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The misunderstanding of the present grows fatally from our ignorance of the past.

Marc Bloch 1886-1944

Marc Léopold Benjamin Bloch was a French historian. A founding member of the Annales School of French social history.

Given the very troubled time we live in at the moment, I find this quotation by Bloch apt. I see on social media whining and complaining about not getting enough money from all the financial support announcements both at the Federal and Provincial Level of Government. It is never enough everyone wants more. Others blame the current situation on those who are sick. There is also a growing fear of the other or the foreigner. A profound hatred of Public Servants in general. We can do without the Government is the refrain. All of it, petulant, the cry of the spoiled child. In Alberta today, the Premier Jason Kenny fired 25,000 educators and school support staff, reasoning that since schools are closed we do not need these people, who he portrays as indulged, lazy and useless. His supporters comment that Alberta would be so much better if part of the USA under President Trump. Premier Kenny is also denying medical service to anyone living in Alberta who do not have a Health Card, they can pay out of  pocket, this would be vulnerable people. Again his supporters chant make Canada pay, we hate Canada and Canadians. Much of the hysteria in Alberta is due to the fact that the Canadian Barrel of Oil, (Western Canadian Select) is now at $5 USD. this means that the Tar Sands exploitation will shut down completely.  If only Alberta had 30 years ago diversified its economy and impose a modest sales tax. If only!

PEI is also facing many economic difficulties in the Fisheries sector, the lobster market to China has collapsed, Tourism for 2020 is nil, many tourist sites will not open and now the collapse of the AIR B&B market. Charlottetown has 825 such units in the old downtown alone which has a permanent population of 2500. I can see a total collapse of this segment of the market but we will see a return to long term rental leases and many houses coming on the real estate market cheap, which is urgently needed.

I can understand, I should say, I can see the anxiety and the fear in the comments of people. I went for a walk today, it was sunny and mild, Spring like conditions. People are mindful of the 2 meters or 6 feet rule on the street and in the parks. In general people are self-isolating but many still don’t. No one talks, in a society known for being chatty. It is all sad, but a new normal, at least until this passes. Yes I know some will have extreme reactions to this situation and despair.

Like all things this will pass, life will become normal again. Our world will be changed and many will have died or suffered economically. We are still in shock and cannot quite believe how our humdrum world has been upended. We should remember that we are still living in a peaceful country and that access to Social Services and Health care is here for all. Many people have offered to help neighbours with shopping, hot meals, or any kind of help they may require. There are lots of good people here in PEI and elsewhere in Canada. If only people could remember how life was 90 years ago and ponder.

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Display made by a neighbour on our current situation, the ducks are named after her children and grand children.

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The Residence of the Lieutenant Governor of PEI on the Fanningbank Estate.