Through the valley of the shadow of the pandemic

Shadow of the pandemic

Many expect me to react with yet more unrestrained vitriol for the latest move by Our Dear Leader to ban firearms, confiscate valuable property and turn law-abiding citizens into criminals overnight. Instead, all the artful ways of saying what must be said have already been spoken. So let it be stated bluntly that just as taking licenses away from seniors after decades in the driver’s seat causes suicides, death will inevitably accompany the disarmament of citizens.

Providentially, I was at ground zero on the day the announcement was made - a large sporting goods store in that land without a sales tax. My order had been called in hours before, yet it was still a 90-minute wait for my turn to pay and collect. Curbside pick-up stretched around the block, as angry citizens of every race, class and creed waited patiently in line for a chance to carry all kinds of skinny rectangular boxes home along with small cubes full of jingling brass.

It was Christmas in May, each hour surpassing the last in new sales records. Even after ten years on the job, my service representative told me he had never seen this level of activity.

I ought to mention that this missive is being written while riding over muskeg in our most Canadian of vehicles after canoes, dogsleds, and bushplanes: a railcar. Travelling during the plague has been fairly straightforward, as the Almighty saw fit to clear both skies and roads of hazards natural or contrived. There was a brief discussion with one worried looking conservation officer but she agreed a job offer was better than sitting out on the CERB.

My sampling of conversations across the West has lead me to believe most Canadians are ready for the country to reopen. My fellow believers are hungry to recieve their Savior as well as imbibe in community once again and the angst from unemployment or economic loss are going to cost us more lives than COVID-19, let alone the necessary medical procedures many have gone without for months. If we maintain good hygene, all should go back to normal.

My own new method of earning a wage is somewhat contigent on the border reopening - and guns being legal to survive the presence of apex predators. I can only pray that Trudeau the Second comes to his senses on both counts before there isn’t a country to rule. On a positive note, driving my truck that the bank still owns was fairly cheap, thanks to gas prices. Even with the freight, it will cost less than flying, particularly to the North, on our now all but defunct airlines.

To be clear, I understand this situation isn’t easy for any of us, regardless of ideological persuasion. Everyone is experiencing a level of panic not known since the Cuban Missile Crisis or near the end of the Cold War. But getting out of those predicaments required a bold vision, not the shutting down of life indefinitely as if the great march of history is something one can just hit the snooze button on repeatedly. Freedom is not free - life and liberty come with serious risks.

It is therefore a happy coincidence that this week we will mark 75 years since victory in Europe was achieved by our ancestors. We might recall that five years before that, an old, bald, fat man with a penchant for the bottle told the world that: “We shall fight them...We shall never surrender, whatever the cost may be.” With that iron will, democracy triumphed over fascism, as free peoples united to obtain the unconditional surrender of tyranny, not counting the cost.

I am headed to the Last Lion’s namesake, on a bumpy carriage likely built at the time of his death. And though, like all of you, I walk through the valley of the shadow of this pandemic, his roar and vices, they comfort me. Chaos and fear come in many forms, from microscopic to megalomaniac. But we shall not tire in opposing their worst means and infernal ends; in this, our darkest hour of recent memory, I pray we exhibit the courage of our forebears and gain victory.

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