Homeless in Vancouver: Street person gets the flu, alert the media

It’s awkward to be ill when you’re homeless. All I wanted to do this morning was go back to bed—forever—but that was easier said than done.

It’s easier done in the summer than the winter. In the summer, you can always find a corner of a park. Today all those corners would have been sodden wet.

The age-old instinct to crawl off into a corner and…

Around 10 a.m., I found myself a place in the sun where I could convalesce in peace. My spot was on some steps in the alley on the west side of South Granville. I had turned my face towards the sun in all its January intensity (lukewarm). It was fully visible for the moment but it was too low in the sky to clear the buildings on either side of the alley.

I took the above photo as the sun reached the halfway point in its transit across the mouth of the alley.

At breakfast, such as I could manage, a McDonald’s “coffee buddy” explained to me that I had the flu that was going around. Lots of his South Granville bank coworkers were suffering through it—he’d just gotten over it. He predicted my near-future of suffering—the flu would linger and just when I thought it was over, back it would come. He said my complete state of exhaustion could go on for a week or more.

It certainly came on quickly; yesterday at about 6:30 p.m. I was having a McBurger—I wondered if it was food poisoning; waves of nausea about 20 minutes apart, which I thought might be coinciding with the digestion process, accompanied by something that felt a lot like heat stroke. I was having trouble keeping the food down and I have to say the only relief came when I stopped trying.

I contrived to go to bed very early: 8 o’clock and slept fitfully for about 11 hours. I coughed a lot over night but that symptom was gone by morning. I woke up feeling fine, if feeling like a comatose boneless cod could be described in those terms.

I had (most of my) breakfast of coffee, orange juice, and oatmeal and felt a bit better. I went off and found my sunny spot for a few hours and felt better still. I’m hoping another night’s sleep will finish off this bout of the flu. I know my friend said it would linger, and it might, but my body tends to get really, really sick for two days rather than just sick for a week. 

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Hope you get well soon Stanley, with a minimum of discomfort.
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