Monday Morning Musings

Posted on March 16, 2020 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet

Dallas, Texas.The exact spot where JFK was assassinated.

(Peter MacDonald photograph)


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of darkness, it was the Spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”

A Tale of Two Cities. Charles Dickens

Oh, what a difference 30 days makes.

A month ago, the world was spinning merrily on its axis. Stock markets were at record highs. We were nicely making our way through winter.

The days were starting to get longer and many of us were licking our chops thinking about a vacation somewhere warm.

Not many of us had heard of Wuhan, China, population 12 million.

A seminal event is defined as some discovery or event that strongly influences what comes after.

In my lifetime, I can easily identify three events that fit this description: The assassination of President John F. Kennedy (November 22, 1963); Man landing on the moon (July 20, 1969; The September 11th. attacks in the United States (September 11, 2001).

I can now add the outbreak of coronavirus to my list.

Those of you my age don’t need a lot of schooling on JFK’s death or the lunar landing. These events defined our era in many ways. The September 11th attacks will undoubtably be a seminal event for our children.

Future generations might describe the events of the past four weeks as an “epoch of incredulity”. It is hard to believe that the planet has almost ground to a halt as Covid-19 continues its rampage. The wheels of capitalism seemed to fall off in a matter of days providing some of the largest single day losses in the history of the stock market. Professional sports teams put their seasons on hold and the number of major events being cancelled skyrocketed. Never in recent history have we witnessed this unparalleled effort to curtail the spread of a virus.
Historians will point out that this is really nothing new. Plagues and pestilence have rained down on mankind for centuries. The big difference is that now, just about everyone on the planet has access to instant information.

Our school is closed today and will remain this way at least for a few weeks. I am relieved in a way as there is already a fairly nasty flu and cold going on in the school. It’s hard to shake when all you students are hacking and sneezing in a confined space. This hiatus will give us all a chance to get well.

It seems to me that Mother Nature has decided unilaterally to hit the reset button. While no one wants a pandemic, maybe this is an opportunity for people to reconnect without the benefit (?) of Facebook , Twitter or Instagram. Maybe isolation and staying home from work will give us more real face time with friends and family. Maybe we’ll rediscover family meals, books and board games. I think Mother Nature is sending a powerful message.

Make no mistake. This too shall pass, and the wheels of business and industry will gear up again. I expect that if we are truly in a recession, the clarion call of commercialism and consumerism will rise from the ashes.

Be good to yourself and those around you. A lot of people are going to need a lot of help. Be kind.

Have a great week.

P.S. Last Friday, I walked up to the airport after school to see if any of my grocery boxes from the south had arrived. A colleague, who had one of the school trucks, was at the airport. She messaged me to say that my boxes had not arrived. I was already halfway to the airport and decided to keep going. When I got there, the terminal was empty as the evening flight to Salluit had just left. I hung around and chatted with the workers as I often do. Just as I was about to leave, one of them came over and said that one of my boxes indeed had arrived. I didn’t have transport but realized that one of the community transit buses was outside. I asked the driver if she could take me home with my box. When I picked it up, I nearly got a hernia. It felt like it weighed 100 kilograms. I instantly knew its contents. I struggled to carry it outside. I was dropped off at my apartment.

I will be calling the Vatican when it reopens to report a miracle. I will tell them that one of three grocery boxes arrived from down south. The one that showed up contained a two- week supply of milk and red wine!

P.P.S. Speaking of the “epoch (age) of incredulity, I saw a picture of a lineup at our local Shopper’s Drug Mart back home – the great unwashed mass lining up for toilet paper. I mistakenly thought that this was a respiratory illness. I guess I better get with it so that people won’t accuse me of being an arsehole!

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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