Last month, I predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic would soon be over. A month later, reality has again proven me wrong. New infections are surging around the world even as governments relax restrictions that protect public health. Some 50,000 cases in one day in the U.K., as it celebrates “Freedom Day,” when all the COVID-limiting regulations ended. The U.S. is seeing surging numbers of the especially infectious Delta variant, as more and more people cry for them to open the Canadian border to non-essential travel for the fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the other existential threat to humanity, global heating, has reached the undeniable stage. Cities and counties are recording record high temperatures all over the northern hemisphere. Fires are consuming unmatched swathes of British Columbia. Residents are evacuating small towns in Ontario and B.C. Smoke clouds the skies, even here in Ottawa. Rain floods Germany and Belgium.
It all makes me feel very, very fortunate to live here in Ottawa, high up on a hill, remote from the chaos. It’s hot, yes, but not on fire.
but it’s not all bad,
Summer is the season when we slow down. It takes longer to get things done.
People head off for vacations, to the cottage, to visit relatives. Even this summer, despite the advice not to travel. I see fewer people on the roads and in the stores. The streets are strangely empty.
That, and the restrictions on contact and gathering, makes it feel strange to be connecting with more neighbours this summer than ever before.
It’s an oft-cited aspect of suburban life in this generation that our neighbourhoods are atomized. We’re isolated far more than our parents ever were. There are still neighbours I have lived among for years without getting to know. But as the lockdown eased, as vaccination rates (at least in Canada) and temperatures climb, I’m meeting and talking with neighbours a lot more.
It may have something to do with the larger population of pets, but I’ve been talking with neighbours a lot more—especially those who are walking their dogs past my house, or whose dogs get loose near me.
I am also surprising myself. I never thought of myself as all that sociable before, but I find myself approaching strangers and talking with them more than ever before. I tell them my name, they tell me theirs, their dogs’, their vaccination status, their families’ vaccination status…
The sale continues
Last month, when I predicted the end of the pandemic and thus of the reduced prices for my books, it seems that will continue for some time. But of course, it cannot go on forever.
So take advantage of lower prices while you still can. Act now while my books are on sale, or downright free, from:
- Barnes & Noble
- Apple iBooks
Post a selfie for a free book
Here’s an offer you cannot refuse: download one of my e-books before the sale ends, take a selfie showing the cover on your e-reader and post it to social media, tagging me. I’ll send you a signed paperback copy of one of my books that you do not have.
What’s your prognosis?
Vaccination rates are climbing in rich countries, and so are infections of the deadliest variants of COVID-19. Care to make a prediction about when we’ll feel safer outside, or gathering indoors? Leave a comment.