WHAT COVID-9 HAS GIVEN US? By Bob Weirmeir

Published April 1, 2020

Yup. Not a misprint. In times like these we can’t dwell on what we have lost. It is easy to follow the news headlines on tragedies from around the world. Not to belittle them for the tragedy is real, but sometimes you have to look at the cloud for the silver lining. Ask any farmer. They will tell you next year will be better. The price of beans will go up, the weather will hold and a bumper crop is forthcoming. Farmers are for the most part optimists.

The obvious silver lining is how our healthcare system has been holding up under this tremendous strain. The healthcare workers are literally putting their lives on the line for others. All our emergency service workers are finally being acknowledged for what they do. People we see every day, store employees deemed essential, truck drivers delivering goods we cannot do without, even garbage truck drivers (sorry, sanitary engineers) are all being recognised for the essential work they do. Many companies are retooling to produce items that are greatly needed, cost and inconvenience not even being factored into the equation.

In my view, individual people getting slight if any acknowledgment are the real silver lining to this dark cloud. The restaurant owner forced to close his doors has been going to other restaurants in the same state to gather all remaining food that would otherwise be thrown out to make meals to give to the less fortunate. His business might not recover but a final act was for people he probably will never know.     For the countless volunteers delivering food and other essential supplies to individuals who cannot get out, or should not go out, we are in your debt.

The corona virus may have brought this country, if not the world together in a way nothing else could have. The tragic effects cannot and should not be taken lightly for we have lost more than we will ever know, but the sun will come up tomorrow. There will be another day. As an optimist I can say tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. Remember to do the small things, Call your neighbour. It is such a small gesture but essential if a problem has occurred. Despite the run on grocery stores and the hoarding, there is enough to eat. My daughter now makes bread and pasta at home, with the family’s help. There may not be bread in the store but there is flour.

Instead of feeling like you are under house arrest, you can reconnect with your family, share the pleasures as you did in the past but just haven’t had time for lately. In years gone by everyone looked out for their neighbours, helping when needed, giving or trading things the other didn’t have. This time has come again. The world may never be the same again but we may have returned to a better time, where people matter.

Even the climate emergency might be in a better state. The hot air over Parliament hill is dissipating and the exhaust from the PM’s jet is now nonexistent. The silver lining!

Now if only I had toilet paper.

Bob Weirmeir is Co-Vice President of the Ontario Landowners Association and President of the Saugeen Landowners Association

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