Winners and Losers
I sat down at our usual spot since restaurants and pubs are open once again to serve indoors. Without much ado I handed Camp my arbitrary list of winners and losers during the reign of Covid-19. He glanced at it and took a long swig from his pint. ‘I don’t see personal freedom, mobility, social interaction, hugs and kisses on your losers list,’ he said.
‘Well, you just added them,’ I said. ‘And I invite anyone to amend or add to the list. I’m sure there are more on both sides of the ledger.’
‘And what’s going to happen to the vaccine providers like Moderna and AstraZeneca after we all had our 2nd shots? Are they going to close shop and go home?’ Camp asked. I knew it was a rhetorical question and he provided the answer: ‘They will recommend 3rd and 4th booster shots and then another one every year or so. Keep the ball rolling. But go and get the vaccine. It’s free, it’s safe and it’s not just for you but the people around you.’
‘And the world keeps turning. Cheers!’
When I walked over to our pub which is still only allowed to serve outside, I couldn’t get the radio interview I just listened too out of my mind. It was about the low number of bankruptcies compared to last year or the year before. ‘It’s a false picture’, the bankruptcy commissioner said. ‘It costs money to file for bankruptcy but thousands of small businesses just closed their doors and walked away: Restaurants, esthetics, fitness, yoga and dance studios, music and entertainment venues, catering and service businesses associated with sports and concerts, small retail stores, hair salons and many more.’
‘I’m just glad the bookstore is not one of them, actually we are doing as well or better than in a normal, non-pandemic year,’ my friend Campbell said.
‘We drank our beers and looked out at the Gibsons’ Harbour and the pristine west coast wilderness right at our doorstep. I wanted to know what Camp thought about the recent escalation of an old war in the southern Levant, that’s been going on since 1948: Palestine vs. Israel. I knew Camp would have an opinion.
‘Are you afraid of old age?’ I asked Camp after I sat down. On my walk to the pub I’ve been reflecting about the time when I thought fifty was old and sixty was shaking hands with the grim reaper.
‘I’m not afraid of getting old but I fear not being able to wipe my own ass or getting out of bed on my own or even not to be able to tell the bathroom door from the closet door. I am afraid of losing my ability to function, to decide and to recognize and to have to wear diapers. Getting old is easy. One day at a time.’
‘Like you, I don’t want to lose anything, least of all my mind or my continence,’ I said. ‘The question is what can we do to prevent any of this.’
We’re locked down in BC until the long weekend and although nothing much changes for us, it is stopping tourists and any non-essential travel to and from the Sunshine Coast. I wanted to check the numbers yesterday and just put in the date but the stats from a year ago came up. Wow. This year our infections are ten times higher but our hospitalizations and mortality percentages are lower. Still, a wakeup call.
I wanted to talk about something else with Camp besides the bloody covid for a change and came across an interesting piece of journalism the other day. Camp was already enjoying his pint, looking out at the rainy-day weather.
‘Camp, did you ever hear about Somaliland, the small African country the size of Greece that’s an independent and peaceful nation?