First Blog of 2021

A belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours; may this year ahead help us easier ingest the year that has passed. I was hoping that this was somehow one very long and miserable dream. Since it was not, the best we can do is forge forward and bet on a prosperous new year. There is a light at the end of this long tunnel with several promising vaccines at or near readiness.

I was of the notion that I would dedicate my first blog of 2021 to a recap of this past year. I realized that we have been getting daily summaries for most of the year, and the news has generally been saddening. Of course, the good news of late has been the introduction of two new vaccines and counting. And I say “and counting” because another vaccine from Astra Zenica is quickly rushing toward approval.

So I would like to take some time to share some dreams I have for the very near future. Suffice to say, the world as we knew it will be forever changed due to the past nine months’ incidents. The thoughts that follow are just a few of the dreams I have in a post-pandemic reality. Let me remind you or inform you if you are not familiar with my idiosyncrasies; one area I lack is tolerance. I do want to be blessed with patience; it is just that I want it right now. (GRIN) Perhaps that explains why it has eluded me much of my life.

To use a phrase from my past, Edmonton has become a shadow of its former self. Instead of a festival city, Edmonton has become the city of deserted streets. I crave, and I am not alone, action, colour and some much-needed humour. I need the avenues to be taken over by street performers, comedians, magicians, and people who stuff themselves into two by two plexiglass cubes. I want to take in the works with all it has to offer in self-expressionism. Although I am known for being very subjective, I will undertake to be more objective, and perhaps it will add more colour to the world around me.

Even though I will leave this world believing that K-days should have remained Klondyke Days, Kate, Mike and all, I still miss the midway. The sight of a million lights on carnival rides is mesmerizing, to say the least. I want one of those polished ladies or gents to tell me why I need a potato peeler that peels a potato in one giant curl. (lol) The midway may seem strange for a man with one leg, but I am a sentimentalist if nothing else. I will be the first in line to take in the sights and sounds of K days. I may have been the first in line forty-four years ago when I arrived in Edmonton. But then I am dating myself, and I am after a spring chicken. I was never quite adventurous enough to sample the next incredible culinary samples each year. But life is too short, even when you are a sexagenarian (no agism comments, please, lmao). If this year has taught me anything, it is to bury my inhibitions lest important memories pass me by.

I want to go to Tim Hortons and have coffee with my friends. For a brief time two months ago, we were able to do that, and it seems the rug was pulled from under our feet yet again. I am stockpiling stories that I am anxious to share with my buddies, and sharing those stories is one of my favourite things to do. This year has been nothing short of isolating; I often wanted to blame it on the persons, places, or things surrounding me. But this enemy is a silent one engaging in thousands of clandestine attacks at once. It seemed there was no stopping this relentless foe until human ingenuity won out, and it appears that the end of the battle is in sight.

But the end of the story is as yet unwritten. As consequential as a vaccine may be it, will still require a large injection of human faith to complete the sequence. Somewhere in the neighbourhood of seventy-five percent of the population must be vaccinated to achieve that magic number that will present herd immunity. That “herd immunity” is our best chance of eradicating this international killer.

And now some pesky numbers brought to you in part by Sesame Street. The flu kills between one and two hundred thousand souls a year, as devastating as it may be. Coronavirus has killed one point eight million souls in less than a full year and is expected to rise exponentially until the herd immunity mentioned earlier is achieved. Anti-vaccers have to stop comparing apples to oranges. A shot battling the coronavirus will benefit all of humanity when we have reached that magic threshold. to use a worn old expression, “take on for the team.”

Think of all of the things we have to look forward to: festivals to attend, carnival eats to consume, ball games to watch in person, and much more. Let us all participate in re-opening the world. Take the vaccine; I am sure your neighbour will thank you. Besides I want to go to “K” days. (LMAO)**

From the desk of Arthur lane

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