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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

The four, then zero, days of Christmas

BY Sonny Orr Dec 18, 2020

We were glued to our screens, waiting for Premier François Legault to announce how we were going to celebrate Christmas during a pandemic. When the news came, groans could be heard from here to Florida. Four days, Legault promised us. Only four days to put out love and quaff eggnog! Then, with record numbers of new Covid cases on succeeding days, the number dropped from four… to zero. This year, that invisible Grinch invading millions of lungs around the world has truly stolen Christmas.

So, Santa better be on his toes this year. This might not be the time to celebrate when so many are at risk. Why make this Christmas the one you regret a few months down the road? Besides, it’s for the poor, sick and tired too, who are often the first to feel the effects of any outbreak.

Many people are now wishing for an antidote for all of this. Some are wishing for some time off – the frontline workers, the transport people, the growers and sellers, the ones who put themselves at risk to place food on the shelves and make things as available as possible. These people should be thanked and given some Christmas spirits.

Let’s not forget the medical teams, where I can relate to how life can be during the holidays in a big city. One year I had to go and wait it out at the emergency in downtown Montreal. While waiting for my turn, ambulances kept arriving because of accidents, stabbings, falls on icy streets. Plus, there was a noticeable police presence. So, I can imagine why they would want to keep the peace as much as possible during these trying times. Our medics need a break too, so the best gift anyone could give is the solace and gratitude that life continues if we play it smart.

Now back to some good old jolly news. Many people have been out white bird hunting and I see that people are still carrying out our way of life despite the new measures. Even the caribou are out enjoying life without the sport hunters. Less stress all around. At least some good things should never change.

This leads to something else, like the drop in energy consumption. But the lesser usage of what we normally consume, like energy, is still something that shouldn’t be ignored. 

If I remember my physics, the La Grande Complex is one large extended kinetic energy storage basin, which holds water that drives turbines that produce energy for the south. The turbines are not getting their usual demand from the south due to the sharp decrease in economic activities that would normally use a lot of wattage. The water is just bypassing the turbines using the spillways, which is filling up the next reservoir downstream and into the next and so on. So, if there is too much water why not turn some back into the Rupert River? Just a thought.

Then again, the need for electricity just might come from the need to power electric vehicles and there are some very promising prospects out there, a Tesla Roadster anyone? Oh yeah, forgot it passed Mars already. 

But with four days of Christmas, or none, we should stay focussed on what is really our overall Christmas gift – a vaccine that works for everyone. Let’s get rid of this horrid virus once and for all! 

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy Christmas.

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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.