for others may not be right for you… And what was right for either of you last week may no longer hold true tomorrow!

Cutting each other a ton of slack, resisting the urge to make each other feel guilty about gifts and gatherings, being considerate and respectful of each others’ needs and limitations and respecting each others’ boundaries are key.

If you are “NOT OK” and are feeling anxious and stressed - there are excellent resources and ideas about how to protect your mental health at this City of Ottawa website.

The Ottawa Distress Centre is also ALWAYS available: 613-238-3311. Their website is here.

Gratitude / Counting Blessings / Resilience

My parents noticed early on, that as a young child, I could play, apparently quite well and without the benefit of lessons or training, on a small toy piano. Wanting to ensure that I had every opportunity to develop what then appeared to be natural musical talent, they bought me a small electronic keyboard, which I quickly fell in love with.

After some time, as a pre-teen, I eventually outgrew this two-octave keyboard and eventually began asking (persistently) for a piano. Again, wishing to ensure that I had ample opportunity to develop this talent (also, one has to assume, to stop the incessant requests…) they proceeded to buy me a … wait for it…

(to this day - I can barely bring myself to say without laughing) They bought me a two-tier organ COMPLETE WITH PEDALS!!! (I know…! Right?)

and YES, i DID get beat up a lot at school…

The two-tiered organ was NOT, obviously, what I had so dearly wanted… and it was NOTthe same thing”, as I remember my parents insisting!

With time, I DID, however, get over the initial shock and I DID nonetheless take the lessons and I DID master the darn thing. (I was a teen of the ‘80s – you have not truly lived until you have heard “Axel F” banged out on a two-tiered organ). Just sayin’… I DID also, with time, come to the realization that the two instruments were sufficiently closely related that (most of) the skills could be transferred to the piano…

In the end, what my parents DID offer me (albeit inadvertently) were valuable lessons in adaptability and in resilience. Not to mention the uncanny ability to see the humour in less-than-ideal / unusual circumstances and the ability to laugh at myself (and to stand up to bullies…).

All valuable lessons which have served me particularly well throughout my life and throughout my career in condominium management.

Usual Parting Words

To this day, if you plunk a two-tiered organ next to your Chritsmas tree - I am your gal! I can still "Rock Around the Christmas tree" in the nerdiest fashion imaginable...

It is a source of tremendous embarrassment to my children – I assure you! It’s also my own whacky way of carrying my parents’ torch... It is said that having a weird mother builds character! Remind me one day, to tell you about the kids’ request for a hamster one year, and our resulting adventure in Degu-ownership… The apple never really DOES fall very far from the tree, does it?

From our family to yours – we wish you peace, good health and happiness, always.

J (the Den Mother)

DES Services Inc.

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