Counting our blessings, from a distance

Hello friends. How are we all doing? Most of us are now well into week two of social distancing, and it’s harder for some of us than others.

For myself, I tend to be a bit of a homebody anyway — I stopped staying out late years ago — so it’s not much of an adjustment. I am staying in touch through text and FaceTime. However, for other, more social people, staying home is difficult.

I can remember back when my kids were young and day two of spring break started with a chorus of “I’m bored”. Spring break wasn’t my favourite holiday because the weather was usually bad and that meant the kids were cooped up in the house with nothing to do but fight.

I can’t imagine the endless spring break parents are dealing with now, along with the childcare issues for those who still have to get out and work.

But we are coping.

Television is a bit of a desert but there are still things to watch. One weirdly compelling show I’ve been watching is Hot Market on HGTV. I have told you before of my liking of these home reno shows but this one is a little different. This show is all about the upper income Toronto real estate market, and each host — there are five of them — is a physically perfect specimen, with plenty of evidence of regular botox treatments. And tight, very tight clothes.

The cast is diverse and they all have special market areas, such as $5 million ‘cabins’ on the lakes near Toronto, or downtown condos (for as little as $2 million) to the burbs. But they are all a type. They are motivated by money, money, money and they are not ashamed of that. They are vaguely repulsive but rather fascinating.

Anyhow, it’s passed some time for me. I am working from home and immersed in this crisis all day, so it’s nice to turn it off in the evening. Nothing like watching vain, obnoxious people do anything for a dollar to distract you.

As this is anything but a usual time, it is quite refreshing to see that the phrase ‘politics as usual’ is not apt these days.

I am finding it a breath of fresh air to watch politicians pull together for the good of all citizens, putting petty party politics to the side to get much needed legislation passed. I am seeing it at all levels of government and I really appreciate it. Yes, there has been a little squabbling, but they are getting it done without the usual spite and venom.

There were a few shenanigans, notably the federal Liberals trying to do a nifty little extra power grab, that was thankfully stopped in its tracks, and of course Peter MacKay trying to take advantage of his frontrunner status to push for an early vote in the Conservative leadership race. Also stopped in its tracks. But for the most part it was politicos behaving nicely.

Wouldn’t it be nice if that continued?

The planet is receiving a bit of a breather as well as carbon emissions are way down as the world weathers this crisis. Notorious hot spots for smog are reporting clearer skies. Now, I know we have to go back to work when this is over, but isn’t it interesting to see just how much you can knock back emissions in just a few weeks?

This isn’t over yet, folks. But if we all do our part, there is hope. Stay home. Listen to good advice. Help your neighbour, enjoy the spring sunshine. From a distance.

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