Tagged: winnipeg

Ideas for the 2022 Winnipeg Mayoral election

- by Alyson Shane


Several people have asked me if I'm running (I'm not) but talking to others about the kind of Mayor I would be (or the kind I would like to see leading our fair city) has me thinking about what I'd do if I was running things. 

Not just from a policy perspective (if you want smart ideas and insights read on that, read the Dear Winnipeg blog) but what I'd do as Mayor to get more people talking about issues in my city. 

Winnipeg's Biggest Challenge

One of the things I learned as a spokesperson for VoteOpen (aka The Coalition for Portage & Main) was that most people are too busy living their lives to pay attention to politics.

That's not a criticism — most people don't have the time, money, and extra energy to dedicate to following politics, especially at the civic level that tends to get eclipsed by national and international news in the media.

However, this is a problem. When people don't have the means to learn about civic issues and don't spend time following politics they tend to vote in their own best interests — often at the detriment of the city as a whole.

Even worse, when people aren't engaged they don't think about what "could be" and fall back on "keeping things the way they are" because they see change as potentially impacting their lives. They may also subscribe to outdated facts, ideas, or beliefs that can easily be debunked.

(See my 2018 post about reopening Portage & Main for an example of how easy it can be to debunk these sorts of beliefs.)

A healthy, thriving city can only happen when the people who live there pay attention, are informed, and are given the tools to think long-term about how their vote will impact the city they and future generations of their family will live in. 

Right now, that's not Winnipeg.

We're (slowly) moving in the right direction, but that's largely thanks to advocacy groups, nonprofits, and organizations fighting tooth-and-nail against a Mayor and many City Counsellors who lack vision for what our city could be. 

Winnipeg's biggest issue is that our leadership fails to

a) convey a long-term vision for our city, and
b) bring the public along with them as they work to achieve it

So that's what this post is about: policies and leadership ideas that I'd enact if I were in charge of our fair city. 

I hope these inspire some of the people currently in the running to think more deeply about how we can lead Winnipeg to a better, brighter, and more progressive future.

I'd Start a Podcast

True leadership isn't just about pushing your own ideas — it's about bringing people together, facilitating dialogues, and "leading" people to a shared solution.

48% of Canadian podcast listeners consume podcasts produced by Canadians, and 27% of Canadian podcast listeners consume three podcast episodes of podcasts each week. Additionally, 46% of adults 18 — 49 listened to a podcast in the last month, making it a great way to connect with younger demographics about issues happening in our city.

The podcast would be modelled after shows like The Ezra Klein Show and The Argument (both well-researched and informative shows). 

Each week I'd sit down with community organizers, urban planners, and activists to have meaningful discussions about issues facing our city. 

The podcast would also be the perfect opportunity for activists to have meaningful public discussions with City Counsellors in their area about disagreements they're having or policies they oppose or want to see changed, all moderated by a wonky, data-obsessed host (me).

We would do two seasons a year: one in the spring, and one in the fall. 

I'd Start a Book Club

The book club would be ongoing (no breaks) and focused on topics like urban planning, civic issues, and community engagement and empowerment. I'd work with my PR team to promote the books we're reading on my social media and provide links to audiobooks and e-reader versions, and invite members of the press, City Council, and the general public to read the books along with me.

A book club led by the Mayor would accomplish several goals:

  • It would encourage more people to read about important topics we face as a city. One of the challenges with civic engagement is not knowing where to start, so a book club would act as a jumping-off point for people.
  • It would fuel public dialogue. My experience with VoteOpen showed me that talking to people is how we change hearts and minds. Giving people facts and empowering them to learn more helps them feel involved and engaged, which helps them feel more comfortable with change.
  • It would call out lazy City Counsellors. If a counsellor is against policies informed by books we're reading as a city, we can call that out. Too many politicians (here and elsewhere) make uninformed decisions and this would be a way to highlight intellectual laziness at the civic leadership level.

(Plus on a personal level it would feel soooo good to tell Jeff Browaty to "read a fucking book for once".)

I'd Curb Urban Sprawl and Invest in Infill Development

Urban sprawl isn't the answer to our housing crisis.

Allowing developers to influence how our city grows has caused us to sprawl outward and the city can't afford it.

Literally. Winnipeg is going to go bankrupt maintaining both our existing infrastructure and trying to maintain the sewers, roads, and other necessities residents of all the newer neighbourhoods need as well. 

