Many years ago, I found this piece of driftwood – a plank just wide enough and long enough to write a short something on, and that something was one of my favourite quotes by Dalai Lama and a principle I try to live by, ‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.’ We have moved that piece of driftwood from one home to another and during many kids’ squabble I pointed to it as a reminder that kindness can be done, anytime, anywhere. A reminder for all, young and old, that is.
Category: Social issues Page 2 of 28
It was almost three weeks ago that I last saw Jessie Simpson, my every Sunday afternoon buddy. We parted with him asking ‘What are we going to do next week when you come?’ and I answered, ‘We’ll find something fun.’
A few days later, just like that, the world that contains him and the other vulnerable people in that long-term care facility closed its doors. Then everything happened faster than anyone could predict and here we are, all hunkered at home and wondering what’s next.
So… speaking of balance, do you check the news often? More now than before? In my case, yes and yes (and then I wonder why balance went missing.) I get my topic for my columns through perusing news, more now than I used to three weeks ago (it feels like we’ve been stuck in this pandemic craziness for way longer, right?).
But… this morning my eyes fell on a headline that just about made me run the other way as fast as possible, which is fine I guess as long as I keep my distance. The headline contained the dreaded word we are now seeing everywhere (yes, I mean coronavirus,) but included scarier yet words which collectively read ‘second wave of.’
The verbs du jour alternate between ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-isolating’, but in order to remove the negative connotations of the first, we are advised to call it ‘physical distancing’. Because we are, in many ways, closer than ever. Whatever you call it, please make sure you abide. Which brings me to the question that pops up a lot in social media circles: are we making too much of it?
Short answer: no.
Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday March 16, 2020.
It happened two days ago in a local store: the person in front of me bought $300 worth of hand sanitizer.
Here we are, increasingly engulfed by the reality that is the COVID-19 pandemic. It is happening and it’s getting closer. Some store shelves are empty – the mysterious case of toilet paper stockpiling is still ongoing, and the shortage of sanitizing products is troubling.
On a fateful day in 2012, somewhere on Salt Spring Island, a set of bad decisions ended up changing many people’s lives for the worst and ending one. Calder McCormick and Ryan Plambeck, then 17 and 18 years old respectively, left a house party in an advanced state of intoxication due to alcohol and marijuana, got in a car that was not theirs and crashed shortly after.
McCormick survived but suffered brain trauma which left him unable to pursue further education or even ride a bicycle, while Ryan Plambeck died at the scene of the crash. He was behind the wheel but did not have a valid driver’s license. Heartbreaking and yet preventable.
A while back I read a book that was as poignant as it was scary. It is called A deadly wandering: A tale of tragedy and redemption in the age of attention, by Matt Richtel (William Morrow, 2014). I mentioned it at the time because of the high volume of drivers busted driving and texting at the time. I am picking up the topic again because somehow the issue of distracted driving does not seem to go away. How could it? The people at the other end are doing their best to keep our attention hooked to the devices through whatever pings and screen traps necessary.