Dear Diary:

I have chosen to unload on you because I don’t want to impose on family and friends who have suffered enough from my mood swings and rants in recent months.

The weather has finally improved but I find myself in a world that gets crazier by the day.

Out of the U.S. comes hopeful news that a widely vaccinated population can be safely released from its pandemic chains. Wahoo !

Alas, the U.S. is awash in vaccines. But here in Canada, many are still waiting for their first shot. There’s uncertainty about where our required second round will come from and when.

My friend the hypochondriac was so happy when he made a one-hour drive and scored a vaccine shot in early March. It was like he had won the lottery. Now, he’s back in a funk, wearing his mask, curled up in the fetal position and won’t leave his house.

It turns out he got the AstraZeneca vaccine and with that type now put on “pause” in Ontario and elsewhere, my friend has convinced himself he is doomed.

He had been counting the days until he gets jab # 2 but now faces the prospect of playing mix n match with one of two different vaccines. Good or bad? Who the hell knows?

Like a lot of others, the pandemic has overtaken him. He needs reason for hope and he’s searching for some straight, plausible information but there is little. It’s all gobbledygook. Politicians here blame each other and grasp at straws. Countless experts wallow in mumbo jumbo and contradict each other.

More and more, our top public health officials in Toronto and Ottawa seem to be losing it. They try hard but part of the problem is that both Drs. Theresa Tam and David Williams, the chief honchos, have the personality of a pigeon. Their ability to show empathy and inspire public confidence is zilch. Theirs is a thankless task but surely communications skills should be part of their job description.

These days, it seems like you just can’t win.

It’s little wonder that demand for mental health services has skyrocketed. I’m giving serious thought to getting on the wait list.

Cooped up little kids are going bananas. First, they were outlawed from parks. Only when thousands of distraught parents threatened to march on Queen’s Park with pitch forks were the swings and slides untethered. In my local park the basketball net is still boarded up. Go figure!

Don’t get me started about the harm done to young people barred from their schools and friends. Now they’re locked down with parents who are going nuts over home schooling and shouting at each other as they struggle in confined spaces to work at home and pay their bills.

Maintaining domestic bliss is challenging at the best times but it’s even worse when jobs are lost and family businesses are permanently closed.

All those old guys in plaid pants are as ugly as a bear with a sore keister for being locked out of their golf courses. For what possible reason except that politicians feared the ridicule of cartoonists portraying barbed wire around playgrounds while golfers strut their stuff in fresh air on manicured fairways.

Now, the kids are back in the parks but the duffers remain confined to their armchairs relying on televised sports and vowing to punish the politicians who did this to them.

Waiting for surgery or other medical procedures? You’ve got company. Eliminating the backlog will be long and costly.

Bet the farm that the tomes of post mortem analysis of this pandemic will not view kindly the panic-driven lockdown policies that have failed to consider the collateral toll in human and financial misery.

Ditto for how our tax dollars have been spent and hopefully accounted for. It’s but a splash in our ocean of debt, but it frustrates me that the federal government is about to send out another $500 to seniors like me whether we need it or not.

Is it unkind to mention that old people bother to vote? Young people not so much.

Have you noticed how there are few real people out there these days?

There may be lights in some stores and offices but there’s nobody home.

Online shopping is the elixir for those who can spend. But who will order a chair you can’t test for comfort? Or a jacket that looks great on a stunning model but not someone who has endured more than a year in captivity with too much junk food, too little exercise and no haircuts.

Check the fine print in online purchases. For example, “May require some assembly” could mean this item will arrive in pieces and requires the skills of a translator and architect to put it together.

Gird yourself for more headaches in this brave new world of product shortages, inadequate staff, higher prices, long waits for delivery and service and fractured supply chains.

Even as we speak, there are lineups at garden centers and limited supplies are flying out the door. Expect garden rage over who gets the last Dipladenia.

Even the simplest of tasks have become overwhelming.

My credit card was compromised recently and I have gone through hell to replace it and deal with those I have to notify of the change.

Companies and organizations have barricaded themselves behind a wall of recorded messages and music that makes fingernails on chalkboards sound like Gershwin by comparison.

As if the music isn’t bad enough, it’s interrupted every few seconds with a repeat reminder of how important my call is.

The recorded voices thank me for my patience as if I didn’t lose that after the first half hour. The explanation that they are receiving a “higher than normal call volume” is of no comfort. Of course, there’s a greater demand because we are all locked down in our houses and have nothing better to do.

The recordings offer me various options. But what if none of these options addresses my issue? Too bad. I get ready for that sinking feeling that I will be disconnected and sent back to the end of the line to start this all over again.

If some companies could find a way to conduct virtual water boarding while I wait, I’m convinced they would try that.

If and when I ever get to talk to a human being, I get someone who is having a day as bad as or worse than my own.

In this lockdown age a computer, a credit card and a mobile phone are no longer luxuries---they are basic survival tools.

Just ask the army of old folks, the poor, people who are isolated or have language issues and went nuts trying to get a vaccine appointment.

Did anyone responsible for getting us through this mess even consider any of these things?

Well, diary, I guess that’s enough for today. I have much more to rant about but it’s time for a nap.

Whatever day this is, it’s rapidly disappearing and I’m still in my nightshirt.

Thanks for reading. I feel a little better now.


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