Sorting out the Steady 10




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I’d break out the bubbly to celebrate the latest loosening of COVID-19 restrictions if I could make heads or tails of them. In New Brunswick, there are colour codes to determine which level of recovery we’re in. By the time I adapt to them, they change. The latest turn of events has me curled up in the fetal position under the blankets. The new regulations require an advanced knowledge of problem-solving that is beyond me. I failed high school math for a reason. Besides, I need what’s left of my stretchedthin frontal lobe to orchestrate Zoom calls with our sons who live in different time zones. Not to mention, I just figured out which health zone I live in and how many feet are in a metre. Now, I have to learn new math to determine who can attend my weekly, socially distanced outdoor tailgate parties. Stop the world and let me off. The last time I checked, the orange phase meant we had to stay within our one-household bubble and that was confusing enough. Honestly, I thought it meant only one person/household, but after three days of my husband banging on the front door, I finally read the fine print and let him in. Sheesh. Once we got that sorted out, we settled into an exhilarating routine: eating around the clock and binge-watching New Girl and YouTube videos of boats docking (the latter of which made me regret letting you know who in the house). We shuffled from room to room with the energy of a sloth that died two weeks ago. I also took to falling asleep on the couch after supper, only to wake up in time to go to bed. We didn’t have to think, bathe or wear pants. In other words, everything was perfectly fine the way it was. In the new orange phase, we have something called the Steady 10, which essentially means we can go steady with 10 people at the same time. (This also describes my amazing Grade 12 year, if you must know.) Here are a few of the tenets of the new restrictions for which I require a PhD in strategic planning with a concentration in math word problems to understand: If you go to a friend’s house, your friend’s family members automatically become part of your Steady 10. One wrong move and your Steady 10 is filled before you’re out of the driveway. Choosing your 10 people must be reciprocal. If I choose you to be on my list, then I must be on your list. We must consult each other before deciding. Think middle school head games. If you are awaiting a COVID-19 test, you must inform your Steady 10 and stay in your one-household bubble, where you don’t require pants or social skills. This isn’t nearly as much fun as my Steady 10 was in Grade 12. I mean, back then there were no strings attached. I miss the good old days when everything was clear — and I had 10 boyfriends. These days, I’m as confused as I was back in high school math class with Mr. Lawson answering my probing, insightful questions. “Look, for the 10th time, it doesn’t matter what they were serving for dinner on train A when it left the station at 7:45 p.m. travelling at a speed of 150 kilometres/hour. We’re trying to figure out whether it arrived before train B, which left 15 minutes later travelling at a speed of 160 kilometres/hour. Focus!” To this day, I literally have no clue what they served on the dining car. Who would have thought 40 years later, I’d be wrestling with convoluted math word problems to make sense of a global pandemic? Let’s say friend A meets friend B at a cafe. Each friend orders a latte and an almond croissant. Friend A gets up from the table and travels east toward the bathroom at a speed of two kilometres/hour. Friend A runs into friend C. Friend C is holding a baby and friend A touches the baby’s cheek. When friend A returns to the table at a speed of 2.1 kilometres/hour, is friend C’s baby now a part of friend A and friend B’s Steady 10? Answer: friends A and B had strawberry cheesecake for dessert. Though I’m appreciative of the extra freedom this orange level of recovery provides, unfortunately I’m too tired and too dumb to put it into action. Sure, I miss my friends, but they’re more than welcome to drive by the house to wave at me. Depending on what time of day it is, I might even get off the couch to wave back. Thanks, but I’ll sit this one out and stick to my one-household bubble. Socializing, bathing, and wearing pants are so yesterday anyway.