Covid-19. Coronavirus. Pandemic. Social distancing. Isolation. Quarantine. Lockdown.
Our team at TravelNurse Canada has been busy at home the last two months, so we thought we would take this opportunity to share with you what has been filling a few of our team members’ days. As we move through the phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, our team is slowly starting to come back together in the office after many weeks apart, working from home. We felt it was time for our healthcare professionals to learn a little bit more about us and what keeps us occupied when we are required to social distance and keep those around us safe, helping elevate the potential spread of this virus and keeping our nurses and allied professionals in mind at all times.
And don’t forget to comment or share your past times with us, as we would love to know what you have all been doing in your spare time when you are not busy working the frontline.
Tyla Johnson, Client Services Manager and Social Team:
Not everything about 2020 and the current pandemic has been bad. While my day to day life has changed, meaning less grocery store trips, less shopping, and certainly less drinks and dinners with friends, I have been able to come up with some creative ways to maintain my relationships and stay connected with my small village of people in my life.
I have many friends living in the Lower Mainland that I stay in constant contact with and frequently take trips to visit, but due to traveling, I have not been able to go for a visit. This doesn’t mean that I have not been in contact with them, as we have often gotten together for “theme parties”. We would normally celebrate Cinco de Mayo together, but this year, a Zoom meeting with 10 friends sitting around eating tacos in the comfort of my living room is where you can find me!
Between learning to cook ramen from scratch, trying the Facebook craze of Dalgona coffee (highly recommend), taking the time to re-pot my plants, organizing my home, and spending time snuggling my animals, I am re-creating my “new norm” and embracing all the goofy, crazy laughs along the way.
As for my animals, I think Dexter is tired of going on walks and Mr. Wolowitz is tired of having his naps interrupted. Stay safe, stay sane, and stay happy ~ Tyla
Brianne Nikula, Client Services Manager:
Social distancing and isolation did not seem to throw me off too much from my regular normal life. For the last 7 years, I have been working from home, typically in rural or small villages throughout British Columbia. I was fortunate to feel somewhat prepared for what was unfolding around us. I appreciated the slowdown of the world around me, allowing me to embrace the quiet time at home with little to no distractions. The biggest change in my life was having my partner home as he is typically on the road for his career. We realized just the other day that this is the longest we have been together without any time apart since we have met each other, which is a pretty special experience.
Since we were gifted the time of staying at home (as we are usually out on adventures when we are together) we figured it was time to tackle some house projects we had on the “to-do” list from the time we purchased our home two years ago. We started off simple by organizing cupboards, de-cluttering our belongings, and started preparing our garden from seed. Next up was our idea of a small bedroom renovation, where we would slap some paint on the walls and change up the layout of the closet (in a 1940s home). Well, this turned into a much bigger project than we were expecting – but we kept our humor throughout the process as we uncovered one thing after another. But after seven weeks of a hard-working husband, we have a beautiful new bedroom to rest in – a sanctuary if you ask me!
After the renovations were completed, we had another big change in our lives. We decided it was time to add another four-legged pooch to our pack. I now have my hands full with an eight-year-old lab cross named Rowdy and his new little brother, Alder – who is a collie/heeler cross. It is safe to say, we will be getting our exercise every day, without question. So, I think it is safe to say, the pandemic has been very productive for my little family and I am excited to embrace our “new normal” together.
And remember, this too, shall pass. We will get through this together, stronger than before.
Dodie Franus, Lead Client Services Manager:
Dodie has had a difference experience than many of us here in Canada since the pandemic set in. Their restrictions have been much tighter causing additional hardships that she and her husband have had to navigate. We recently wrote a post on what she has been up to in her “spare” time. Dodie has been tirelessly working with government officials, local communities and a team of true heroes, gathering food for those in need to ensure they do not go hungry while the country has been on lock down.
You can read more on her “past times” here: Dodie’s Story – Giving Back to Ecuador
Casey Cameron, Human Resources Lead:
I have been spending endless amounts of time with my two old pups, Titan & Tequila. My phone is overloaded with photos of them now.
