The Simple Things

     ‘The British are lifting their covid restrictions on Monday – euphemistically called ‘Freedom Day’ despite 40’000 daily infections,’ I pointed out to Camp who walked into the pub without his mask, the first time in a year and a half. ‘And Spain has close to 50’000 while Canada is below 1000.’

            “France is ordering full vaccination compliance amongst its health care workers or else they’re fired with no pay and the French also issued a vaccination passport which is now required by most businesses, airlines and universities,’ Camp said. 

            ‘I remember being inoculated with the small pox vaccine. I was at school and we all had to line up and white clad nurse went from on to the other and jabbed their upper arms. I still have a divot there and I remember it hurt. Did we have a choice? Nobody asked. The same with polio and the multiple childhood illnesses we were vaccinated against. I think the Polio came disguised as a sugar cube.’

            ‘Everyone is allowed to take the risk of getting sick. But no one has the right to infect anyone. That is why only immune and tested people should be allowed to attend certain events. Unvaccinated people who get sick and need hospitalisation from Covid should also be billed for their care.’

            ‘I agree. The vaccine is our only firewall at this time and it’s not just for us, it’s for all of those around us and who we get in contact with. I for one feel a lot more comfortable walking into a store or a restaurant, with or without mask,’ I said.

            ‘Are you gonna watch the Olympics,’ Camp asked me.

            ‘The Covid Olympics? I probably will. I feel for the athletes who want to compete and are already a year behind but Tokyo right now is locked down and so riddled with restrictions that it will be like a virtual event. No public, no fans, no street parades, no celebrations. And I don’t understand why only 30% of Japanese are vaccinated.’

            ‘Partly because of Japan’s decades old mistrust of foreign made vaccines. They added months of extra testing before they approved Pfeizer and Moderna and then they didn’t have enough trained immunizers.’

            We enjoyed our brews and I said: ‘I have to admit that I’m taking pleasure in the small, simple things these days, a beer with my pal, a glass of wine and dinner with Clare, a meet-up with our friends by the beach or watching the humming bird feeder.’

            ‘Did you ever hear of ‘hygge’, pronounced HOO-gah’?’ Camp asked me ‘It’s the Danish concept for simplicity and coziness. The small book by Pia Edberg is a popular seller at Coast Books.’ 

            ‘The French call it ‘Joie the vivre’, the Germans have ‘Lebensfreude’ and the Caribbean people refer to it as ‘lyming’,’ I said. ‘A cheerful enjoyment of life?’

            ‘There is no corresponding phrase in English but it’s what you describe and more. Enjoy the small things in life and unclutter your mind and space,’ Camp said and for an instant I forgot he was a habitual cynic but he didn’t disappoint. ‘That way you can deal better with the bigger picture like catastrophic, monsoon like weather in Europe, tornados in Ontario, local beach closures due to e-coli, 300 active wildfires burning in BC and ongoing, grisly finds of more unmarked children’s graves at those catholic, colonial institutions for assimilation and genocide, euphemistically referred to as Residential Schools.’

            ‘There is just too much trouble in this world and we can only watch and weep,’ I said. ‘I need some, what you call it, ‘Hoogah’, in my life.’

            ‘Ready for another round boys?’ Vicky asked, ‘I recommend our new ice filtered Pilsner. It’s crisp and light and perfectly satisfying for this summer weather.’

            ‘It’s the small things in life that make us happy,’ I said.

            ‘Happiness in a glass coming right up,’ she promised.

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