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Pandemic

The Biggest Problem With Covid-19? The People Who Don’t Die.

Newly married in 1951 and pregnant with anticipation, my folks joined the great post-war exodus from Europe to North America, emigrating by ocean-liner from Holland to Canada in search of opportunity.

Their straight-laced version of Protestant religion crossed the Atlantic with them. Soon they had a brood of children (by 1968 they’d generated an iteration of Cheaper By The Dozen), dutifully shepherding them to church twice each Sunday to be properly schooled in the tenets of the faith.

The church’s Reverend, himself a Dutch immigrant and as fond of cigars as he was of sermonizing, had but a nodding acquaintance with the English language. To get himself through sermons in his adopted tongue he drew heavily on a store of pet phrases committed to memory; there were, to put it mildly, a few slip-ups.

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Pandemic

Premier Kenney’s Uncomfortable Bed

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”

“Caught between a rock and a hard place.”

There’s no shortage of well-worn clichés to describe the predicament in which Premier Jason Kenney finds himself as Alberta’s COVID numbers skyrocket, filling hospital beds and stuffing intensive care units.

A tsunami of medical misery threatens to crash over Albertans, and the premier’s options to mitigate the coming catastrophe range from crappy to crappier. I (almost) felt sorry for him yesterday evening as he plowed through a press conference announcing a suite of additional restrictions on Albertans’ freedoms — restrictions antithetical to his political soul.

After his presser, predictably, a storm of criticism erupted from all sides: from those who felt that he went too far, to those who felt he didn’t go nearly far enough; from those upset that he didn’t shut down all non-essential businesses and close all the schools (he sent grades 7–12 home), to those angered by further constraints to their lives.

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Pandemic

Covid’s Return: We’re Stumbling Instead Of Dancing

We were extremely fortunate in Alberta to suffer only a glancing blow from COVID-19 during the first wave of the virus’ march around the globe. We prepared for a tsunami of cases but encountered barely a ripple.

There were a number of reasons why we were spared, as I discussed in some detail last May in This Pandemic is a Three-Legged Beast. In short — to bluntly oversimplify — it had as much to do with luck as it did with brains; as much to do with simple good fortune as with specific government or public health policies.

Yet we didn’t shrink from taking full credit for our “success” — we nearly broke our arms patting ourselves on the back. And we set Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw on a pedestal for steering us expertly through virus-infested waters.

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American Politics

Trump is Toppled — and Democracy Trembles

Trumpty Dumpty sat on his wall

Trumpty Dumpty had a great fall

And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Trumpty together again

Tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash-bang grenades.

That’s what it took to clear peaceful protestors from Lafayette Square last June to make way for a presidential photo-op outside of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.

Pesky protesters properly banished, President Trump held a Bible high, waving it about as the cameras rolled. 

It’s a sure bet that the President has little working knowledge of the book he brandished that day.  It contains, for instance, these words spoken by Jesus Himself: “So in everything do to others as you would have them do unto you.”

It may take more than tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash-bang grenades, however, to dislodge the just-defeated President from the Oval Office.

Categories
Pandemic

The Case of the Presidential Virus

The President of the United States is sick, afflicted with a case of COVID-19.

Or he was sick, if his macho, mask-removin’, chest-thumpin’, helicopter-salutin’ return to the White House on Monday evening is to be believed. He saluted the chopper that dropped him on his well-groomed lawn for almost as long as a now-famous house-fly hung out on Mike Pence’s closely-cropped hair on Wednesday night during the vice-presidential debate.