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.