Commentary – Slammed to the floor

Jeff Burgar

Some of us had a very bad week last week. As they say, “No kidding, Sherlock.”

Stock markets crashing. Shares down almost 30 per cent. Old white guy Bernie Sanders getting beat up by another old white guy, Joe Biden as they both argue who will best run against Donald Trump this coming November. Covid-19 virus infections growing by leaps and bounds. NBA, NHL, MLS all cancelling games until further notice. Even Tom Hanks and his wife testing positive for the virus! The entire country of Italy under lock down. Europeans told they won’t be allowed entry to the United States for 30 days.

And of course, stores running out of toilet paper for gosh sakes!

One fellow was interviewed on TV news. The reporter asked him what he thought of everybody at his local big box store grabbing huge bundles of TP.

“This is crazy,” says the fellow back. “What’s going on here? Does the virus give you diarrhea or something?”

Back at the home quarter, our “life partner” says “What’s the big deal? Back on the farm we used to use leaves and dried grass.”

Which prompted me to quip, “That’s good. Since you refuse to buy any more ‘just in case paper’ just use all these houseplants around here. At least until leaves and grass come out. I get to use what paper we already have.”

That brought back a nostalgic comment on the Eaton’s catalogue, that mainstay of outdoor biffies across the land years ago.

“I guess we can’t go back to using that. There isn’t an Eaton’s catalogue anymore.”

Some in older generations are no doubt wondering how our youth are going to cope. Blowing one’s nose and other personal cleanliness practices are a tad hard to accomplish with a Smartphone, no matter how smart the phone might be. Leaves and grass? Well, maybe. The young do learn to cope fast, possibly faster than all us old folks.

Seriously, as of this writing, events are being cancelled across North America and, in fact, the world. The huge Edmonton Boat and Sportsman Show was cancelled halfway through opening day, Thursday, last week.

The High Prairie AC DC Tribute concert Saturday was cancelled and the Noskey benefit game the next day.

In northern Alberta, the next two shows are the same weekend in mid-April. Those are the High Prairie Gun Show and the Peace River Trade Show. The Gun Show is postponed, tentatively, until June 13-14. The huge Treaty 8 First Nations Cup in High Prairie is also cancelled. Peace River is meeting next week to decide.

Speaking of virus updates, some of us out there are a wee bit tired of being labelled at-higher risk “old people.” And in the next breath being told “old means people over 60.”

As it happens, there was a group of positive cases reported last week. Out of 13 people, there were two aged 40, two aged 50 and one aged 60 who were put in hospital. The best faring in the entire group, according to the doctor, was aged 82.

In all the bad news, for some of us, maybe some good news can be found in all this anyway.

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