Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge – Put on a mask or stay home.

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There is a light in the tunnel now.  For some it’s merely a flicker, for others it’s akin to a sun-lamp or grow light. Either way the moron is gone, finally. Donald Trump has left the building.

For four years many Canadians watched in bewilderment as the former reality (really?) TV star absurdly filled the role as the most powerful man in the U.S and among one of the most powerful people in the world. Sadly, he largely wielded that power with corruption, cruelty and cognitive clutter.

It will take much longer than another four years to undo some of the damage done, if ever. Sadly, the actions of the deranged ‘chosen one’ not only impacted or negated the lives of thousands within the United States, but around the world.  A large collective sigh of relief happened when Joe Biden defeated Trump. An even louder sigh was heard when the Democrats snagged back voting control of the Senate.

While Biden’s victory is seen by millions around the world as a huge win for democracy and a potential return to sanity and safety in the U.S. (and potentially around the planet) there are many who view the scenario differently. I share the sentiment that the change is really just a ‘lesser of two evils’, however considering the dangerous, unpredictable, ugly evil within Trump – it’s still a step forward. Out of the dark and into … dawn’s early light?

There is no question Biden comes with his own baggage and concerns. Certainly his age causes some eye-brow raising and many Americans view democrats with as much angst as republicans. The US is a country now divided greater than at any time since their civil war. The majority of Yankees neutral to either party remain uncertain and leery.

Within the first week of installation Biden has wasted no time repealing some of Donald’s questionable decisions. As well, there is little doubt the environment, racism, and world peace will benefit from the change. However there are miles to go and many concerns remain. Only time will tell what the change at the top will mean.

Like many Canadians I hope it means a return to some normality of life on both sides of the border.

Biden has already made pro and con US decisions impacting our country, depending on your perspective on pipelines and international trade. However Canada has its own leadership concerns, or perhaps ‘lack of’ leadership concerns.

Prime Minister Trudeau has benefitted greatly from Trump’s buffoonery the past four years, flying under the radar of attention and criticism amidst the chaos and confusion caused by the latter. One barely notices a burning tree in a full blown forest fire.

But Trudeau has messed up repeatedly the past few years, breaking election promises, failing to work with various premiers and provinces, protecting dubious cabinet ministers and party members, and of most recent – failing to ensure Canadians  the promised amounts of vaccine to help combat Covid19.

Yesterday Trudeau assured Canadians they can ‘relax’ knowing that we will receive all vaccines needed by the end of August or September. Hello? Say what? Do the math Mr. Prime Minister – that’s at least six months from now. Six months is a potential death sentence for thousands of Canadians, especially seniors, front line workers, or those with compromised immune systems. Relax? Hardly.

Like so many other issues – there has been no explanation to why Canadians have fallen so far behind in the supply, especially compared to many other nations.

The full attention and heat is back on Justin in many ways. How he responds in the next few months will dictate his future, which already is looking grim.

Meanwhile, here in B.C. some members of the public continue to live in dangerous denial that the pandemic is real, even as more deadly strains begin to surface. As I write this, Tuesday’s tally shows 407 new cases for the day in B.C. with 14 dead. In the past year we have seen 66,235 cases of Covid with 1,168 deaths. A total of 313 people are in hospital across the province today with Covid symptoms.

I admit to feeling frustrated with those who suggest the whole pandemic scenario is fake news or a scam. I now know of three people that have died from Covid19. As a person receiving regular respiratory care and in constant communication with respiratory experts (who face work danger daily) I find such suggestions insulting and insensitive.

Put on a mask or stay home.

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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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