Second Opinion

John Dorn is a retired tech entrepreneur living in Summerland.

Another pandemic letter to my unborn grandchild Sparky written just before Christmas.

Dear Sparky:

It has been several months since my last letter in the summer, so here is an update for the last half of 2021, truly a horrible year.

We have been living through one disaster after another. I am learning new weather terms like “heat dome” and “atmospheric river.” In early summer, your grandmother and I barely went out of the house, confined by either unbearable temperatures or smoke from wildfires.

Luckily, a single mountain range protected the Okanagan Valley from the rainfall and ensuing flooding that decimated Merritt and the Fraser Valley last month.

The federal election I mentioned in the last letter, resulted in a Parliament essentially the same as before the election. It cost over $600 million. What a waste.

Now we are dealing with a new highly- transmissible COVID-19 variant called Omicron. As I write this letter, new public health orders and restrictions are announced daily.

Christmas and New Year’s celebrations are either cancelled or eliminated.

COVID is not going to go away until the rich countries get the vaccines to those places who cannot afford the drugs, and do not have public health infrastructure to roll them out.

We are in an endless cycle of new variants and likely new yearly vaccine boosters. I am guilty of having three jabs, while the majority of the planet has not had even one.

The Winter Olympics start in Beijing soon. Many countries, in order to send a political statement about China’s dismal human rights record, are not sending diplomats. Who cares?

The Games are a huge waste of money, designed to showcase the host country. A permanent home for Olympics needs to be set. Summer games in Athens and the winter games in Switzerland to eliminate the continual outrageous costs of building venues and avoid any political nonsense.

Staying on the sports subject. I am in Edmonton, and was scheduled to attend a World Junior hockey game before the tournament was COVID cancelled. Why do the Canadian players not sing the national anthem when our flag is being raised and why are the officials behind the bench not allowed to smile? There should be a rule.

We are accumulating huge debt in order to battle the economic fallout of such a drawn-out pandemic. The federal debt has ballooned to $1,191,601,935,294 and my share is $31,317. It begs the question, if we can just print this amount of money to fight COVID, why not to solve all our other social ills, such as homelessness, drug addictions or poor infrastructure in the past. The cost of proposed public pharmacare or dental care is dwarfed by our current debt.

Did $10 daycare work out for you? Who decided $10? I support subsidized daycare, but we paid babysitters more than that to enjoy a night out.

My formative years were the decades of 1950s to 1970s. The economy was stable; most mothers did not have to work. When I finished school, I had multiple job opportunities in my chosen field. There was no HIV/AIDS and other STDs were rare.

Recreational soft drugs were widely available for those who chose and were generally safe. We could afford a car and a house. Your grandmother could stay home to raise your mom and uncle. In Canada, we were not entangled in any wars. Climate change was not a thing. Yikes, how things have worsened in just two generations. Sorry.

I will write again in six months.


John Dorn is a retired tech entrepreneur who resides in Summerland.