Posts

The Plague-Ground – It’s an “and-and” thing.

Toronto is one of the last places in North America still largely closed by the pandemic. Good. Because saving our lives or saving our economy isn’t an ‘either-or’ thing, though we seem hard-wired to think that way. And lord knows,…

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 – 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 – 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…

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 – 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…