What To Say?

I don’t know what to say.  And so I’ve said nothing to you for the past eleven days. “How can I write anything of value when the virus is so new and overwhelming for me?”  Well, perhaps now is the time to start.  If anything I say turns out to be helpful to even one person, then I (finally) feel the responsibility to say it.

I have no symptoms and I’m self-isolating at home.  I go for a long walk every day but other than that it’s a lot of couch time with my friends CBC News Network and CNN.  I’m 71, and I want to protect both me and my neighbours.  No doubt like you, this prolonged period of being physically alone feels so strange.

I miss the kids at school, and when my walks take me by their homes I keep hoping that a young one will bounce out their front door and say “Hi, Mr. Kerr.”  And a few times that’s happened.  Being away from children shows me in spades how deeply I value my face time with them.

***

I’ve watched countless interviews and press conferences.  How rarely does a politician answer a reporter’s question.  There’s a mountain of words spewing forth but also a sense of tapdancing around the truth.  When the official finally wraps up their comments, I long for a reporter to say “You didn’t answer my question.”  But I have yet to hear those words.  Yesterday, someone asked a health official “How many respirators are there in Canada?”  As the non-answer droned on for at least three minutes, I felt my exhale draw the life out of me.  But then, wonder of wonders, I heard the final word: “5000”.  So I’m hopeful that the truth will increasingly be revealed.

***

The Premier of Nova Scotia just gave a press conference, in which he declared a state of emergency for his province.  No more than five people gathered together.  Strict self-isolation for positive cases of the coronavirus.  And … the police will be on the streets enforcing these measures.  People who don’t follow these public health orders will be fined $1000 per day until they do.  Thank you, dear Nova Scotia Premier.  A clear principle of classroom management is the use of judicious consequences for breaking rules.  Clearly, adults need these as well.

***

I’m glad I wrote these words.  There’s a place for me within our worldwide response to this crisis.  I don’t know what I’ll say tomorrow, but I’ll see you then.

One thought on “What To Say?

  1. Hello hello! I have been thinking of you, I was so thrilled to see your words in my in box this morning 🙂 wise words. I think in these crazy times things will change forever, and hopefully the people will abide by them, but you are so right about needing rules and fine and discipline! oh my gosh..hugs to you my friend! stay safe…Spotify is my friend these days.

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