I went back to work again last week after our temporary layoff from March. It was a lot easier than when I went back from mat leave. I wasn’t exhausted when I got home like I was before. But it’s a whole different experience than working in the past now that we are dealing with a pandemic.

Everyone in the store is asked to wear a mask. While the masks aren’t necessarily uncomfortable, they make your face so hot. I start overheating and have to take it off for a minute every now and then. I’ve also found that my face feels a bit numb when I take it off. I don’t know if its because I have to breathe through my mouth while wearing it or what.

Speaking of masks. I ordered a bunch online about a week or two before heading back to work, which said they would arrive the week I went back, and now I’m still waiting. Its extremely frustrating. I only have a handful of disposable masks left so if they don’t come soon, I’m going to run out this week. I really don’t want to buy more when I’ve already spent money on these ones which said they were on their way.

The other change in the retail store is sanitizing. We have to wipe everything down between customers if they are touching anything, like the credit machine. We are constantly washing or sanitizing our hands and paying closer attention to what we are touching. We have been keeping the door locked and making sure we stay as far away from other people as we can. Having the door locked has made it easier to keep the number of people in the store lower and also make sure they are wearing masks.

But there is another big change which I hinted at in my last post. Before we were closed due to the virus, we were given notices saying that the store would be closing permanently at the end of May. The pandemic has changed our closing date to the end of August but we have now started letting our customers know we will be gone.

I’ve been working for this company for over 11 years now so on one hand it’s sad to be done. But on the other hand, I’m excited to find a new job. I am hoping to move out of retail and into a job with more regular hours and higher pay. But I’m also nervous because I’m sure so many people are also looking for jobs and I’m not sure if I’m qualified for the jobs I want to apply for. I also haven’t done an interview in over a decade so I’m also nervous about how I will do (I tend to be shy around strangers).

If I have trouble finding a job, I was also considering going back to school to get an accounting degree. But we are also looking to buy a house so I’m nervous that I won’t have enough money if I decide to go to school.

My first week back at work was a little rough. I was exhausted at the end of each night and went to bed at pretty much the same time as Elliott did. After that first week things started to get a little easier and we began to find a routine. Supper wasn’t as much of a problem as I thought it was going to be, but we have been eating takeout a lot more than before.

Elliott didn’t have any problems adjusting to the Day Home. I think he enjoys going. There are always kids there to play with since the owner has a son of her own, just a little bit older than mine. But he did catch a cold after his first day there. And then he gave his cold to me and his dad.

So on my second or third week back at work I had a cough and hot/cold flashes (which was probably actually a fever). I was coughing so much that my back and sides were sore and it made it hard to sleep. After about two weeks of that I finally started to feel better on a Saturday. I started cleaning and disinfecting the house and was feeling happy that I was getting better.

Then the next day on Sunday I woke up feeling like death. This is T.M.I. but, I had diarrhea and was throwing up. I threw up at 5:30 am which of course is when Elliott decided to wake up. I started making breakfast for us around 7 am and could barely stand without feeling like I was going to be sick. I had to throw up again in the sink.

I spent most of the day sitting in my chair with my eyes closed because I was exhausted. Thankfully Elliott was happy to entertain himself for most of the day. When he went down for his nap, so did I. When we woke up from our nap around 11 am, I got sick again.

Thankfully my boyfriend was able to come home at 2 pm instead of 6:30 pm. As soon as he was home I went to bed and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the night, getting up once to throw up for a fourth time. This was so unusual for me because I never throw up.

My coughing and my sore body made it pretty hard to sleep so I tossed and turned most of the night. I spent much of Monday sleeping as well. Tuesday morning I felt so terrible that I decided to go to the doctor to see if he could help me. My sides and back were in so much pain that I was hoping he could recommend something to help.

The doctor told me there were two viruses going around and it sounded like I had caught one after the other. He said there wasn’t really anything he could do for the cough but did give me a prescription for cough medicine to help me sleep (which didn’t help at all). He also said I had a low fever, which my home thermometer didn’t pick up. He told me I should be taking Advil or Tylenol so I went out and bought both, as well as cough drops, honey tea, and anything else I thought might help.

I started taking Advil and was surprised that it actually helped calm my cough. I lived off Advil for the next two or more weeks. At night I was up blowing my nose every few hours and I couldn’t lay on my back without having a coughing fit. This was the worst cold I remember ever having, and in hindsight wonder if it could have been the Coronavirus which was just starting to enter Canada (I don’t think it was).

My family and I were finally better around the first week of March and I was happy to get back to working without feeling terrible and actually getting some stuff done.

At this point, Coronavirus had started taking it’s hold on the world. At the store we started slowing down and we were unsure about what was going to happen next. We were waiting to see if we were going to close to the public. But then we got some bad news from head office (more on that in the coming months).

As things progressed, the store was slowly closed to the public and sales were dying. They decided to temporarily layoff everyone in my store except for the manager. I’ve now been home for a week taking care of my son while we wait to see when things settle down.