Go to main menu Go to main content Go to footer

Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ


BY Sonny Orr Mar 27, 2020

I peek into the pharmacy to see if anyone is working. I’m here to pick up my regular medications for the normal ailments and hoping that it’s open. It’s the year 2022 and COVID-22 is in full swing. COVID-19 mutated in 2020, then again into – guess what? – COVID-21. Now it has mutated once again into, yes – COVID-22.

This strain is just like the others but involves a lot of bowel movements. The towering pyramids of toilet paper that I smartly stashed in my backyard shack are finally seeing the light of day, albeit very briefly, before being sent off to the sanitation department where everything touched by humans is incinerated. Since COVID- 21, the art of picking cheap clothing for next to nothing is something the richer folks wished they had learned from their nannies. The general rule is to wear your clothes for a week before they are cremated.

Even with all the stringent measures we took to prevent contamination back in 2020, the coronavirus spread from home to home. Back then we didn’t realize that this silent enemy had already infiltrated our ranks more than a year earlier through the pets. The pets were the traitorous carriers of this ruthless invader and it picked us off one by one until, inevitably, the pets were left to tend for themselves. Huge packs of dogs began roaming the towns looking for anything to fight over, from scrap food to a favourite frisbee or chewable doll. There was no garbage left to rummage through, and slowly, the packs decimated themselves by eating their offspring to survive. Funny thing, the Chihuahuas dominated the packs, as they needed only a morsel every few days to get by.

The news was another repeat of yesterday’s news as all news anchors work from home. Even the international correspondents report from home, using remote-controlled drones or UAVs with cameras and microphones to get the latest news. But the news now focusses on the people who venture outside for illegal crow or seagull hunting, the only animals left in abundance. The cameras follow from their silent airborne vantage points to record whether these survivors can catch any food animals. When they do bag a bird, the broadcast is immediately cut off to give the hunter a chance to escape from the hordes who still have enough strength to try steal the catch. The world is hunger and chaos.

Back in 2020, I happened to be a bit of a geek and had ordered a 3D printer with enough printer materials to make a platoon of tanks if need be. I downloaded the plans for a 3D printer and printed out two more printers and managed to create a bicycle with run-flat tires and strong gears.

After leaving the pharmacy, I use my bike to outrace the dogs to the grocery store with no real problem. The store manager had ordered another padlock from me and I delivered the freshly printed lock and key set to him, who gratefully locked up the large freezers that hold the town supply of meats and poultries safe from anything that isn’t human.

There was another break-in last night and most of the milk has disappeared. Our little family has used dry milk for the last three years as we waited patiently for our turn to shop since the stores only allow 10 customers at a time. The waiting list to enter the grocery store is thinning, but the next opening is still at least a year away.

As a people, what saved us was the knowledge of the medicines that grew on our lands. A few smart people were able to come up with the right formula to recreate the medicinal powers of the plants in time to save our people from extinction. The rest of the paranoid societies and cities had already locked out and kept in people with high walls, only opening the waste gates to throw out tons of used tissue paper, which we were paid to incinerate. Instead, the toilet paper was recycled as it was the most valuable product on the planet.

I get back on my bike, glance around to see if any dogs are nearby, and pedal off grateful for the dozen eggs I earned in exchange for the replaced padlock.

Signing off from the future, I remain COVID-free.

LATEST ᒫᐦᒡ ᑎᐹᒋᒧᐧᐃᓐ

Sonny Orr is Cree from Chisasibi, and has been a columnist for the Nation for over 20 years. He regularly pens Rez Notes from the cozy social club in Whapmagoostui where he resides.