A New Year’s Message from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper
Posted December 31st, 2020 on Niagara At Large
In the nice neighbourhood I grew up in on the west side of Welland Ontario, there was this wonderful old, silver-hair fellow across the street named Truman C. Jones, or T.C. for short.
I met him before I was old enough to go to school, through my adoration for a heroic Lassie-like collie he had named Jamie, and Mr. Jones, as I always called him, became a mentor of mine.
One of the many things I still remember him telling me was this; “Dougie (the name he forever called me), don’t ever wish any time away. Make the best of every moment.”
I always considered to be sage advice from this good man but when it comes to this outgoing year – 2020 – I am sorry to say Mr. Jones, wherever you may be, this one time, I am going to have to rebel against it.
As I write this New Year’s message, there are about 15 hours – some 900 minutes – left in what turned out to be such a nightmare of a year for all of us, and I can’t wait for them to melt away fast enough, and I am sure I am far from alone in feeling that way.
When whatever hands we have on whatever clocks are still around struck midnight on January 1st, 2020, who could have imagined, other than a complete nihilist, how awful this year would turn out to be in terms of suffering and death.
In Canada, alone, more than 15,000 people who were alive last year at this time, have died from the killer virus we now all know as COVID-19. More than 140 of those deaths – among them iconic people like the late, great Afro-Canadian activist and historian Wilma Morrison – died from complications due to this virus in this Niagara, Ontario region.
Across the border, in Trump’s United States, the death toll has now surpassed a staggering 340,000 and counting. In the last month alone, more Americans died from DOVID-19 than from more than a decade of combat in the Vietnam War.
So good riddance to 2020 and hopefully, to most if not all of the bad leadership we have witnessed through it.
May those laggards and primitives from an ‘old normal’ that simply doesn’t work any more as we entire the third decade of the 21st century go the way of the coal, the tar sands, and all of the heavy-duty pickup trucks and SUVs polluting shopping mall parking lots.
Let us all hope that 2021 is the year that we can begin leaving the worst of these pandemic times behind and where we can also begin working together – not to get back to the old normal – but to build a new normal that is healthier, more sustainable, and more just and affordable for generations to come.
More on what we can possibly do to build a better future in the New Year.
Stay Tuned to Niagara At Large and thanks you so much to our growing audience of visitors for all of the interest in this online news and commentary site we have enjoyed up to now.
Doug Draper, journalist, Niagara At Large
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