If we want to avoid being the Canadian version of Detroit then we need a Mayor with some balls and the will to stand up to developers and push to curb urban sprawl and replace it with:

  • Incentives to infill vacant lots and parking pads downtown and other parts of the city
  • Updating our zoning laws to encourage homeowners to renovate and add guest houses, butler suites, and other rental options
  • Removing parking requirements for new builds to incentivize smaller-scale development (see the point about zoning above)

I'd Impose a Toll on "Bedroom Communities"

Years ago I was driving around with a fellow business owner who bragged about living just outside the Perimeter.

"It's great" they said "I get to have a huge property and enjoy the city without having to pay municipal taxes."

This isn't fair to Winnipeggers. 

People in "bedroom communities" like East St. Paul, Lorette, and Headingley (to name a few) currently enjoy our city and use our roads and infrastructure without having to pay for it like the rest of us.

If you want to live outside of the city, that's your choice. But if I were Mayor you'd have to pay your fair share just like everyone else.

I'd Open Portage & Main

This is a no-brainer. See my 2018 post.

I'd Allow People to Keep Chickens

This may sound like a weird policy, but hear me out: chickens help improve food security at a local level.

Chickens are quiet* and gentle animals with big personalities, and caring for them can be fun and rewarding for adults and kids alike.

Allowing people (and schools!) to keep a small flock of chickens has multiple benefits, including:

  • Providing local and sustainable sources of eggs
  • Empowering citizens to take a more proactive role in their food sources
  • Teaching people (and kids!) about nature 
  • Providing great fertilizer for residential and community gardens

* Roosters are the ones who are loud and obnoxious; they would still be banned.

Several Canadian cities including Montreal, Vancouver, and Edmonton (to name a few) already allow it, Calgary just launched a program, and it's time Winnipeg does, too. 

So, Why Aren't I Running for Mayor?

Put simply: I don't want to. 

I like being a private citizen and I believe that I can make a bigger difference as an advocate and outspoken community member supporting a Mayor who adopts progressive and forward-thinking policies than as the person in the big chair, myself.

That being said, I'm extremely interested in helping my city become a thriving, vibrant place where our leadership takes an active role in bringing the electorate along with why decisions are being made, the data that backs them up, and getting Winnipeggers excited and energized about the future of the city we call "home".

If you'd like my help doing that, just drop me a line. I'd love to hear how I can help.

Tags: Winnipeg

 

The poet

- by Alyson Shane


Yesterday I went to the launch of "Through Disassembled Houses of Perfect Stones"which is a thin, beautiful book of poetry by Manitoba poet David Yerex Williamson.

I met David a week ago today when John and I performed on Kelly Hughes Live! which is a live-broadcast variety show of sorts that's shot in The Valiant Theatre, which is actually an old church that's slowly (slowly) being transformed into a venue while Kelly lives in the back.

I'm not religious but there was something moving about being in that old church. The sweeping ceilings, the still-there pews, the stained glass windows and the shadows on the wall where old paintings and religious items used to hang.

Churches, for better or worse, are where so many people's lives start, end, and often where some of the most important moments happen. I don't believe in higher powers but "House of God" feels fitting for these quaint little spaces filled with memory and emotion.

(Unlike the "megachurches" popping up in affluent parts of town that seem out of step with what religion is supposed to mean for people, but what do I know I'm just a heathen atheist.)

When we played in the church it was part of a larger group of guests: there was J. Williamez, a local singer-songwriter who wrote a scathing series of songs about our previous monster of a Premier

(not to be confused with our current monster of a Premier)

Shelley Cook, a local journalist and writer who I feel like I've known my whole life at this point

us, Big Trouble in Little Wolseley, who provided musical entertainment,

and David Yerex Williamson, the poet.

I've always had a soft spot for poetry. I'm less partial to poems that rhyme — I don't usually rush to read Whitman or Chaucer even though I have a soft spot for Poe and Keats — because they tend to feel flowery. Too full of extra words just for the sake of completing the rhyme.

The poetry we heard last week, and that I heard again last night, didn't rhyme. Didn't feel like words or lines were stuffed-in for the sake of it.

These poems were raw. Strong, muscular words gathered together in sinewy bursts of idea and emotion.

Items, places, moments in time. The sharp, biting feeling of loss and grief contrasted against descriptions of open, untouched natural spaces.

