Stuck inside a pandemic at a moment when the monolith south of the border is dominated by a fascist, it is sometimes hard to focus on the view up close - the provincial politics that undermine our well-being, the city politics that juggle a budget vulnerable to COVID effects and a vengeful governing provincial party that hates our progressive voting patterns. Sometimes it is hard to sleep.
Today I made a delicious vegetarian curry for friends who were returning from their first day at school during a pandemic. The children, their parents, and I shared the curry on the front patio. Socially distancing, of course, especially since Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta, had just boasted the UCP didn’t spend money to protect the children from the COVID-19 pandemic. Why? you ask. We have our hunches -- he doesn't care much for human beings. And had already distributed billions to rich white oil men running oil companies into the ground and out of province.
I am so very fortunate, I tell myself. Retired and on my own. Not to mention a lifetime of white privilege, class privilege. Location. Location. Settlers have more than a leg up. And now I’m out of the loop of daily care for a young child. I don’t know how I would manage single mothering during COVID. Probably badly. Now I have no one to send to school or not. Home school or not. No classes to prepare. No papers to grade. No schedule to adhere to. The end of summer approaches and I’m writing less, hanging around outside, walking more, leisurely weeding the buckets of thistles and pesky plants that rise up in all this rain and sun.
A compendium of dreams, encounters, observations, poems, and questions.... I: Two Pandemic Dreams 21 April, 2020 I awoke early imagining the heads of ducks and geese close up in front of my eyes. Their blunt beaks gnawed gently at my lips and face. I was on the ground looking at the sky. Was I dead?… Continue reading Pandemic Journal 23/4/2020 – Lockdown
What Brings You Down? Alberta's other contagious and deadly disease - the UCP virus.
Our Alberta provincial government is failing. Unsurprisingly.
They are killing people.
Doctors are fleeing the province. Rural clinics are closing leaving the UCP voters high and dry without medical care. All the better to create a vacuum that will be filled by Kenney's plans to privatize healthcare.
A meditation on a pandemic life of privilege. As a fairly recent retiree, I was an early adopter of staying at home having followed the sorrowful and ruthless pandemic's progress through China and Asia and then Italy and Spain and Europe and now the hapless USA and Canada and Mexico and on through India - and well all around the globe. Such a long and torturous road. In the hope that poetry is contagious (we know it is therapeutic) -- here is a poem by one of my very favourite poets Phyllis Webb, long-time resident of Salt Spring Island on the wavy west coast edge of Canada's Pacific Ocean. The poem in the video is voiced by yours truly. Behind the voice, you will sense the pandemic hum of the oven baking salmon for dinner, the whirr of the computer cooling down, the whirr of the furnace heating up as the temperature drops to -22C shortly after a snow storm. Such is a lucky life at latitude 53.