Posts

The Plague-Ground – Librarians are first-responders

No other public library system in the world is bigger and busier than Toronto’s. Not New York. Not London. Us. Nearly 70 per cent of Torontonians use the Toronto Public Library. During the pandemic, with every one of its 100 branches…

The Plague-Ground – Are you rich?

I’ve always wanted to write a fund-raising appeal that starts with that question. You have money. We need money. Give it to us. Please. What this lacks in subtlety it makes up in reality: rich people have more of the very thing you need…

The Plague-Ground – Dying online

Last month, The New York Times reported on the rise of abortions by telemedicine. A doctor assesses the woman online. Then, if she is ‘approved’, she is mailed some pills. One thing driving this is a clampdown by Trump faithful and conservative…

The Plague-Ground – Travel to a new world. No cost. No waiting. Satisfaction guaranteed.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to spend a day exploring a part of the world that billions of us visit every day, that’s completely transformed pretty much everything in our lives – and didn’t exist until 1990. That place…

The Plague-Ground – Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length

When I was half my age, I used to believe that idea from Robert Frost. Now, I’m more into the “in length” part of life’s cycle. But I was reminded twice yesterday how the world can change long before it enters us. I was on the…

The Plague-Ground – A bureaucratic miracle

When was the last time you saw those three words in a sentence? Applied to Ottawa? In a pandemic? Exactly. Our expectation of speedy service from any government, let alone the Feds, is so low that anything short of craven indifference…

The Plague-Ground – “In Spain people are renting out their dogs for walking.”

I heard this from Heather Ross who was speculating why fewer people seem to be having heart attacks during the pandemic than before. Maybe it’s because we exercise, get more sleep, spend more time with our families and less time getting…

The Plague-Ground – When is a nurse worth more than a baseball player?

Yesterday, I tripped over one of those New Yorker articles that snatches you and carries you into the black holes of a subject you knew absolutely nothing about. It then pops you to the surface 30 minutes later gasping at the bizarre and amazing…

The Plague-Ground – I See What You Say

I’ve noticed something odd in my Zoom calls, and maybe you have too. It’s that they sound better when the video is Off than when it’s On. By this I mean the experience is richer and more ‘real’. This may not be as true when there…

The Plague-Ground – Is a pandemic a good time to have an affair?

No, and for three reasons: it’s hard to get together,  and even if you do, you’ll likely get caught. What’s more, if you get caught and get thrown out of the house, where exactly will you go? But I ask because affairs generally unravel…