The poet has lived in Norway House, MB for 20 years and when asked about how the landscape influences his poetry he said

"A fish doesn't know it's wet until it isn't. That's how it feels to leave nature and come to the city — you don't realize how much it affects you until it isn't there."

(Spoken like a true poet.)

I went to the reading with Tineke and before the event we had dinner at the restaurant, Prairie Ink, that's attached to the bookstore. We ordered the same thing (blackened chicken clubs with french onion soup) and fancy coffees with whipped cream and we laughed and brainstormed and talked about all sorts of things. The hours slipped by the way they always do when you're spending them with someone who matters to you.

After we'd eaten and paid we shuffled into plastic chairs alongside a few dozen people, colleagues and teachers, family and friends, and watched the sun set through the two-storey windows as the poet we'd all came to see fed us slices of poetry like cake. 

It felt good to support the arts again. Good to sit next to someone I love, surrounded by people supporting someone they love, letting the words wash over me

taking it in. Feeling normal.

Last Friday when I met David I told him I'd attend his book launch and he demurred the way we all do when a stranger offers to do something for us

"you don't have to"
"that's a nice offer, but unnecessary"
"I'd appreciate it, but I don't expect it"

which made me more determined to be there because that's what you do: 

you show up when you say you will.

I didn't get the chance to talk to David after his reading but I hope he saw me in the crowd and could see how his words shifted things in me as he read them, just like they did last week and just like they will again when our copy of his book arrives

(we ordered it online last week so I couldn't get it signed yesterday; silly us)

but I was thankful to be there either way to sit with my friend, his friends, and feel like a community again.

(If you'd like to order a copy of David's book of poetry you can do that here.)

Tags: Life Winnipeg

 

I’m sitting in the ER at HSC

- by Alyson Shane


I got into a pretty bad accident on my bike today.

I hit a pothole and flew over my handlebars and skidded along the road on my head. 

My eyebrow is split open and I have a concussion, and earlier I could barely walk or understand what was going on.

Thank god I was wearing my helmet.

I’ve been in the ER for eight hours, and here are some things I’ve seen:

A man in a wheelchair pleading towards the nurses' station, saying 
“Please nurse, my chest hurts. 
Please help me, nurse”
and nobody helping him right now, 
because they can’t

they have no beds for him.

A grandma on her phone,
blind, also in a wheelchair 
telling her son that she’s been here since 8:30 AM

(st was 5 PM when she made that call.)

A young woman curled in a chair
feet tucked up under her
she asks the nurse for a blanket and the nurse tells her
they don’t give them out here
the girl starts crying

“I’ve been here since 2:30 PM” she wails

(she asked for a blanket around 6 PM.)

A man lying on the ground
on the “Covid symptom side” of the room
under a blanket, shaking
he was here when I got here at 4 PM

It’s 12:25 AM now.

All the while nurses 
and doctors 
and EMTs 
and other hospital staff
have been running around 
back and forth
stressed and tired 
their eyes weary above their masks
doing their best to keep up

but it’s not enough.

There isn’t enough funding 
not enough staff 
not enough beds
to help everyone.

The hospital up the road from my house used to have an ER, 
used to take some off the heat off HSC
but the Conservative government closed it a few years ago
and this scene is what we’re left with.

This is what happens when we defund health care.

This is what happens when we vote for Conservatives.

This is what happens when we look at people as dollars and cents
and not human beings who get sick
and get hurt
and need care.

And this is just one night when I happen to be here 
for 8+ hours 
to tell you about what I’m seeing.

Imagine what it’s like being here 
every night, 
trying to give all these people
timely, high-quality care
and being unable to 
because the health care system you’re a part of 
is stretching you 
and everyone here
to the limit

every day.

Please 
support our nurses
support health care workers
and never
ever

vote Conservative.

---

I was finally seen after 9.5/10 hours of waiting in the ER. A huge THANK YOU to the staff at HSC who took care of me and everyone else who was there yesterday. You're heroes and you deserve better than this broken, gutted, and under-funded system you're forced to operate within. I see you, and I appreciate you.

Tags: Winnipeg Life

 

John got the jab today

- by Alyson Shane


and I'm relieved as heck. Today Manitoba opened up AZ vaccine eligibility to people 40 and up so "Good Luck Luxford" hopped on the horn at 11:30 AM and by 5 PM today he was vaxxed up with the first of two jabs.

