Many Islanders have been pulling out their tools, trying to catch up on household tasks and improvement projects while they keep themselves busy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re building a deck and the project just keeps getting more and more elaborate since I have more and more time on my hands,” said Chris Smith.
Gail Thompson and her husband have also been doing a lot of work around their home.
“We’ve been doing a lot of yard work,” said Thompson. “My husband’s trimmed all of the hedges, done all of the work outside and now we’re going to paint the exterior of the house.”
Meanwhile, Shannon Jordan’s husband is painting the walls inside their home after three years of her asking him to.
“It’s been four weeks of a lot of painting, a lot of swearing,” she said, laughing. “But hey, I’m getting it done, and I’ve waited for three years so I’m happy about it.”
With all of these home projects underway, stores like Capital Iron in Victoria are seeing a change in the kinds of things people are purchasing.
“The important things right now are people looking for those essentials that they need, like soap,” said Mike Black, owner and president of the business. “But we’re starting to see a shift into those things that are project oriented, or fun oriented, things that are for their mental wellbeing as much as for their physical wellbeing.”
As the weather continues to warm up, many are looking to spruce up their backyards, he added, and are picking up everything from barbecues to camping equipment to gardening tools.
“I think that they’re feeling that even though this is going to take a longer period of time, they’re going to do things that will keep them busy and occupied while observing all the rules that will keep them safe,” Black explained.
Seeds are one of those items seeing a lot of sales and running low on stock, as people like Mike Rogers turn to gardening to pass time and grow food.
“Because of my volunteer activities being curtailed now, I can spend more time in my own garden,” Rogers said, as he picked up onion, carrot and beet seeds.
By the end of this pandemic, things will be looking a lot different in neighbourhoods across the Island.
“Pretty soon, I’ll have a brand new house,” said Thompson, smiling.