It’s been a weird summer, with heat waves, wildfires, another surge in the pandemic, and borders still partially closed. But I hope everyone is finding a way to make the most of it. How we experience something depends mostly on our choices—how we choose to react—not on the circumstances.
First it was the heat dome. They say it claimed 570 BC lives, people not prepared for such high heat. In these parts, most are just not acclimatized to the kind of summer weather that’s relatively normal in many other parts of the world, including parts of Canada.
Personally, I survived just fine, partly because I’m probably better acclimatized to heat than many, partly because my place stayed reasonably cool (no south-facing windows), and partly, I think, because I ordered my activities accordingly—hiking in the early morning, and spending time at the beach and on the water, but doing so earlier in the day, not in the hot afternoon.
Although the extreme heat ended, the high pressure ridge lingered. For 52 days straight, no rain was recorded at YVR. A treat for a few of us in the Lower Mainland who enjoy the beautiful outdoors sans rain.
But devastation elsewhere. Fires abounded. A whole town burns down. BC is still burning and no end is yet in sight. Many others are also losing homes and property. Firefighters are doing their best but can’t be everywhere. People are refusing to evacuate because they see no help coming and want to protect their own property and livelihoods. Who can really blame them?
And then we have the ignorant—those flying their drones over the fire zones, impeding the work of the firefighters, probably unaware that they can be fined up to $100,000, put in jail for a year, or both, for doing so.
On the pandemic front, we responded well to the call to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. And the circuit-breaker that was imposed wrestled the third wave into submission. Many restrictions were lifted and the delta variant took advantage of it. Now we face a fourth wave that one expert has called “the pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Will we face another round of restrictions before even those still limiting some of our activities are lifted?
I wonder, too, whether the fourth wave surge has something to do with the smoke that’s compromising our pulmonary capacities. When I look at the map of the surging virus and compare it to the map of the heaviest drifting smoke, the correlation is strong.
In between, we got the distraction of the Olympics. Did you pay any attention? I wasn’t too excited about them this time around, but they gradually grew on me, to the point where I (not even a soccer fan), was one of those who roused in the wee hours last Friday to watch our girls take the gold medal.
Our athletes did Canada proud at these games!—a winter country coming in 11th in the summer rendition. (For comparison, our population is the 37th among the countries of the world.)
Another oddity: we’ve been extremely lucky in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, having had almost no smoke. Here in Abbotsford, I count on one hand the number of days the air has been smoky. Is it influencing your travel patterns? It is, mine.
Then, there’s the economy, slowly getting back to more normal. The torrid pace of housing market has slowed. Businesses are reopening, but often hampered by a shortage of workers. The tourism industry, though, continues to suffer massively.
Then there’s the shortage of almost everything you want to buy, from furniture to lumber to plumbing supplies to used cars to cans of soup to . . . (insert almost anything), the result of plant closures during the pandemic
It’s a complicated mix of those prospering and those suffering as we emerge from the economic restrictions, a disparity who’s root cause is really in the disparity of economic knowledge (another topic for another day).
Amidst all this, we now face an election that may be called by the time this post has hit your Inboxes. It’s opportunism in the extreme. The Liberals think they can take advantage of all this mess to get the majority they lack, and thus add a couple more secure years to their mandate. They tried to goad the opposition into forcing an election, but couldn’t. So now they are coming up with all sorts of vacuous excuses for pretending parliament is dysfunctional.
But, who could blame them? That’s politics. One would expect the same from any other party. Do you want an election amidst all the complexities we’re facing this summer? I suppose if you’re a die-hard Liberal, you might. Otherwise, I doubt it.
A wild and weird summer? You bet!
But it is what we make of it.
At least, that’s how I see it . . .