I gotta say, with how badly Manitoba has handled the pandemic so far this was an unexpected and happy surprise. Most days I get up and gird my loins and wait for the news about more cases, more variants, and more bad news, but not today.

No, today I got GOOD NEWS, and I got to witness a rare Nice Day on Twitter, which is where people wish each other well and cheer each other on and

for a few short hours

it feels like the old Internet I fell in love with

back when it was mostly just nerds and weirdos hanging out on forums and making art.

These days the internet is a different and angrier place, so it was nice seeing those tweets saying "just scheduled my appointment!" or "going in today!" and everyone piling on with gifs and well-wishes and congrats.

It was like the opposite of doomscrolling because every time I came back to my feed I saw all these messages of hope and relief

like we'd been holding our breath and we all let it out at the same time.

Everyone was either eligible or knew someone who was and being a part of our collective exhale is a feeling I know I'll come back to when this is finally behind us.

And though I know the pandemic isn't over, and though I know we're still in the middle of the third wave, and though I know that we've still got a long way to go before we get back to "normal"

god damn it

today I witnessed a Twitter miracle and the man I love got his first jab so I'm gonna call this a win.


 

RIP @howwon

- by Alyson Shane


aka, the #pizzafriday guy.

Howard was one of the first people I met on Winnipeg Twitter after I started "getting into" the platform. One of the first times he tweeted at me was a reply to a tweet I'd shared of a photo of a hot dog I'd just bought for lunch. Howard wrote:

"would have been better if it was pizza for #pizzafriday"

Howard was obsessed with pizza and let everyone know it, and #pizzafriday became one of those weird inside jokes that small towns and tight-knit communities have. He'd tweet "what's your position on #pizzafriday?" at local politicians, and reply to pretty much any tweet about anything other than pizza with a statement about pizza, like:

"I can pickup pizza at -24C or +24C"

"Eating pizza would never give you sore legs"

and

"I can eat pizza with or without pinkeye"

We only met in person a few times but every time he mentioned pizza. A few times I saw him actually eating pizza and BOY did he look happy.

Twitter has changed from when I first started using it. There's way more fighting and drama, and even though I'm lucky that the algorithm serves me up the best and brightest in my city, it's become less fun some days. Howard was one of those people who made our community a nicer, funnier, and more pleasant place to be.

Howard and his dry, pizza-loving sense of humour was the perfect example of someone who leaned into what they were into and brought joy to other people as they did it. He was a nice guy who wanted to spread happiness through pizza and especially double pepperoni slices (so I hear).

He was a fixture in the Winnipeg Twitter scene. It seems like everyone knew Howard, even if they hadn't met him in person, and based on the tweets I've seen about him today he was probably a lot more admired and appreciated than even he knew.

(I hope he knew.)

Tonight I, like many other people in Winnipeg, will be ordering pizza for #pizzafriday in his honour.

RIP Howard. If there's a heaven, I hope there's pizza there.


 

The COVID Carols [Lyrics]

- by Alyson Shane


It's been a hell of a year and we miss the people we love, so yesterday John and I booked a Peg City Co-Op car and took our band "Big Trouble in Little Wolseley" on a whirlwind tour of Winnipeg to sing some (masked, socially-distanced) carols to our friends and family.

We didn't just sing any ol' carols, however.

Since COVID-19 has made 2020 an "extra special" year, we re-wrote two of the three songs we performed to include lyrics that reflect all the weird stuff we've been through, with a few dashes of Manitoba-specific lore thrown in for good measure.

The Winnipeg Free Press recently published an article about how Manitobans are going carolling (though they clearly missed out on the carolling story of the year if you ask me) and we figured — hey, if you're doing some socially-distanced carolling, maybe you'd like  these extra-special lyrics, too.

Below are the lyrics to our two "original bangerz", and at the bottom of this post is an extra-special cover of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" dedicated to Manitoba's Premier (and resident Christmas-stealer) Brian Pallister. 

Enjoy, and stay safe out there!

