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Fall colours

BY Sonny Orr Sep 11, 2020

Aiiyaayaa! Summer is gone already! And 2020 is about 75% gone! How time flies when you’re having fun! Though this year has seemed slow, the days run by relentlessly. Line-ups are part of our daily lives now, while crowding is no more. Life seems to be somewhat safer for now and things aren’t too bad, as distancing is a lot easier than crowding together for social pleasure and seeing that you are not alone. The posters urging us to stay clean and sober have now been replaced with those ordering us to stay clean and apart. Somehow, having an endless supply of land that is empty of people tends to help us with keeping our distance.

More populated countries and cities are hardest hit, since there are a lot more people per square kilometre than here, where we might be one person every 50 square klicks on average. You do the math: there are more people in space than in most of remote northern Quebec. 

Talking about space, Space-X launches are causing some wonderment again, but soon that will be a normal sight too. Like I said, there’s more hardware in space than in our local junkyard, which is saying something. Yes, one day rockets will literally have to blast their way through all the floating debris, but Space X Starlink satellites already have avoidance programs to keep them out of the way of the space garbage. They are cool little satellites powered by Kryptonite – yes, Superman couldn’t even take them down.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, we tend to be happier when we worry about avoiding catching anything that will make us sniffle. Over the last few weeks, however, the annual berry picking harvests have produced an amazing amount of large berries. Some would say that we are lucky, but it’s nature’s way of telling us to prepare for a nasty winter. That aside, Halloween will be interesting this year, like how will you dress up with a mask? Isn’t that a moot point or something?

So, would the Mummy costume have to be used just for the irony? How about the pirate’s eye patch combo? Could you use a snorkel and go as a scuba diver? Or maybe just wear the plain mask of a nurse? No one should make fun of nurses, though. So, even though baring your face is illegal unless you are alone, so might trick or treating be out of order by the end of October. Still, I wonder with some faint hope, can the virus withstand the cold?

Back home, the logistics of opening schools have proven to be a little more challenging. Keeping a school germ-free does need a lot of manpower. Kids have a great adaptability when it comes to learning. As for adults, well that’s another story. Who knew it would take us all our lives to grow up?

Since we started deconfining, there have been a few DEFCONs – I have no idea what that means but it’s used a lot in end-of-the-world scenarios in movies and sounds cool. People have been allowed to wander about until they reach some hot zone. This means stay the hell away from everyone, especially from those back home in isolation who have some comfort in knowing that they are still healthy and safe.

Elections are allowed now, and Facebook is filled with posts of political contests in many communities. Good luck to all those who dare take the challenge in these times. Aside from all that, summer was pleasant and I’m hoping for a glorious autumn.

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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.