Throughout the Pioneer’s Alone Together series, we’ve asked local families and individuals how they’re coping with COVID-19. This time we reached out to singles who live alone to ask how they’re handling this time of solitary self-isolation.

Geoff Hill, a local realtor, told us he’s visiting his refrigerator a lot more these days since it’s right beside his office now.

Signe Olynyk, a local writer and Pioneer freelancer, is grateful for these quieter days.

Both are finding positives, with Geoff enjoying the sun and Signe relishing her fire pit.

Geoff Hill

I live alone and it can be tough some days for sure. My two dogs are helping me get through it.

I’m working, taking the dogs for walks, exercising and spring cleaning. Messaging and video calling was pretty normal for me before this and I’m keeping that up now, but it’s more difficult to maintain relationships since I’m so used to actually visiting and talking with people. I also had a friend visiting before the travel restrictions were on. They stayed for a bit longer as result but are gone now. I ride my bike just about every day and make sure to get out in the sun, the glorious, glorious sunshine!

My client relationships have changed drastically since in-person meetings are standard in the real-estate business so this has been the biggest change.

Dating is exclusively online now, which is a bit different, although it’s pretty typical for things to start that way now any way. Getting to the next level of meeting in person is impossible so it’s kind of lame when you’re ready to meet up with someone but can’t. Oh well. There are much bigger problems.

I hope everyone embraces the changes now as best as they can. There’s no rule about getting out of your space and enjoying the outdoors, so take the time to do that now. Hit that piece of gym equipment that’s been gathering dust, get outside and take someone with you via video. Make sure to practice the physical distancing when around others. Be kind to everyone you see and don’t let your fear become anger and judgement. We’re all in this together so act like it and take time to love one another. Everyone love everyone.

Signe Olynyk

I’m good, other than financial worries. I was just about to start a new job, but that is now up in the air. There is so much uncertainty: will I still have the job, when will I start, how will I pay my bills? All of those things weigh on me. But you have to look at the big picture. I have a home. I have plenty of food. And I have an awesome little dog. I am also able to better keep up with friends and family because we are talking more on the phone, through Skype and Zoom meetings, and through emails.

This outbreak has created a break in my life and, although I’m sorry that people are sick and dying, I’m grateful for the time it has given me to catch up with people in my life. It’s a reminder of what really matters in our lives.

I’m online a lot more than usual. I’ve also been writing to people I had lost touch with and sending handwritten letters and cards out. I’ve talked more with neighbours than ever before, and I feel like I’ve grown closer to the people in my life because we are all worried about one another and taking more time to check in with each other. I’m a 48-year-old single woman living on my own in a somewhat remote area. I have a wealth of great friends and family who regularly reach out to make sure I’m okay. And I am. I really am. I’m grateful for a slower, more peaceful life.

I am a writer so working from home is part of my regular routine. Socially, I miss the weekly music nights at the pub and my weekly guitar lessons. I hate not being able to travel or visit the parks and hiking trails. I took for granted simple excursions such as going to the grocery store, or doing errands. Everything feels a bit unnerving now, and people are so cautious and wary of one another. But I’m actually catching up on many things that I was neglecting. I’ve wanted the world to ‘stop’ for a long time.

I am renting my place out, so I have been showing it to others via video tours. I have had a couple ‘socially distant’ dates where we met for hikes. I’ve been using the time to take some training online and practice guitar. And I’ve been enjoying my fire pit more. It’s nice to sit outside around a small fire and read a book. I enjoy my own company, so this hasn’t felt all that difficult to me. I’m also a screenwriter and have been outlining a couple new scripts.

With all due respect to those who are hurting or struggling over this, it’s been like a vacation to me and I’m very grateful for the time. I’m also sleeping more – not because I’m depressed, but because I’m catching up on an enormous sleep debt, and it feels like I’m in a recovery phase. I’m also exercising more and going on lots of long walks. I’ve found a lot of peace in this uncertain time.