Canada celebrates it’s 153rd birthday today. Not that you’d notice. This year us Canadians observe a type of Covid Canada Day, where the festivities are online and virtual. The gatherings are few, if at all. The beer is the same ole brand you keep in the fridge and the poutine is take out only.

It’s been that kind of year in the great white north. A hundred thousand positive Coronavirus cases and 8,500 deaths would dampen any country’s spirits. But Canada Day is not a day to despair, it is a day of celebration, reflection and thanking our lucky stars we aren’t American.

I’m not one to get high on national pride. I don’t wave flags, sing anthems or brag about how great our country is. I leave that to our so-called patriots who never bothered to lift a finger to make this the great country they refer to. Many of them don’t even bother to vote.

This year though I’ve decided to throw all that aside. No, I’m still not going sing, but I am going to boast a little. The Coronavirus has put a lot of things into perspective over the last few months. Through this period, I’ve had lots of time to reflect, watch news, start writing again and be thankful.

I hail from a town that was once ranked as the 7th most deadliest place on earth in terms of Covid-19 daily deaths. A large portion of my family are diabetics. Others are reaching their golden years while my grandfather is 93. Still, everyone is staying safe.

Athabasca tar sands
Athabasca, Canada before & after being exploited for the tar sands

Our shortcomings in this country are many. We treat our elderly like cattle, put out to pasture in second rate care facilities. Canadians treat our First Nations like third class citizens. We worship oil to the point where we literally destroy our beautiful Canadian landscapes to get it. Global warming be damned.

Self-criticism is important, and I cited just a paragraph of our nation’s infractions for those who feel like claiming we’re the greatest country on earth, put a sock in it. Now, with that unpleasantness behind us… Aren’t you glad we live up here?

It’s funny, one of the first things Trump decided to run on back in 2016 was building a wall on his southern border. I’m beginning to think he was on to something. With the border closed, a lot of our French separatist friends won’t be able to enjoy the Canada Day by shopping down in Plattsburgh this year. Oh well.

Seriously though, we have it pretty good up here. Universal Healthcare, Canada’s Emergency Response Benefits… People who actually wear masks. Our government does it’s best to take care of us, so we are free to take care of others. That’s how a good society functions.

Witnessing what is transpiring in the United States is downright tragic. We’ve been watching the circus down there for years. It was all fun and games until someone blew a pandemic. Alas it will only get worse. Health-wise and financially. All we can do to help is vilify our southern neighbors on social media for not protecting each other.

Canada Day this year may be on the dull or boring side, but at least we can take comfort in the fact that our Coronavirus cases have dropped significantly, as have our fatalities. We have, generally speaking, been able to keep money in our pockets, food (and beer) in our bellies and a roof over our heads… One must wonder how the average American will view the fourth of July.

Happy Covid Canada Day!

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