The Plague-Ground – Survival of the friendliest

Now is the weekend of our discontent. Cases are spiking, leaves are falling, the wind is up, the market’s down – and organizing coffee is like planning an assault on Everest. By Monday, our mornings will start darker and by Tuesday, America…

The Plague-Ground – Are We Digitally Dominant or Submissive?

The e-mails sent to Democrats last week, seemingly from the Proud Boys, but really from Iran, made up in clarity for what they lacked in subtlety. “You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you. Change your party affiliation…

The Plague-Ground – The Binge Club

Last night, I turned away from the Trump-Biden debate, not because it was another train-wreck, but because it wasn’t. My appetite for viewing curated chaos is now so refined that, not seeing any, I quickly left, the future of America be…

The Plague-Ground – The right to bully voters is under threat

The First Amendment lets Americans say pretty much anything to anyone, anywhere. The Second Amendment lets them keep and bear arms. So can they turn up at polling stations on November 3rd, armed and belligerent and, in the words of their…

The Plague-Ground – The Unmasking

Finally, someone not only fact-shamed Donald Trump in real-time, she wiped the smile off his face. Until yesterday, I’d never heard of Savannah Guthrie, the host of last night’s Town Hall on NBC. Today, she’s my hero. She did what no…

The Plague-Ground – More immigrants; more restaurants.

Two years ago, the New York Times food editor Sam Sifton spoke at the University of Toronto about the rise of Syrian cuisine in Canada. He apologized for his President’s nasty immigration policies and their inhumane consequences, and said…

The Plague-Ground – A Bad Night for White Rage

“Trump … puts a kilo of pure uncut white supremacy on the table, and he has his minions just snort it up and it empowers them.” “It makes them feel strong. It makes them feel invincible, while everything around them is being destroyed.…

The Plague-Ground – When you’re the lead dog, the view always changes.

In 2014 when the Rogers’ family gave $150 million to create the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, part of that went to discover how AI can prevent and treat heart failure. Last year when Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman gave $100…

The Plague-Ground – NOT THE BEST CANADIAN IMMIGRANT. NOR THE BEST AMERICAN ONE, EITHER.

"Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups?" asked Chris Wallace. "Proud Boys?" replied Donald Trump...."Stand back and stand by." That was the defining moment from a Presidential debate that CNN's Dana…

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…