Social distancing came while I received results for medical issues I’ve been experiencing for the past year. I was placed on an extremely restricted diet, so I’ve taken this time to learn new recipes that are completely outside my comfort zone and I am LOVING it. Food is truly fuel for the body. Check out my rutabaga nachos below!
Since all the gyms are closed, I was forced to start working out from home and I’ve worked out more now than I did before! My best friend and I face-time every day and complete fitness programs together. It’s a nice combination of visiting with someone while also staying healthy!
I also completed a puzzle all by myself. I haven’t touched a puzzle since I was a child and let me tell you, it certainly tested my patience in the first 6 hours. But, I was determined to finish it.
Social distancing has been very good to me!
Margaret Fullerton, Human Resources:
While we have been social distancing and self-isolating, we have been busy building a fence to keep the deer out of our garden that we’re trying to get ready for planting!
We are also really lucky that our local seafood store is open so after all of our hard work staying away from others and preparing our yard, we get to fill our bellies with delicious seafood!
Randi Guay, Lead Travel Coordinator:
We have been trying to get some home renovations done as time allows. I would love to share pictures with you all but it isn’t too pretty. We still have a bit more to go until we are finished but we are well on our way – all that remains is: putting on the baseboards/trim and tile the fireplace!
Other than that, we have been trying to get the kids outside lots. The best way to keep them entertained was the bubble maker we bought for the backyard – they love playing with it.
We have put hearts in our windows and went on a couple of heart walks around our neighborhood. We also ensured we had our very own added to our windows, they are “heart-men”.
For those of you who may not know, there are a couple of news stories about the “Hearts of Prince George” as it has gone viral all over the world. A woman started it here for something fun for people to do while on their walks, to spot the hearts in people’s windows and it exploded!
It’s lots of fun and the kids have a good time looking for the hearts – it became a family activity for us all!
Kaitlin Bokvist, Travel Coordinator:
My pandemic pastime has been scrunchie making!
I hand sew them while binging Netflix, so it’s been a great way to relax but also feel productive. They’re so cute and simple to make! My dog, Opal, does the modelling for me but has also made one of my scrunchies into her toy!
When social distancing is over, everyone I know will be receiving a scrunchie!
Monika Sharma, Travel Coordinator:
I am cooking a lot nowadays. My husband and I will go for a walk on weekends or whenever he’s home in the evening to spend some time together outside of the home.
My family is in India under complete lock down so they cook different dishes every day and enjoy the supper with neighbors by maintaining social distancing and I try different dishes here which I never cooked before and share with them on video call.
Amber Gage, Lead Recruitment Specialist:
I was one of the women who had to postpone my wedding due to COVID-19. To cheer my spirits up, my bridesmaids and I got together in an open parking lot for a good ol’ fashioned “tailgate” party!
While at home, thanks to technology, I was able to stay connected with my fellow hip-hopperz and continue with my hip hop class online. Although it’s not the same as being in-person, I am still grateful to dance (not well, haha).
Shayla Holland, Recruitment Specialist:
When you have hours and hours of extra time on your hands that only leaves one option:
Breaking out the Wii and playing some” Just Dance!” – I have mastered the choreography to “Pump It” by the Black Eyed Peas.
And once I have completely worn myself out with that, I can continue making my way through watching my entire VHS collection (I have 102 to get through in total)!
McKenna Flight, Recruitment Support:
I have been going on walks more (just like everyone else) but I have been feeling inspired to take in the little things and appreciate that although this awful situation is happening we live in a beautiful world.
My boyfriend and I have been going on walks in our neighborhood and started looking for trails near us. Expanding where we find ourselves going – before the pandemic.
We walked in L.C. Gunn park which is only a 5 minute drive across a bridge from us and it was amazing!
It was very relaxed at first with many diverging paths that overlook the Fraser River and Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park. Not so relaxing though! We found ourselves at the bottom of a huge steep hill that we weren’t expecting as most of the paths for the last 20 minutes have been rather flat. I’ve got to be honest I wasn’t looking forward to it but we persevered and started the trek! I would be lying if I said I didn’t stop a couple times, it was a tough one for two people who don’t get outside much but we made it! It was so exciting to make it to the top, we kept exploring for a bit before we turned around and went right back down again.
