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Kamloops News

JONESIE: There's no panic here, especially this COVID Christmas

December 18, 2020 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


You know what you don’t see much anymore? Buttons. Like the political kind of buttons, remember those?

But the other morning, out of the blue, we spotted one on a bridge as we were cycling in downtown Kelowna and I stopped to pick it up.

We got new bikes late last year so luckily we didn’t have to fight for them this year — seems like everyone is cycling. We never take the beauty of the Okanagan for granted, but two wheels have taken us places this year we didn’t know existed. I don't mind saying, it's brought us closer together.

It’s become one of our favourite things to ride and enjoy lunch at some place we’ve never been.

We never used to do that. Feels like something we should do, if we can.

Anyway, downtown Kelowna is one of our favourite spots. Lots of people, lots of space. Dogs, babies, basketball, volleyball, tennis players, public art, the walkway, the restaurants, the buildings, the estuary, the mill and the mountain that overlooks it all.

What’s not to like?

Then, the button: Sunny yellow with black, bold writing.

COVID-19 99.74% SURVIVAL RATE
COVID-19 99.74% SURVIVAL RATE

“COVID-19 99.74% SURVIVAL RATE”

Seemed like such a cheery message should have an exclamation point or maybe a high-five emoji. Like ‘Yeah, thank goodness it does, WOOOO!'

But I knew from the aftermath of a rally we passed earlier, it’s more nuanced. It implies that this needs to be explained like we don’t know this or that it makes some difference. It implies we are panicked. Well not so much implied as the sidewalk chalk drawings saying "you’re panicking over a 99.74 % survival rate” or something like that.

Are we? I’ve been thinking about it ever since, looking objectively for signs of panic. Maybe a little on social media, but who knows what that is, really. I see signs of worry, largely from people who have reason to worry for economic or health reasons.

But we’ve come a long way from the Great Spring Toilet Paper Rush and the only folks I see taking things out of perspective are holding placards.

Me? Am I panicking? I don’t think so, but I examine. Good information and a solid grounding to process it is a great salve for anxiety. I understand the implications and the risks, which for me are quite low but I pull an oar for the team anyway.

I was thinking about this again the other night as I looked up from a fist-fightin’ game of Settlers of Catan with my family. One son is home from the Army, the other’s finishing up a semester in college.

There are books in the corner, a chess set awaiting a challenge. Plants and fresh herbs, part of a new shared hobby seem to be everywhere, fresh cookies on the counter, part of baking and cooking lessons.

There’s boots and mitts on the mat from the group snow-shovelling, group firewood-chopping.

The TV is still tuned to the PlayStation where we’ve been taking turns serving dishes on Overcooked, belly-laughing as we go.

We’re playing Catan at the kitchen table because the coffee table is covered with Lego we haven’t touched in 10 years. We’ve been sorting through two giant buckets, planning some new and old builds; kids reminiscing about favourite pieces.

Not since before they could drive have we had a Christmas like this. Not when there was somewhere else to go.

We’ve had hard parts through the pandemic, not nearly as much as some. We're thankful for what we've got and we’re trying to make the most of it.

We’re stuck at home, together.

I couldn't ask for anything better. It's brought me closer to my wife and my family.

For me, this is going to be the best Christmas in years.

So no, I’m not panicking.

— Marshall Jones is the Managing Editor of iNFOnews.ca

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2020
InfoTel News Ltd

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