This is the first Canada Day I can remember that feels more like Thanksgiving in October than the first blast of a summer of fun.
There will be no fireworks in Port Coquitlam this year, or quaffing a cold one at Port Moody’s Golden Spike Days. Canada Day is being celebrated at home with virtual offerings while I expect Coquitlam’s Town Centre park will be damp and lonely compared to previous years.
It’s not just the rain that’s getting me down or the fact that our traditional family gathering has been cancelled as well as a neighbourhood get together, where everyone wears red and plays Canada Day trivia.
I don’t know.
I feel like a kind of malaise has set in with the knowledge that COVID-19 is introducing a whole new set of social etiquette that will likely be with us for years.
I know I’m not alone in struggling with issues such as whether to wear masks in public all the time and how many people I can have in my social bubble.
So bear with me as I look for ways to be glad I’m a Canadian.
Turns out, I don’t have to look too far, maybe as close as Washington State, which strangely, had been considering a full opening, something B.C. is not considering until a vaccine is widely available.
This week, the Department of Health is informing Washington residents that it won’t allow counties to move to Phase 4 because of the risk of a spike in COVID-19 cases.
I’m not saying Washingtonians have, up until now, been in denial. They were among the first to recognize COVID-19 when it arrived to their shore but were hampered in stopping community spread by a lack of testing kits.
Indeed, some British Columbians appear to be a bit too sanguine when it comes to observing proper social distancing — yes, I’m looking at you, patrons of Brandi’s Show Lounge in Vancouver where cases of COVID-19 were found amongst visitors who visited the strip club over three days.
But for the most part British Columbia is free of the kind of rampant uptick in cases seen in the U.S. and elsewhere, although to be fair Quebec and Ontario are still seeing hundreds of new daily cases and Toronto and the Peel region are instituting mandatory masks when people are in public indoors.
Still, our coronavirus pandemic is nowhere near as devastating as many other places while the social safety net that was quickly introduced, though not perfect, is helping tame what could have been a roaring economic dumpster fire.
So as I plan to catch up on some reading and maybe Zoom my friends and relatives a Canada Day greeting, I will count my blessings rather than my complaints.