It was a great experience and somewhere neither of us have been before, we have since been looking into other local trails and want to continue this even after more restrictions are lifted. We are also excited to hit up the Ancient Forest later in the season as this has been a favorite of ours for a few years now. I am excited for Spring/Summer as the pictures will be much prettier than during this awkward in-between stage when the trees are still a bit brown and not so leafy.
As someone who suffers from anxiety, COVID did not help that, I was constantly panicking about leaving the house or going to work. I didn’t want to do anything so it took me a while to try and let go and get out and get fresh air. We started just in our neighborhood but I have been working towards longer more fulfilling walks. It has been nice although I still feel a tightness in my chest when I am around others. I am excited for this to be over but I hope things start opening up smartly and responsibly I wouldn’t like to see a second coming of this.
Jo-Anne Bassani , Administration:
Thankfully we already live a bit of a relaxed, simple life so we didn’t have to adjust to much. Covid has forced us to try new things or even try doing things differently. I noticed I was taking a lot more time to research and explain things we did on a regular basis to my daughter to make it a learning experience so her little mind wouldn’t become bored with not getting to go to school. Starting our seeds for the garden turned into a science lesson. Daily monitoring of the seed growth and level of sunshine/water are charted. This is all something we have never really paid much attention to. But it now keeps her busy, thinking and learning. I’ve made more double or half batches of cookies or muffins so she can practice division and multiplication of fractions. Let’s be honest, more double batches than half batches. 😉
I have always had an interest in carpentry, building, designing, as well as living a minimal, simple life. Covid gave me the time to spend researching more about this topic. One of my many dreams is to build a tiny home. I started exploring and planning. Reading article after article, how to videos and my favorite is learning a design program. So far I have created 2 layout options and have analyzed ways to keep building and maintenance/utility costs down. This prompted my daughter to start planning her loft, measuring floor space, her bed, etc. She then also became quite interested in video tours of tiny homes. Getting her to help move furniture to see what we could fit in a certain space was a good way for her to burn off any extra energy or those double batches of cookies.
The time covid provided for us to relax, to reflect on what is important in life and the people we hold dear. We really recognized the hugs we cherish and the times that make our memories. And the people who are the backbone of society surviving crises like this. We made a conscious action to honor and celebrate the people like healthcare workers who were carrying civilization through this pandemic. And to anyone reading this that is a frontline worker, thank you for being a tremendous role model for my daughter and myself.
For it was you, the frontline workers that taught was the lesson of selflessness, courage and determination. That is the biggest lesson of all of this. Thank you.
Micaelin Morley, Payroll & Billing/Branding:
Social distancing has been a challenge in some ways, and in other ways a blessing. Being able to work from home has taken a lot of stress off me from not having to leave my dogs alone all day, which I know may sound a bit silly but being gone for 9 hours a day takes a toll on them and they are a lot happier now. I find we’ve been going on a lot more walks now and to new places, because it’s the only thing we can really do but it’s still great.
Even though they constantly want to be the center of attention while I am working it has still given me the opportunity to have more time to do things for myself. As before when I’d get home after work my focus would always be on them, but now I have the time to also focus on other things.
Another project I’ve taken since been working from home is some home renovations. The first project was turning one of our spare rooms into an office (mostly so I could get away from our youngest pup, Lokie who would run around the living room by himself).
I’ve always been someone who enjoys spending 90% of my time outdoors, whether it’s going for walks, hikes, side x siding, horseback riding, or just being out doing yard work. The last 10-15 years of my life has been spent training and breeding horses in Canada and for the 5 years I was overseas in Australia. Once I moved back to Canada, I decided to take a year off horses and only just started getting back into it now, since I have more time to do things that make me happy!
Ryan Shannon, Office Manager & VP:
Ryan has been busy working in the background to ensure our team was ready to work from home in a very quick and timely manner.
When he finally had some free time available, he got to work on creating garden space at home for his family.
So there you have it, a little insight to what a few of us have been up to at Travel Nurse Canada. We are so fortunate to have been able to stay connected with you all through this pandemic. We hope this made you feel more connected to the voices on the phone or text in an email. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for each and every one of you!
Thank you, Healthcare Professionals!