Posts

The Plague-Ground – Virus and Vaccine: Charting our death and resurrection

Back on Friday, March 13th, we were all so doe-eyed and naive. COVID was killing thousands in Italy and in Canada we’d all just been sent to our rooms. It took only that weekend for most of us to frantically look for ways to divert ourselves. This…

The Plague-Ground – You’re at a movie in a packed theatre. You smell smoke.

You see flames flicker up from an empty seat in front of you. You’re tempted to stand up and yell “Fire!” But you don’t because that may cause a stampede and trample people. In fact, isn’t that why it’s against the law to yell “Fire!”…

The Plague-Ground – More Money Than Brains

But oh, what very big brains they have. Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci are the scientists whose company, BioNTech, is partnering with Pfizer to produce the vaccine that is 90% effective against a virus that’s already killed a million of…

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 – Summer cleaning

My laptop is groaning with articles, videos, and the wave of “stuph” that lands every day from friends who say: “Must see this!” And I nearly always do. But like you, I’ve had to become a curator of their taste. I’ve learned to…

The Plague-Ground – What We Didn’t Know

Today is 13 weeks exactly since millions of us were told not to come back to our offices and stay home. Three months exactly. One quarter of the year exactly. A quarter of the fiscal. A season of the year. On Friday, March 13th, Jean…

The Plague-Ground – Why can’t I read anymore?

I haven’t read a book in well over a year. Sure, I dip into books, extracting what I need for work. Often and ironically, this involves writers whom I invite to Ramsay Talks to speak about their . . . books. I also listen to books feverishly,…

The Plague-Ground – A New Kind of Political Leader

One million fewer people live in New Zealand than in the Greater Toronto Area. Yet as of last night, New Zealand has 1,504 cases of COVID-19 and 22 deaths. The GTA meanwhile has 10,726 cases and 801 deaths. Just as New Zealand’s success…

The Plague-Ground – What part of “now” don’t you understand?

The awful news out of our long-term care homes punctures whatever myth of exceptionalism we held about ourselves. It will be harder to claim: “We’re better than that” when cockroach infestations are a feature of how we care for the…

The Plague-Ground – It is solved by walking

My wife Jean and I once trekked 1,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail. It took us three months with our 45 lb. packs strapped to our backs as we slogged our way up and down the peaks of North America’s oldest mountains from Georgia to West…