Columnist Robert Vairo’s ‘That’s What I’m Thinking’

There is Hope in these bad times

Well now. That is some beginning to 2021. Unprecedented curfew in Quebec, never before seen violent attempted insurrection at the White House, Covid-19 reaching record levels of infection and showing no sign of slowing down, in fact the virus is mutating, snail pace inoculation with what few vaccines Canada has obtained. The entitled travelling politicians and bureaucrats, who were caught. There are more headlines during these first few days of the year, but enough negativity for now.

And here I was expecting, at least hoping, really hoping to begin the New Year with the Laval News on a high note. You know, a positive commentary. It’s tough. Nearly impossible.

They say to remain positive amidst the bombardment of negative news is to watch less of it. But with less screen time news, a phone call or informal chat with a family member or friend will almost always bring up current events. Someone else will undoubtedly inform you, so you’re going to find out anyway. And besides, we all want to stay current, especially these days.

Another suggestion is to watch positive news. Where is there positive news? Each medium has a news template that includes stories on chaos, politics, court cases, and often a “live” unfolding shoot out. However, often a more hopeful story ends the news, like a little girl who donates her five-dollar birthday gift to a homeless man, or a human who saves a helpless deer that crashed through thin ice.

Volunteering for an organization that’s close to your heart can help a lot.

And there’s talk about exercise. Not going to a gym, but just walking regularly (before 8p.m, unless you walk the dog) helps to balance negativity.

Understanding ‘duality’, meaning accepting that there has to be some negative events for us to appreciate the ones that are positive in our lives – another example of how to find positive energy in your life.

For example, the Prime Minister seems to score political points just by saying, more or less, what we are already thinking. He said, “Canadians are deeply disturbed by violence in Washington.” No kidding. We are sad, shocked and angry. The vaccine roll- out has been disgustingly slow. The Prime Minister says, “I share your frustration” with the pace of inoculation. Maybe if his government had ordered sooner, we wouldn’t be receiving merely a few hundred thousand at a time, for a nation of 38 million. The positive side is the fact this is Canada, a huge country dealing with a vaccine that has to be kept ridiculously cold. Working out the logistics or distribution just takes time. The pace will accelerate. Positive.

Remember back when we were hoping for a Canadian vaccine from Halifax’s Dalhousie University? They were doing research with China’s Sinovac. Had it come to be, not that many of us would have lined up for a China related vaccine anyway. As you know, China, world bullies that they are, pulled out of the Canadian alliance and went on their own. Turns out their vaccine is said to be no more than “78% effective”. I’m glad events unfolded as they did. That’s positive.

The assault on democracy by domestic terrorists almost led to the destruction of the electoral ballots in Washington. Imagine if that would have happened. Those yahoos would have burned them in public view. But according to some Twitter chatter, the young Senate staff rushed the valises out, full of votes from the 50 states, before the thugs crashed Congress. That’s positive.

Our Health Minister Anna Hajdu approved two million faulty Covid test kits for 150 million dollars. Fortunately, someone decided to test them after the first five thousand arrived. I suppose that’s positive. I’m trying very hard here. This company Spartan Bioscience was praised by Trudeau and received a near 300-thousand-dollar grant from the National Research Council. Sorry, that’s one where I can’t find the positive side.

Our public affairs minister Bill Blair had to make an about turn after Doug Ford told him 63 thousand people were pouring into Pearson airport every week, unchecked. Canada’s Border Services estimates seven to ten thousand per day fly into Canada, on the honour system to quarantine. Many do not. Finally, a pre-boarding testing policy was quickly put together by Ottawa effective Jan 7th. The airlines wanted it six months ago. But it’s now in effect. That’s positive.

What about these entitled politicians flying off to the sun while their constituents are told to not even see family? Fired, resigned, demoted. They won’t do it again. Positive.

I know you’ve heard this before but it’s worth repeating. We can’t control events around us, but we can control how we react to them. Stay safe.

That’s what I’m thinking.

Robert Vairo