The Plague-Ground – Two Places to Spend Your Winter

Were you like us last month in thinking you could head someplace warm in January or February for even a week’s relief from winter? Are you like us now thinking that’s not going to happen? Forget Florida and Arizona. In fact, forget…

The Plague-Ground – Death Has Less Dominion

Two years ago, four adult children from four different families we know well, killed themselves. This was in addition to the two who died from accidental drug overdoses. Naturally, I believed that the suicide rate must be rising. I was…

The Plague-Ground – I See You. I Know You.

In Britain, the average person is seen by 70 CCTV cameras every day. As Boris Johnson said when he was the Mayor of London: “When you walk down the streets of London, you are a movie star. You are being filmed by more cameras than you can…

The Plague-Ground – LOOKING FOR A DIFFERENT COURSE? TRY GRIEF 101.

This summer, Dr. Joe MacInnis would rise before dawn, slide into his kayak on Lake Simcoe and paddle out to greet the morning. For Dr. Joe, it’s exhilarating to watch the sun slowly emerge from a body of water and be grateful for another day…

The Plague-Ground – There’s No Power Like CEO Power

Next February, Jane Fraser will become the CEO of Citigroup, making her the first female CEO of a giant Wall Street bank. This is great, long overdue and awkward news. Because it begs the question of how far women have advanced in terms of…

The Plague-Ground – Do you not be happy with me as the writer of the words of you?

In 1997, Gary Kasparov, the reigning world chess champion who many think is the greatest player in the 1,500-year history of the game, lost to a computer. By 2017 when he spoke at a RamsayTalk in Toronto, he was the Head of the Human Rights…

The Plague-Ground – Do you suffer from Friend Fatigue?

If Zoom Fatigue is what happens when you spend too much time with other people (often strangers) on the screen, what do you call spending even a little time with real friends you haven’t seen in months? Oddly tiring. But in a strange, not-until-COVID…

The Plague-Ground – “If Trump Wins, I’m Moving to Canada”

Every four years around now, we hear this from left-leaning Americans who believe they live in a fascist state. Their Presidents are nearly always Republicans, and generally, no one actually does leave after the vote is counted on November…

The Plague-Ground – These are a few of my favourite things

September marks six months into the pandemic for all of us who locked down our lives in March. Happy Half-Birthday. Not everything has changed, as some breathless prophets foretold. But since staying alive is the biggest thing I don’t want…

The Plague-Ground – I Scream. You Scream.

You’d think political conventions were created in order to analyse what those conventions mean. Of the eight opinion pieces on the home page of this morning’s New York Times, six are about Trump and the Republican Convention. As for…

The Plague-Ground – I am a Marxist Liberal Activist

There are certain life-changing events you can get a heads-up on: graduation, marriage, kids, divorce, bankruptcy, and very often, even death. But others just sneak up on you, and ……pow! Not only is your life different from that minute…

The Plague-Ground – Old Age

Last week I visited my two half-brothers. Both have dementia and live in long-term care, one in the Sunnybrook Veterans’ Wing in Toronto (he served in Korea), and the other in a retirement home north of Kingston. One is 89 and the other 86.…

The Plague-Ground – A different question about going back to school.

In America, this decision spills over from the deeply personal to the openly political. In Canada, our choice is disconnected from how we voted in the last election. Thank Heavens. Still, virtually every family of Canada’s 5.5 million elementary and secondary school students is gnawing over how and when to send their kids back to school -- as are Canada’s 15,500  schools over how and when to take them and teach them without turning their classroom into a COVID petri dish. These are all urgent questions because they’re life-and-death ones.

The Plague-Ground – How to shrink Trump’s base

The battle is joined. The Democratic and Republican tickets are now complete. On November 3rd, Americans will go to the polls and...no, hold on, odds are that only slightly more than half of eligible Americans will vote for their new President. But…

The Plague-Ground – Two voices, not in the wilderness, crying.

This past week, two Canadian writers penned breathtaking pieces that insist you stop, read, think, set them aside, then read again in a couple of days, as I did, because they are, if not life-changing, then at least soul-searching. The subject…

The Plague-Ground – The best show in town. In any town.

Actually, Immersive Van Gogh is the only show in Toronto, and is one of the handful of live events in the entire world – beyond one-night stands at hollowed-out or plant-filled concert halls. How it survived when virtually every other arts…

The Plague-Ground – Where will you be when the vaccine arrives?

If you’re in Canada, you could join the 37 million of us near the back of the line. An article this week in the McGill Medical Journal tells a troubling tale: “75 million syringes but nothing to put in them: what is Canada’s plan for…

The Plague-Ground – When does a donor tour become a junket?

There are endless tentacles to the WE-Trudeau-Morneau inquiry. One that remains curiously unprobed is this: Should donors to international charities pay their travel expenses or should the charity pay them? The obvious answer is, the donor…