I have recently found myself with a considerable amount of free time. Like many, I have become an economic casualty of the pandemic. Although it has been a relatively short time, my economically imposed exile is beginning to irk my wrath. I am an introvert, so this seems like a win-win. I get to be a hermit AND lessen the risk to myself and others. What I find irksome is that it has been strongly suggested that I limit my movements. Just like it is strongly suggested I pull the ripcord whilst I skydive. A suggestion wisely acted upon. Enough about me.
My original intent for this column was to highlight the arts community in the region and I will, However, I believe there is something more important at play in this very moment in time.
There are moments in history that offer a generation, a society, a nation to define itself. This is, I believe, one of those moments. My generation and those that have followed, have had it relatively easy. We didn’t need to fight a war or two, we didn’t suffer through a depression although 2008 was pretty scary. Those moments also defined a generation. Of course, I rebelled against that generation until I became old enough to learn what pragmatism was. Pragmatism without sacrificing my ideals.
What I’m trying to say is we have had it relatively easy. Sure, there was the FLQ, separatists, the AIDS crisis, the proliferation of nukes, the prime mortgage crisis, global economic recession, smaller pandemics, global terrorism and the rise of ultra nationalism. We have weathered these and each tested our mettle.
Having said that, there has been nothing like what we are experiencing now. This does not recognize race, politics, sect, denomination, culture, socio-economic status, age or gender. It cares not for borders. It will infect a host wherever and whenever it can. It is therefore imperative that we take this opportunity (probably not the best choice of words) to show who we are what we are made of and how we can overcome this scourge.
The operative word here is “we.” Our Canadian leaders, whether you voted for them or not, have stood up and dare I say risen to the occasion. They are doing what I hired them to do. They are looking after my wellbeing whilst balancing the needs of many other Canadians. I may not always agree with the methods or the plan as a whole and believe that more can be done for other sectors like, oh, I don’t know, say art and artists.
Our leaders could have chosen to behave quite differently they could have taken the route of say, a narcissistic leader whose initials are POTUS. Quite a different response to the pandemic down there. Look north, my friends, and see what you refer to as socialism, at work.
It’s not perfect and it may not be my ideal response. I won’t lose my house, I won’t lose my health insurance, my hydro and heat won’t be cut off, I’ll have enough food.
Now it’s time for me to do my part. I need to get all the facts and make an informed decision. Social distancing works. Staying at home works. Limit contact with others works. Hey, if 10 people tell me I have a tail, I probably have a tail.
Not worrying about myself so much and looking after my neighbours.
How can I be of service?
How can I be useful?
How can I help to define us as a nation of compassion?
How can I be the best Canadian I can be?