HodgePodge By Charlie Hodge – Listen to Bonnie

Listen to Bonnie


By Charlie Hodge

As the unnerving and deadly COVID19  pandemic continues to raise havoc and fear around the world – much of our lifestyle and routines have been altered or skewed. Certainly that’s true with my world in which morning  rituals may never be the same

I use to wave goodbye to Tez as she headed off in the car to her job – then take my morning coffee outside to the front steps. I’d watch the world wake up and drive by as I gathered my personal plans for the day. After my ‘to do’ list was completed I would then set about accomplishing (maybe) half of them. The remainder I’d conveniently procrastinate away going through some shadow-boxing antics of  feigned effort. I called it ‘writing a book’.

Now, however, with the book completed I have more time on my hands. (Go figure)  Having just reached 65 I am supposedly retired even though I spend numerous hours each week with City Council work or as a Director with the Regional District. Yet both of those jobs have been significantly impacted by COVID with meetings and decisions now conducted online.

I’m not crazy about decision making in such an environment. It’s easier to debate and analyze issues when meeting face to face. It’s the nuances that I miss, the body language, physical gestures, and energy one picks up on during  conversations in person rather than flattened by technology. Still, I am thankful for the option to continue to work and function.

Another game changer is Tez no longer waves goodbye and drives off into the sunrise. She simply steps into the next room working online instead of at the law office.

My procrastination has ‘virtually’ disappeared one could say.

My new world mornings are now habitually shared with B.C.’s best new friend Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry whose calm, kind, pleasant demeanor and now popular mantra of “be kind, be calm, be safe” has guided us through how our world is unfolding health wise. Without question, by example and calm lectures, Bonnie has singlehandedly helped keep the disease monster at bay.

B.C. has ward off the pandemic better than almost anywhere else in North America.

I have also found my mornings regularly involve  updates and interviews with Prime Minister Trudeau on TV. Regardless of one’s politics I am giving Trudeau full credit for his style, leadership, and consistency in addressing Canadians through these nervous, unpredictable times. While there is no questions that some of Trudeau and or his government’s decisions of late may be fraught with error or what may evolve into such, he has shown strength in harsh times and class in how he has addressed a number of obstacles – including dealing with the madman south of the border.

Ditto for B.C. Premier John Horgan who has not only remained calm and steadfast in his support of Bonnie but also willing to defend B.C. from decisions he feels are wrong.

It’s because of Trudeau, Horgan, and Henry that B.C. residents have been extra cautious with quarantines, safe distancing, and other such precautionary means to reduce our infection numbers. Which is all the more reason we should continue to listen to them, play smart, and not let our proverbial foot off the caution pedal yet.

We are not out of the woods. In fact we are precariously close to a second wave.

I admit to confusion with the illogical actions of some this past 10 days who tossed the health and safety of others and themselves to the sidelines by how they took part in protests and destructive riots around the continent. The ‘racist’ tragedies that inspired the current wave of protests are certainly sad and need to be protested loudly and eliminated – with those guilty brought to the light of justice.

However there was no reason protestors could not have still respected safe distancing and a lack of violence, destroying of homes, businesses and public spaces. Such actions fly in the face of the supposed true reasons for the protests which was to better learn to love and live with one another.

Sadly, some of those who have screamed the loudest and destroyed anything and everything within their path were not genuine in their supposed rational for taking part. They were simply protesting for the sake of angrily ‘fighting the system’ – disguising themselves as people who care about their fellow human being while simply creating mayhem.

Perhaps for some it was simply an excuse to break the health rules of quarantine and safe distancing after two months of frustration and loneliness. Regardless the reasons or inspiration, the recent close gathering of thousands in Canada and even more in the U.S. will definitely impact the elimination of COVID19 from our world.  Already numbers of new cases and deaths are starting to climb back.

I am afraid the world chose to run before we walked out of this health crisis

Thankfully in B.C. the majority of protests have remained relatively peaceful or calm. I maintain part of that reason, once again, is because of the examples shown to us by Bonnie, Justin and John. Now, even more than perhaps before, I believe we have to beware of this ‘false’ calm before the second storm. We must remember the cautious approach. We need patience and need to play smart added to the list of kind, calm and safe.

Now then, time for a coffee and my front step.

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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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