CFL balls are photographed at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium in Winnipeg Thursday, May 24, 2018. The CFL has cancelled its 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It marks the first year the Grey Cup won’t be presented since 1919. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Mitchell’s Musings: When you mix a heatwave and a pandemic

Too many questions sparked by COVID-19 amidst a heat wave for this columnist

Questions without answers rattling around in my head while I’m not sleeping thanks to a heatwave amid the craziest year since, well, in my lifetime, and likely yours too no matter your age (although 1918 when the Great War was still raging during a pandemic must be up there too).

As the rich get richer and the poor get poorer during a pandemic, is it any wonder conspiracy theories gain traction?

Or is it more a case of people having too much time on their hands, access to the worldwide web where anything goes and when it does it goes viral, and staying in your information bubble so much that anything else seems wrong and dangerous and, yes, conspiratorial?

Is Bill Morneau resigning as finance minister and MP the right result of the WE scandal or is someone falling on their sword for the prime minister so he doesn’t have to wrong? And are we better off financially in the long run without Bill and with Justin or would we have been better off with Bill and Justinless?

If Donald Trump had resigned for similar scandals of equal importance in the U.S. over the last 3.5 years, would it have been in the single digits, double digits, or triple digits?

The CFL is calling it quits on 2020 because the federal government wouldn’t give it any money, which is not only the first group that Ottawa refused to fund during the pandemic, but if even a bit of that $43.53 million they were going to give to WE was reallocated for football we might just have a Grey Cup champion in November, like we’ve had since 1919? Is it because in Toronto they don’t even know what CFL stands for, while in the West it’s as Canadian as a Stampeder, a Blue Bomber, a Roughrider, or an Eskimo, er, Edmonton football club player?

And speaking of Canadian sports, isn’t it great the Canucks are playing playoff hockey so well against the defending champs? But did you know that on Sunday night there were only eight Canadian-born players on the roster? I know “we’re all Canucks” but maybe the Vancouver Cosmopolitans would be more appropriate?

Did you know that Canuck captain Bo Horvat’s real name is Bowie because his mother refused to name him Bo after Bo Jackson, to the chagrin of his dad, but settled on Bowie because she was a big fan of David Bowie? And yes, he’s Canadian, OK? Bo, not David.

If Justin Trudeau handpicked the governor general, instead of by committee as per usual, maybe we’re due yet another apology if half of the CBC stories about her abuse of the position prove credible. Or maybe Julie Payette would really like to get the privacy that she so obviously desires even though she’s paid by the public purse, and the former astronaut could resign instead of just taking up space, ahem, at our expense?

And just in case Justin doesn’t know, I’m available for either the GG or FM spots, although I too like my privacy and my financial acumen is limited although I once got an A in MacroEconomics 100 at Okanagan College in 1979 when I successfully BSed my way through a final exam that included the question “How would you solve Canada’s financial situation today?” Okay, maybe I’m more qualified than I thought?

And speaking of economics, does the fact that the stock market keeps rocking and rolling along while the jobless numbers increase and the debt skyrockets due to payouts and lack of taxes collected which could eventually mean depression or worse for most of us, mean we’re actually not all in this together?

And if my RRSPs go up a bit because Wall Street believes hi-tech rules (FAANG), all the while it destroys local retail, media, and maybe even democracy, should I feel good, bad, conflicted or just kind of numb inside?

While you can’t sleep because of the heat do you suddenly start worrying about global warming for a change instead of the pandemic and wonder if it’s a race to the finish? And we’re not part of the winning team either way?

Remember when the biggest concern about the upcoming first day of school was if your buddy was going to be in your class or not?

If our mask doesn’t match our outfit is that a fashion faux pas? Or are we missing the point?

If working hard and telling the truth will take you far, how does that explain Donald Trump – who doesn’t do either, becomes president of the United States, and despite tweeting 24-7, watching cable news incessantly, and campaigning more than he governs, not to mention the more than 20,000 false or misleading claims, remains president with an outside chance of four more years?

Enough, already?

Glenn Mitchell is a columnist and former editor of the Morning Star.


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