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With the crazy state of the world at the moment and being mostly confined to home due to the so called lock down it gives us a lot of time to think and reflect on the past and on where we are now. You hear a piece of music or an image and you are send back to another time in your life. Today we learned of the death of an old work colleague of W. and given her age it got us to think that W had retired some 22 years ago. I retired 7 years ago. We have been in PEI 4 years now. We left my last post Rome some 9 years ago. I graduated from University some 41 years ago. Amazing how time flies by quickly and it always seem like it was just yesterday. We have not really seen anyone in 7 weeks and not likely to see anyone for another 4 weeks, if there is no second wave.

This week in the mail was 2 documents from the Government of Canada, I thought someone is keeping watch, it was a reminder that in 11 months I should apply for my Canada Pension Plan commonly known as CPP, as Canadian taxpayer, I like everyone else have to pay into it and when you reach a certain age you can apply to get it back in monthly sums. Then the next day it was another letter and documents to apply for my OAS which is the Old Age Security and there is a third pension program for persons who are poor under a certain income level. This last program does not apply to me. The OAS I can wait I don’t have to apply for that one for another 5 years if I so choose. In terms of social programs who support you in life, Canadians are damn lucky since 1965 when most of those programs we take for granted including Health Care came into being. It is all about maintaining a social net. The amounts of money are a support to avoid you ending up in the street with nothing. They are also indexed to the cost of living yearly.

Same with the Pandemic now, everyday the Government of Canada and some Provincial Governments have announced financial support for individual Canadians, from students with no Summer Jobs can get between $1200 to $1750. There is rent relief for individuals, salary relief covering up to 75% of employee salaries so employers do not lay people off. Commercial rent relief for small businesses, Income for Canadians who are unemployed, more income support for seniors, etc… and the list goes on. It is costing so far about $285 Billion dollars to the Government of Canada. Still people complain it’s not enough, sheesh some people really. We have nothing to complain about. But I never thought we would ever find ourselves in this world situation. War, nuclear annihilation, climate change disaster yes of course that I expected, I grew up during the Cold War but not this. So I have now a very strong desire or feeling to go back to 1989 or before, though not perfect we were I think in a better place relatively speaking. I am also appalled at the selfishness of people, grasping for easy solutions. Constant whining about nothing.

This bring me back to remembering better days and better times. People who are gone or distant friends. I also wonder what the world will be like after all this has pass, if it passes. I am not confident that we are or will be out of it, to say nothing of climate change. I remember the world prior to September 11, 2001 and we have not gone back, it will be the same this time. I can see how travelling will be more difficult and complicated and not nearly as affordable as before.

This little clip of La Grande Bellezza (ROME) a movie I have seen many times and love. Reminds me of our time 10 years ago in a city I know so well. The main character Jep is played by a very good Italian actor Toni Servillo. The film won many awards in 2013. You can actually see the city this way either early in the morning before 8am or at dusk around 7pm, the streets can be so peaceful or in August when everyone is away on vacation. I wish I could return but that has to stay as a memory.

Today 2 May is our first day of relaxed restrictions, the main point is you can meet with up to 5 people outside but everyone must keep 6 feet apart from each other. I also got news today that a favourite restaurant is re-opening on 8 May, doing only take-out of course. In house dining will come later probably in July if all goes well.

If this issue does not resolve itself, we will have to re-invent life because no one can go on living in isolation forever.