---

The Twelve Days of COVID

On the first day of COVID my true love gave to me
A Costco shopping spree

On the second day of COVID my true love gave to me
Two rubber gloves and a Costco shopping spree

On the third day of COVID my true love gave to me
Three face masks, two rubber gloves and a Costco shopping spree

On the fourth day of COVID my true love gave to me
Four marathons, three face masks,
Two rubber gloves and a Costco shopping spree

On the fifth day of COVID my true love gave to me
Five Zoom calls,
Four marathons, three face masks,
Two rubber gloves and a Costco shopping spree

On the sixth day of COVID my true love gave to me
Six feet of distance, five Zoom calls,
Four marathons, three face masks,
Two rubber gloves and a Costco shopping spree

On the seventh day of COVID my true love gave to me
Seven fundamentals, six feet of distance, five Zoom calls,
Four marathons, three face masks,
Two rubber gloves and a Costco shopping spree

On the eighth day of COVID my true love gave to me
Eight hands a-washing, seven fundamentals,
Six feet of distance, five Zoom calls,
Four marathons, three face masks,
Two rubber gloves and a Costco shopping spree

On the ninth day of COVID my true love gave to me
Nine rolls of T.P., eight hands a-washing, seven fundamentals,
Six feet of distance, five Zoom calls,
Four marathons, three face masks,
Two rubber gloves and a Costco shopping spree

On the tenth day of COVID my true love gave to me
Ten extra pounds, nine rolls of T.P.,
Eight hands a-washing, seven fundamentals,
Six feet of distance, five Zoom calls,
Four marathons, three face masks,
Two rubber gloves and a Costco shopping spree

On the eleventh day of COVID my true love gave to me
Eleven online orders, ten extra pounds, nine rolls of T.P.,
Eight hands a-washing, seven fundamentals,
Six feet of distance, five Zoom calls,
Four marathons, three face masks,
Two rubber gloves and a Costco shopping spree

On the twelfth day of COVID my true love gave to me
Twelve Bartley’s tweeting, eleven online orders,
Ten extra pounds, nine rolls of T.P.,
Eight hands a-washing, seven fundamentals,
Six feet of distance, five Zoom calls,
Four marathons, three face masks,
Two rubber gloves and a Costco shopping spree

---

God Rest Ye, Merry Winnipeg

God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Don’t see your friends and families
This year on Christmas Day
You’ll save us all from getting sick
So we can hang in May
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

In Winnipeg, in Canada
You may be feeling torn
We’ve all been locking down so hard
Can’t we just have this morn?!
We’ve mailed all our letters
To give our leaders scorn
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

Fear not then, says Brent Roussin
Let nothing you affright
This day comes new restrictions
But they’ll be gone by night
Follow the fundamentals
And you will be alright
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

---

And, finally, here's our rendition of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" dedicated to Manitoba's least favourite grinch/person, Brian Pallister:


 

Fall is settling in

- by Alyson Shane

I can feel it in the air when I wake up and when it rains. The coolness that
came too fast this year, it seems.

Even without Folk Fest and Rainbow Trout the summer flew by, every day
heightened by the fact that 

winter is coming

and with it more staying inside and cozying up and baking and
other things I like and enjoy, honestly

but I'm not ready for it yet.

I'm hungry for more summer, more heatwaves
more riding bikes and drinking beers in parks and waking up to water the garden
and going for long walks and BBQing and

feeling normal
almost.

The other weekend we went camping in Spruce woods

(it was the last time we'll probably see our friends for a while, given how much
Brian Pallister and the Conservatives fucked this up)

so I'm glad we got to get together again
we went hiking and swimming in the river
and made amazing food and laughed until our faces and stomachs hurt
listening to The Boys Are Back in Town 

again and again for the lulz.

On Saturday around 2 AM I walked to the bathroom, up the winding path up the hill
the night was clear and still
I could see the Milky Way and satellites going by

there was nobody around, all the campsites nearby were quiet
it was just me and the frogs and toads and crickets
and my friends laughing in the distance

enjoying the night.

Calm, serene, (almost) silent
free of worries and fears and anxieties
for a while I stood there, looking up at the sky
breathing in the cool air and thinking

"I'm happy"

and feeling almost
bad
for feeling so happy
in all of this

but if there's anything the pandemic has taught me

it's that happiness is
fleeting
and not guaranteed

because those moments when you can
pretend, forget, ignore
that there's a dangerous world out there
look around and feel normal and content and
at peace
like the vice grip in yr chest has unwound
and
you can take a deep breath in again

those moments are what you'll cling to when shit hits the fan.

(Please don't let shit hit the fan)

Tags: Winnipeg

 

Somehow it's May already?

- by Alyson Shane


Yesterday we walked to our local coffee shop to buy beans and stood in a line on the sidewalk out front because only one person can be in the store at a time. Usually you have to walk all the way to the back of the store to pay at the register, but they had everything set up on stools and tables and this little mobile serving station made of wood.

