Editorial: News cycle is an emotional roller coaster

Posted: 2021-02-06 13:01:09 By: thebay

Week in and week out we are confronted with good news and not-so-good news as we collectively navigate this less-than-ideal time in our lives.

Sometimes the good news outweighs the bad, and other times the reverse is true. This week was no different.

Most parents throughout Muskoka – especially those with one or more fulltime careers to juggle – were delighted to hear the news our kids will be returning to school on Monday.

They probably should have been back to school a month ago, but I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth. I must say, it’s been a struggle to keep upbeat and stay on top of my work-related tasks while staying accessible to answer questions and ensure my children are remaining on task themselves.

Indeed, as I write this, I am interrupted by one child to sort out why the meeting app wasn’t “working” and then by the other to help explain how to properly figure out a series of math questions.

Knowing they’ll be back in school on Monday – hopefully until the end of the academic year – has begun to lift a great weight off my shoulders and I’m certain many other engaged and active parents are feeling the same way.

The announcement this week about the kids going back to school also elicited feelings of gratitude to the teachers and other staff who will be responsible for their education and wellbeing.

We know it won’t be easy, especially with new rules such as children needing to wear mask even while outdoors; unless they need a “mask break,” in which case the maskless kids are then made to stand apart from their peers.

I don’t envy what the teachers and administration are required to do on a daily basis under these rules. I also don’t envy the kids needing to wear masks all day, but the alternative – emotional, mental, even physical deficiencies among children – is a far worse state of affairs.

And there were other happy – or perhaps just hopeful – moments throughout the week.

Active COVID cases in Muskoka dropped by 15 on Thursday; a pair of Huntsville citizens were found to have left sticky notes on a community mailbox to cheer up their neighbours; and several more.

As well, the premier says he will announce a reopening plan for the economy this coming week. What the actual plan ends up being might not appease everyone, but letting the public – especially business owners – know what his plan entails will go a long way to alleviating the current state of confusion and frustration.

These are just a few of the hopeful moments we saw this week. The moments which help keep spirits up while we’re dealing with the February blahs, being COVID-weary and COVID-wary, being unable to participate in many activities we love, missing our family and friends we aren’t seeing, too many video chats and not enough gatherings … well, you get the picture.

Of course, there are always a bevy of lows to go with the highs. To stay mostly positive this week, I will only briefly touch on one of the pertinent topics and avoid a laundry list of all that has been frustrating, angering and depressing.

The one we should all be focusing on is why the federal Liberals led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have no true answers in the face of tough questions regarding the mishandling of vaccinations for COVID-19.

This doesn’t begin and end with the delays being announced by the companies Canada has sourced vaccines from; instead, this goes back to the beginning of 2020 when real plans should have been made to have manufacturing facilities in place by now.

Instead, there isn’t a firm date on when our nation will begin manufacturing our own vaccines, although at some point this year seems to be about the only prediction anyone is making.

I would love for the Prime Minister, or one of his cronies – oops, I mean cabinet ministers – to come out and admit they have dropped the ball on at least this one issue. Just stand up, show some integrity, and say, “we messed up, we should have done a better job on getting manufacturing started in Canada sooner.”

The thing is, this government doesn’t like to give real answers to real questions when they are posed by other parties, the media, or even the public at large. Instead, they try to duck and weave long enough in the hopes everyone will forget their misdeeds, poor choices, and self-righteousness when the next election occurs.

But, we must not forget. We must send a message to the Liberals and all other Canadian parties that they will be held to higher standard since it is our tax dollars which fund their seats.

See, there I go getting angry and frustrated again. Time to focus on happy thoughts and good will to all … and looking forward to Monday when the kids are back in school again.

By Chris Occhiuzzi, for