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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

New Year hopes

BY Sonny Orr Jan 15, 2022

The year 2021 was as disastrous as could be expected given the fact that we are heading into a third year of the pandemic. After reeling from the first vaccination, then the second one and yet a third one, we now have three-quarters protection. Sounds like the Canadian dollar – three US quarters for a Canuck buck. 

Not to sound too harsh, but much of the spread of the latest outbreak is indeed just that, a spread of a contagious element. And how did it spread? By human transfer, of course. Now how did that happen with all the precautions we followed so feverously? Because we started to slack off in recent months. So it goes with humans, being out of sync with nature’s attitudes.

Yes, leave it to the governments to do it all for you. But guess what? Governance is just that and no one cares about governance anymore. It’s an outdated expression meaning someone you put in charge tells you what is best whether you like it or not. This tends to bring out the rebel in some though not for those whose common sense prevails. 

To think that some people said we were not affected biologically – until recent outbreaks when contagion spread like wildfire in our little communities. People have now just realized how close to the bone this Omicron variant cut into our families. Way too close for comfort and even closer for those who avoided getting vaccinated. 

Lessons must be learnt from this. Now we know firsthand how important safety rules are in times like these. This is hopefully only a once-in-a-lifetime event. The mantra is now – pray for a short time and not for the rest of our lives. Please let this end for our sanity and our health.

On a lighter note, FaceTiming the grandchildren is becoming more assuring given that we are all in this together, separated by curfews and lockdowns. We live our lives waiting for that reunion time to happen again without fear.

As far as work, I’m not sure if working from home will be the norm again. With the kids going to school online and being cooped up during the long winter months, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some sort of mania like cabin fever – for those who think that living in cabins is torture. For us, it’s part of our way of life. 

But isolating for a few weeks without the pleasure of a hot shower will test your sense of smell. If your natural odour doesn’t bother you, get another rapid Covid test.

Speaking of tests, the number of people in close contact with each other multiplies the crazy infection numbers and overwhelms the healthcare system. So don’t be a contact trace victim, stay at home and away from everyone and stay off that list!

Another noticeable adjustment is that medical masks are now the only ones that offer some sort of protection. That Habs mask just doesn’t cut it anymore. Now the electronic version of your adequate protection code needs updating. The printout version for those without a device is out the window like a used Kleenex. Again, just stay home and out of the way of further spread. Remember, you can be the next contact trace victim.

Oh yes, Happy New Year to those who defied the curfew and nearly blew up the neighbourhood with their fireworks. God bless and stay out of the emergency room!

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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.