As biblical rains – euphemistically called atmospheric rivers – pound the Northwest and flood plains, roads and sweep away livestock, houses and infrastructure, we’re enjoying a pint at our harbourfront pub, nice and cozy, looking at a curtain of water where islands and mountains are supposed to be. This also marks the week when BC is rolling out vaccinations for children 5-11 years old.
‘If the parents are not vaccinated, then the kids will not be either,’ Camp said when I mentioned that.
‘That’s a rather generalized opinion,’ I said, ‘but you’re right: you cannot convince people with reason and logic, statistics and common sense when their minds are made up that the earth is flat and we are the center of the universe.’
20 – I don’t remember. Must have been plastered or stoned, most likely both
30 – I was married with two kids, a hobby farm and a mortgage
40 – I had a new life with a new partner and a new future
50 – it was a blowout party with all my friends, forever young
60 – felt like 40 with the wisdom of maturity
65 – is the best age: pension, free ferry rides, no more working for the man
70 – is the new 50, still in the go-go years but getting a bit long in the tooth
80 – don’t let the old man in, busy chopping wood
90 – that’s when I should drink all the wine from the cellar
100 – maybe take up ice climbing and scuba diving
Unprecedented torrential rains – an atmospheric river – have caused major flooding and landslides in British Columbia, cutting the interior off and closed highways for days. This meant no trains leaving the harbour, no trucks and no cars coming through with supplies, causing shelves in grocery stores to empty. Panic buying didn’t help either. I looked at our pantry and figured we’d be alright for about a week before I would have to get creative and invent some new pasta and rice dishes. At least my neighbour’s chickens are laying unperturbed by climate change. ‘It’s a mess,’ Camp said after we made ourselves comfortable in our usual corner at the seaside pub. Luckily, I’m not involved in shopping or cooking, since Muriel takes care of all that.’
It was Remembrance Day yesterday which used to be Armistice Day and is Veterans Day in the US. We honour those who fought and died in service of their country, defending freedom and oppression; in wars that cost millions of unnecessary lives.
‘The stupidest thing humans do is go to war against each other. As a species we have the capacity to self-destruct, despite our knowledge and technology, despite knowing better. It’s just plain stupid,’ I said to Camp
‘Bukowsky said: The problem is that intelligent people are full of doubt, while stupid people are full of certainty and Einstein said that there is only one thing more infinite than the universe: human stupidity. You know that you are dealing with stupid people because they always blame somebody else and are never responsible when something goes wrong,’ Camp said, leaning back in his chair, taking a sip from the mug in his hand.
‘Quebec and Ontario have opted out of vaccination mandates for their healthcare workers. I think this is an unfortunate political decision.’ I said as a provocative opener at our weekly get together at the pub.
‘A vocal minority is holding the majority to ransom and the politicians did their usual knee jerk and back bending,’ Camp said, nodding his unruly head of white curls.
‘We used to listen to doctors and scientists but these days more people, including politicians, base their decisions on social media than on scientifically based reasoning.’
‘They’re prioritizing the so called ‘freedom’ of the unvaccinated over the health and safety of the patients. Would you let your loved one or yourself be treated by an unvaccinated nurse or care aid? You can’t get into a restaurant or a movie theatre without proof of vaccination but you can work in a hospital. Does that make sense?’