HodgePodge by Charlie Hodge – Constant change is definitely

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Constant change is definitely

HodgePodge by Charlie Hodge

Well, it’s definitely true, constant change is here to stay.

How are you dealing with the COVID challenges so far?

A few weeks back I suggested we needed to adapt or die and thankfully most of us have struggled through these difficult and unprecedented times. While I may be fairly accused of often expressing an Eyore or Chicken Little attitude about events in our rapidly spinning world, I like to believe part of me is just the opposite – a nauseating, dream state optimist.

I think aside from job losses our society has largely gained from the forced changes in our life style. For many of us COVID has altered the way we work, play, and generally exist.

Back in the 1960’s and 70’s there was constant talk of society shifting towards a lifestyle of less work more play, a four day work week, etcetera. As technology such as (wow – ready for this?) fax machines, big bulky cell phones and (gasp) computers entered our world – more and more time spent at home seemed imminent.

Then, from left field came the decision to eliminate Sunday as a day of rest – sending family members out of the house and off to work. The Sunday family dinner or family day was bludgeoned. In fact, technology in many ways created more work than it reduced. Certainly the whole seven days of commercial lifestyle changed much of how we worked and played.

No one saw this virus coming. No government could have been as prepared as we are suggesting it should have been for this virus. Yet somehow we have weathered the storm and in many ways improved our world.

As stressful as it has been there are lots of families who admit to now being much closer and connected than they have been in years. Many who long desired to somehow work out of their home part time or full time have received that chance.

We’ve discovered a great amount of our energy, travel, and routines in the past were frivolous, easily altered or unnecessary.

COVID has also caused an interesting blend of improving or adapting technology to serve us like first imagined while dusting off and honing long lost skills and interests. Many of us returned to creative cooking or preparing of homemade meals, rekindled old hobbies or interests, growing gardens, and were forced to spend time with each other – actually talking. At the same time we learned to shop for food for services on line, and/or ‘drive through’ picking up products we needed to purchase.

COVID has also provided a perfect platform for watching people interact or react to the challenges placed before them.

I was reminded Tuesday afternoon and evening of how we have learned to adapt in order to continue forward. I took part in a City Hall public hearing  from 4 in the afternoon until 11:15 p.m., listened to nearly a dozen different applications, took part in lively debates with other councillors, staff and applicants – and did so without leaving my couch. While four council members met in council chambers, two others met in the Knox Mountain room on fourth floor of city hall, and three of us tuned in remotely. For the most part it went well.

If someone told me during my very first council term back in Parksville from 1997-2000 that I would ever take part in a public hearing in such a scenario – I would have laughed in disbelief.

However, truly constant change is here to stay.

So now, it appears, Canadians are planning on slowly returning to ‘normal’. I am greatly concerned we are getting ahead of ourselves and our impatience may well blow up in our face. If we are not very careful all the major gains we have made to get on top of this killer virus may be for not.

Sadly it seems we have been watching the out of touch lack of leadership in the United States and seem prepared to rush our return back into harm’s way. Despite the facts and numbers proving we are not ready it seems many Canadians have had enough and are willing to risk everything to move forward. Forward may be back in this case.

Here in B.C. we have done exceedingly well with just  seven new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, which signify the lowest ‘new case’ numbers since March 14. The Okanagan Valley has done tremendously well in self isolation. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reports that of the 63 people currently in hospital with the virus, only two are within our Interior Health care area. However, Health minister Adrian Dix said more people are going to the emergency rooms, with 5,354 visits to emergency rooms on Monday, the highest number since March.

Clearly we are not out of the woods yet folks.

So despite our desires to get back ‘out’ and into the ‘real’ world, I cautiously implore readers to hold the line if they can. If you are a business owner needing to open or resurrect your investments – be careful. Otherwise folks …please stay home, stay safe and be patient. Just a bit longer.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.

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