The Plague-Ground – Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I wouldn't want to be an airline these days. Even more, I wouldn’t want to be an airline passenger. Those long waits to go through security will feel like recess compared to the technology that will save us from infecting each other before,…

The Plague-Ground: Daddy, tell me the one about the virus again.

Like you, I’m growing numb to the torrent of advice about how the world can/will/must change after the fog lifts.  Looking at pictures then and now of Venice with its pristine canals and Delhi with its crystal-clear air, makes me…

The Plague-Ground: We’re not all in the same boat. But we are all in the same storm.

On the weekend, Spain redefined the meaning of stay-cation by letting its people leave their homes - but go no further than a kilometre from them.  Such is the nature of travel these days. But that will all change once we have the all-clear, and a…

The Plague-Ground – If you’re feeling anxious, join the herd

The pandemic has taught me you don’t have to be facing a fist or a pistol in order to feel threatened. You don’t have to face eviction or lose your job or your clients. You don't even have to be on a respirator, or just be old. All you…

The Plague-Ground – “If I had but one word to delete….”

It’s only April and already we know what the Word of the Year will be: “Coronavirus.” It was first coined in 1968, but no one outside the world of science had heard of it until January, and now, like the pandemic it describes, it’s…

The Plague-Ground – I didn’t say I hate America

I didn't say I hate Americans. I didn't even say I hate America’s institutions. All I said in yesterday’s blog was that it’s time Americans stopped viewing themselves as the best nation on earth, and that we Canadians could help them…

The Plague-Ground – What you must never tell an American

Thank god for the pandemic. Now, even we Canadians can speak truth to America’s lack of power. Yet until now, in the way we would not discuss gun control or health care with our American friends, we would also let them get away with saying…

The Plague-Ground – I am calm

I’m calling my bank now. They left a voicemail for me at 5:15 yesterday afternoon.  It sounded serious.  So I called them back right away and got a message saying they were open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s now 8:01 Friday morning, and…

The Plague-Ground – YOU CAN TAKE THE BOY OUT OF THE CITY, BUT…

Jean and I have moved up north for the past month. Last week I looked at my calendar and noticed I had a lunch scheduled that day in Toronto with an old friend. Had I cancelled that? Had he? No matter. Neither of us was going to turn up anyway.…

The Plague-Ground – One to Think. One to Blink.

Two weeks ago, I was searching for toney ways to keep us entertained at night. Enough of Tiger King! Bring on King Lear! Today, I’m drowning in culture. Especially the kind where I have to concentrate for longer than a minute, like The…

The Plague-Ground – In Defence of Curiosity

In the rush to find a vaccine, let’s not forget the rush to find whatever your curiosity leads you to. It’s easy to think one rush is urgent, while the other seems trivial, almost insultingly so these days. But the fact is, basic research…

The Plague-Ground – Would you buy the middle seat?

This week, William Shakespeare will be 456 years old. We should care because the temple to his genius, the Stratford Festival, is in dire straits. Stratford’s problem is shared by most every arena, concert hall and auditorium in the…

The Plague-Ground – Who’s in your basement?

Imagine you tune in to the Prime Minister’s daily pandemic briefing today and hear him say this: “We are now ready to open the American border. As of Monday, Canadians -- and our goods and services -- will be able to cross into the United…

The Plague-Ground – Quick, what’s your postal code?

On Monday night, I logged into my online bank account. I keyed in my Username and my Password, just as I’d done a thousand times in the last years – and a hundred times in the last month. “Invalid Username/Password. Please try again.” So…

The Plague-Ground – How to play in the Plague-Ground.

Today’s blog post is a list. It’s one I’ll be sending every week until we’re back at work and have less time to enjoy the feast of FREE concerts, films, museums and even zoos and aquariums it offers. This first edition comes via my…

The Plague-Ground – Is time just nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once?

One April 1st morning long ago, my clock radio awakened me to the CBC host announcing that since Canada was shifting to metric for measuring distance and temperature and weight,  it was now time to adopt metric time. As of that morning,…

The Plague-Ground – A Masterclass in The School of Life

Feeling a vague need to lead a better life? Time hangs heavy on most of us. We’re feeling under threat and floundering for a new and better way to……not quite sure what?  Well, a  world of online learning is a click away. In other…

The Plague-Ground – The pundits pile on.

The past week has seen a sharp rise in the number of cases of punditry. It’s especially harrowing in countries with large numbers of columnists, intellectuals and prophets-for-hire. Hand-washing has had little effect because hand-wringing is…