It wasn't perfect but it worked. We got beans and two iced lattes and I never thought I'd be so happy to talk to a friendly face from the neighbourhood. I felt giddy afterwards and thinking about

just how nice and normal it felt

tugs at my heartstrings a full 24 hours later. 

We went to Food Fare and it turns out one of the Pandemic Things that I fail at is following the taped arrows on the floor in a grocery store because I spend so much time thinking about what I need and not enough time looking at the ground that I wind up walking down them the "wrong" way and needing to circle back and start over. 

But honestly it's not so bad. 

Wear yr mask. Smile with your eyes. Say "thank you" to every damn person risking their health and well-being to serve your community.

Yesterday was the last "trip" we'll take into the neighbourhood for at least the next few weeks until we know what community spread is like with eased social restrictions. 

Manitoba's cases seem to have plateaued so we're in Phase One of reopening but John and I are spooked by all the tweets and posts about busy patios and parks and too many people lining up outside of stores and not social distancing properly.

I'm sad and worried but trying to have a stiff upper lip about it since we're luckier than most and (hopefully) all another surge in cases locally would mean for us is more time spent hunkering down at home.

I was worried that the minute we eased social distancing guidelines people would go crazy and act a fool and once again the internet confirmed that I was right. It's upsetting to know people are putting each other and their loved ones in danger to stand in a too-crowded line or have a beer on a jam-packed patio

People seem to think they're safe and I hope they're right.

But everyone who dies because of the pandemic is someone's somebody and I can't wait until this is over.


 

Things are changing

- by Alyson Shane


the province is starting to confirm cases and things are going on lockdown

shows and events are cancelled

the universities and colleges are cancelling classes and moving online

buses are empty which is great because apparently they're cesspools

(gross, City of Winnipeg)

the lines at the stores are nuts, several aisles long

and businesses are being encouraged to let people work from home.

John's office went remote so he's home and I'm home since this is where I work, and we're cancelling any social plans and not really going outside for the next while.

We stocked up tp and disinfecting wipes just like everyone else

but we went the extra step of buying lots of canned goods and dry goods and freezing extra produce as well

(because you need to eat in order to use all that tp, duh)

and as far as social distancing goes I'm feeling pretty good about it.

I worry about my Grandma, though.

And other people's grandmas.

And even John because he's 39 in a few weeks and apparently this thing takes down people in their 40's now and there's no way I'll risk losing that strange bird if I can help it.

Hell no.

In a few hours I have a Zoom call with the TEDxWinnipeg steering committee to talk about our event in June and whether we'll cancel it.

I'm not 100% sure but I have a feeling that I know how it will go. Who knows.

Everything changes so quickly these days.

It's hard not to be glued to Twitter and the news and all the damn articles and that guy on Joe Rogan and

then there's the debate on Sunday night which you know imma watch

and you know they'll be talking about it in that big, empty studio with no people in it because social distancing

but I'm gonna try and not obsess.

At least we just got a ton of alcohol delivered so if things turn pear-shaped I can drown my sorrows in chocolate porters and box'o wine.

Stay safe and don't forget to wash your hands!


 

Coronavirus is freaking people out

- by Alyson Shane


One of the things about living in a relatively unknown place in the middle of the flat prairies is that stuff like this tends to skip you by or not matter as much

(SARS? What SARS?)

so while places like Calgary are freaking out and swarming Costco's at 10 AM to buy toilet paper in bulk

and events like SXSW and GDC and Facebook's F8 Developers Conference are all being cancelled amid fears that the virus will spread

and stock prices are crashing and the market is slowing

for the most part things here at home feel pretty normal.

Last week I took the bus multiple times every day

on Saturday I spoke on a panel at an event where about 100 people attended

and none of my clients seem all that concerned about the Coronavirus impacting their events and businesses all that much.

Last week we stocked up on cat litter and food and canned goods and Lysol wipes and toilet paper and paper towel and even bottles of water and cans of club soda and

I felt silly, honestly

I remember when people were stocking up during SARS and then that

(thankfully)

went nowhere

and that's kinda how this feels.

Like we're preparing for something that might never happen.

A lockdown or a quarantine situation that 

like the last pandemic

might just skip over my cold prairie province almost entirely.

But being prepared feels stupid until it isn't.


 

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