Halifax — This past week, a lull in the number of new cases of Covid-19 prompted some discussion of the easing of social distancing restrictions. While that’s welcome news to most, many in Nova Scotia are worried that if the pandemic comes to an end sooner than expected it will mean the abrupt termination of new pastime.
“We’re not done our puzzles yet,” said bluenoser Woodrow Veinot. “We need time. A lot more.”
While Veinot and his wife would normally be working 10-hour shifts at the gift shop they operate, the Chester couple have been out of work since mid-March. Their initial shock quickly turned to boredom as they sought out something else to do. Like many other Nova Scotians, jigsaw puzzles filled the void left by lack of employment.
“It’s not going to be an easy one,” said Veinot’s wife Sheila, of their 2,000-piece puzzle featuring six kittens in a wicker basket. “The kitties, I mean, they’re all the same colour. This will take time.
“When Trudeau announced this thing was gonna be weeks and likely months, I said to Woody that we’d finally have a chance to do the kitten puzzle. We just barely finished getting the edge pieces into a rectangle and already they’re saying that P.E.I. will start opening up. What if we’re next? I’m not ready.”
The Veinots are not alone. Their neighbour Ronnie Jollymore has started a 1,500-piece jigsaw puzzle of a Tudor-style country cottage.
“It’s gorgeous, it really is,” she told interviewers. “Surrounded by lupines, and there’s even a little pony. It would be a shame to have to take it apart now.”
Jollymore, an aesthetician, worries that accepting clients now would leave her with only a few hours a day to work on the puzzle. “It would take weeks to finish at that rate, and I can’t afford weeks. I need my kitchen table back. My family has been eating dinner on the chesterfield since I started.”
Premier Stephen McNeil has not yet announced any firm plans of reopening the province. He is working on a paint-by-number.