It’s Nearing Midnight

By Matthew Harrison

And I’ve very little worth saying. Perhaps I just don’t know how to say it. Here goes, anyway.

I feel failed by all levels of government except for my mayor, who I can’t help simply feeling bad for. I’m caught on only a few thoughts: How do we resolve the conspiracies and fear mongering boiling in the blood of so many? What is cooking South of my border? Are we atop too mighty a wave, looking down at an unpromising fixture of rocks we call Tomorrow?

There is too much on my mind to make true sense of any of it tonight. I’m only trying to find the words for what we begrudgingly call the new normal with chattering teeth and bleary eyes. Beyond COVID, I fear for what brews South of the border. As for that, there is little purpose considering the worst-case scenario. After all there is little I can do but speculate and stare in horror like the neighbour of a burning building, hoping the flames won’t jump the road.

I think for a moment about my province and the priest declaring he will hold a service one week to the day his church was fined for disregarding COVID-19 restrictions. And what will come of it save for fines? Need it take one of his patrons dying a brutal, wheezing death for this grown man to do as we have all been asked? Does he see himself as a martyr, fighting the powers that be in the name of Holy worship? I wish I lived in Steinbach so I could chain the church doors closed myself.

I have a friend who finds himself 4 months deep into chemotherapy. The numbers suggest that 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. I can’t help but ask myself, how many anti-maskers will argue against the doctor’s knowledge on that day? The thought soon felt too grim and I let the night take it from there.

I see fear in the eyes of our leaders, and I watch as a global pandemic falls through the hands of provincial governments. Manitoba, Alberta, and Quebec are the three primary examples that premiers aren’t strategically or intellectually equipped to manage a pandemic, and yet they each retain full authority despite constant failure.  These are suits who were hired to fix economies, not handle pandemics. Are we asking too much of them? What do we do next?

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