The Vaccine Divide

It’s getting bitter out there.

Not the cold, the rancour and hostility surrounding the vaccination debate. A local company has been getting some flake lately for trying to walk the Great Divide between their vaccinated and non-vaccinated employees.

Chapman’s, the ice cream people. The company that kept their entire staff on payroll for a year while they rebuilt a plant that had burned down. The people who secured two ultracold freezers for the Grey-Bruce Health Unit to store the Pfizer vaccine in 2020. That Chapman’s.

Management decided to encourage, not mandate, vaccination by giving all vaccinated staff a dollar an hour pay raise. Basically, giving the vaccinated what the company was spending on testing the unvaccinated.

They’re not firing anyone, they’re not forcing anyone. They’re just saying, “Hey, it’s not right. We’re paying to have the unvaccinated tested, but we’re not giving the vaccinated anything.”

Sounds fair, right?

Not to the anti-vaxxers. They posted hate-filled messages on Facebook, and tweeted up storm, demanding a boycott on Chapman’s.

The boycott backfired. Big time.

The hashtag #IStandWithChapmans blew up, and the brand is receiving more interest and support than ever.

I’m thinking…Chapman’s for dinner?

Aimer at Amazon

Dance?

“I don’t know, you think that’s a good idea?” Gary started in on a series of hamstring stretches. “Maybe in the spring, after we get out booster shots.”

“I’m not talking about going to a club.” Kenneth dug a clump of Gelato out of the container. “They have online lessons. No Covid contamination involved.”

“Okay, it’s been a while,” Gary said, switching legs, “but I don’t think we need lessons on how to grope each other to music.”

Kenneth slipped the lid back on the container. “Not that kind of dancing. Real dancing. You know, like the waltz,” he said, popping the Gelato back in the freezer.

“Oh, my God. This is about that TV show.” Gary gave up on his pre-run routine and and waved a hand over his ratty T-shirt and faded sweatpants. “Do I look like Fred Astaire?”

“Who?”

“Shut up.”

Kenneth laughed. He figured the more he teased Gary about the age difference between them, the sooner the man would get over his ridiculous sensitivity. Maybe. He crossed the kitchen, fisted his hand in Gary’s T-shirt. “You look like the man I want to dance with.”

Inspired by: My non-existent dance skill, and Hugh’s Theatre of Memories.

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Help!

No question, the last two years of lockdowns and restrictions have been a pain. More painful for some than for others…

In 2020, with domestic abuse on the rise due to pandemic imposed isolation, the Signal for Help campaign was launched. A joint project created by the Canadian Women’s Foundation and a Toronto advertising agency, the campaign centered around a simple hand gesture. A subtle, quiet signal a woman could make while on a video call where she couldn’t speak freely. A gesture that meant HELP!

Social media spread the word—and the hand gesture, with a TikTok video posted by a Canadian user going viral. A video which may have saved the life of a North Carolina teen.

Social media is blamed, and rightfully so, for spreading misinformation, but every once in a while they get it right.

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Diwali

shutterstock.com

We stare up at the stars, bask in the light of the sun, tell ghost stories by flashlight, and light candles in the dark.

We light candles in joy and in sorrow, in hope for the future, and in honour of the past.

Across all cultures and throughout history, humans have embraced the fragile beauty of the flickering candle. Beaten back the darkness with these delicate dewdrops of flame.

Woven into this human struggle is Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. A celebration of peace and joy, the victory of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and light over darkness. A holiday marked with flowers, food, family—and candles.

In Nepal, where Diwali is called Tihar, the celebration extends to dogs. As a thank you for the service they provide, dogs are given special treats and decorated with vermillion powder and marigold petals.

If the dogs prefer the food to the flowers, they haven’t said.

shutterstock.com

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Sikh Saviours

A walk in the park—the very expression means easy.

Just not in this park…

B.C. Parks

Golden Ears Provincial Park in B.C. isn’t a Sunday stroll and ice cream kind of place. It’s 555 square kilometres of serious nature—and bears.

If you hike the trails at Golden Ears, keep your eyes open, and watch your step. You can’t count on being rescued by a group of international students who unwind and tie their turbans together to make a ten metre rope—or can you?

This past Tuesday, Ajay Kumar, Arvindjeet Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Kuljinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh received commendations from the RCMP and the cities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. RCMP Supt. Wendy Mehat, an officer for twenty-one years and a Sikh herself, presented the young men with a commemorative coin and a community leader award for their quick thinking and ingenuity.

CBC

Rick Laing, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue manager, arrived on scene to find the young Sikhs had done his job for him. “I’ve never seen or heard of anything like this. Ingenious.” Laing declared the rescued man “extremely lucky” that the Sikh group of hikers happened by when they did. “At least one person slips on the rocks and drowns in this area every year.”

Who knew that a religious symbol could be more than a symbol?

All Golden Ears Park images: shutterstock.com

Aimer at Amazon