Life is not a Toaster


            ‘How did you survive that heat wave?’ I asked Camp, after I removed my mask and sat down at our seaside pub.

            ‘I wore shorts for the first time to work and kept doors and windows wide open but then I closed early. And I drank too many beers after I got home.’

            ‘Monday was the worst. My phone registered 41 Degrees C. Higher than Phoenix, Arizona. Clare’s garden went into shock and so did we. Lucky us we were able to escape to the water all afternoon.’ 

            Since it was Canada Day, the pub was packed with some patrons wearing masks and some not. BC now has lifted the mask mandate for public places but nobody seems to know what that really means. 

            Also, the celebrations seemed kind of subdued across the nation, due to the findings of hundreds if not thousands of unmarked indigenous children’s graves at former residential school sites. When I asked Camp about how he feels about it he shook his grey head of curls.

            ‘A sad and shameful fact indeed and one that the Catholic Church is complicit and outright guilty for, in cahoots with the government of the day. An apology, even from the pope is hardly enough. We also cannot blame today’s generation for yesterday’s sins. We need to learn from this tragedy and include the facts about the colonial reign and consequences in our history books, so every child will know what really happened and that there was culture and life before the white man set foot on this part of the globe.’

            ‘Exactly,’ I agreed and we both drank to that. 

            ‘What you make of the latest scare, Myocarditis, a heart inflammation, which has affected 0.004% of men aged 12-29, after their second shot of a mRNA vaccine,

            ‘That means that 99.996% of vaccines do not cause this inflammation. That’s pretty close to perfect. In comparison, guns kill an average of 85 people per day in the US, 40’000 per year. There are no guarantees in life when it comes to treatments of illness, financial predictions or relationships. All are works in progress. If you want a warranty, buy a toaster,’ Camp said, and I got the point.

            ‘I guarantee you that air lines, cruise ships, entertainment centres like cinemas, stadiums and theatres will require proof of vaccinations which will lead to an avalanche of  complaints and lawsuits and a bonanza for lawyers.’ 

            ‘Governments cannot make immunization mandatory but businesses, schools and private spaces can make different rules. Instead of ‘No, shoes, no shirts, no service’, it will now read: ‘No vaccines, no service’ or ‘No masks, no service.’ 

            ‘I talked to a friend of ours the other day who focused on the vaccination side effects while I stressed how few there are with regards to the billions of jabs being administered. ‘It’s our only defence against this virus,’ I said, ‘and the only way to normalize our social interactions and regain our mobility is to take it.’

            ‘I don’t trust the vaccine,’ she said. ‘All I can see is a blatant money grab by the governments and big pharma. We don’t know what’s in them. Also, I consider my body to be my temple which I like to keep pure and clean.’

            ‘She gave me the perfect metaphor, Camp. ‘My body is also my temple,’ I said, but I have taken on a couple of guards – two vaccines – to prevent the bad guys from getting in. And what’s in these vaccines? I’m no expert but I don’t know what’s in my yogurt I eat every day, even after reading the ingredients.’

            Camp laughed. ‘My body is more of a pub then a temple, I have to admit, almost everything is allowed in without prejudice.’ 

             ‘What will you do at your store Camp?’ Are you going to let in the unvaccinated and unmasked shop and browse?’

            ‘I cannot ask everybody to show me their proof of vaccination and I will not demand masks but I will display a sign that says: ‘Please protect the staff and each other.’ 

            ‘Let’s ask Vicky what the pub’s policy is.’

            ‘Everybody is welcome,’ she said while exchanging our empties, ‘but we’ll have two sections: an open area for the vaccinated and a closed off, smaller section at the back of the pub for the unvaccinated. Like they used to have for smokers and non-smokers.’

            ‘Was she serious?’ I asked, after she left.

            ‘I think she was trying to be sarcastic,’ Camp said, ‘but you never know.’

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