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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Stay healthy my friends

BY Sonny Orr Apr 10, 2020

Well, what can I say! The world is in sleep mode, a quiet panic that fortunately hasn’t spilled out onto the streets. People everywhere are staying indoors as much as possible to avoid being infected with the now infamous virus. I don’t want to say its name because it’s ingrained in my psyche and no matter what, I can’t wash it away. So there, I won’t mention it. 

A long time ago, well before any medicines were invented by mistake, we had medicines that helped us stay alive over thousands of years. Back then, isolation was standard, and no one carried anything dangerous in their bodies. After the year 1500, diseases were rampant and killed nearly everyone, except for those who weren’t in contact with anything contagious. But then came contact with Europeans, and diseases spread rapidly.

During the 20th century, we had to deal with influenza, chicken pox, measles, scarlet fever and numerous other diseases. In the 1960s, vaccinations became common practice and people felt safe… for a while. Today, we face a new disease and it seems that the only cure is prevention – being smart enough to do the right things and avoid it altogether. I could surmise that this disease can be spread by stupidity, arrogance and self-importance, but try telling that to a microscopic virus, let alone a human.

As we stand together outside, waiting for the sirens to announce the nightly curfew, we marvel at the incredible light show offered by the new system designed to keep us all connected via a blistering fast internet service delivered from the stars above. Again, unless you were on the moon for the past few years and watched an electric car fly by heading towards the sun, there’s no need for me to mention his name. According to him, we will move to Mars and inhabit the Red Planet. We will leave this dying one and start all over again, this time equipped with amazing technology and not just a few fig leaves. 

It seems like a far-off dream, but who would have imagined that the entire world would shut down human activity, that thousands of satellites would be launched and even the idea of a large celestial object turning into a comet could happen just four months ago. Certainly not me! It caught me off guard, and most likely it’s the same for a few billion other people. Ahhh, this year has started off with fireworks and crazy stuff, and it’s only month four. What’s next? I’m afraid to ask.

I guess that humanity, with all its fallible mixtures of cultures and strengths, will prevail. But like I said, it’s something we will have to outsmart before it turns us into a submissive society. Sooner or later, we will trade all this madness for a juicy steak in a sit-down restaurant while quaffing some aged beer. It will probably be later. In the past, I would have been tempted to go out after curfew, but this time, I don’t think so. 

Stay healthy and smart my friends! 

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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.