Saturday, January 2, 2021

Building Back Better

Over New Years we reflected on the year past, but the more important thing in my opinion is to look ahead.  Here in Canada our Prime Minister has talked about building back better, moving toward a more just and meaningful society.  There are a lot of sides to that; I am just going to touch upon a few of the things that really strike me about the future.  But the dramatic stresses in the modern world brought on by the pandemic do push us to rethink how we do many things.

Soaring Interest in Hiking and Camping

One good thing I have noticed is the surprising rise in the numbers of people heading out on the trails and heading to our parks.  Gone are the days when you could expect to enjoy solitude on the trail during the warmer months.  And gone are the days when you could show up at a provincial park and expect to find a site; if you are not reserving soon for next summer you will be out of luck!

This reflects a broader interest in the outdoors, back yards included, but it comes with advantages and disadvantages.  Popular spots are getting too popular, and needing more maintenance.  Potentially we could see a rise in people interested in volunteering, but that takes organizing.  Many trails in Ontario are volunteer run, and it is a challenge sometimes!  And many new hikers or campers could stand to be a bit better prepared!!

Home Delivered Restaurant Meals

Ok, this is a small one and specific to folks like us, but the availability of restaurant meals delivered to your door every now and then is a godsend for us.  And restaurants are going to have to adapt to survive, at least by developing take-out services, patios, catering, or other sidelines to stay in business.

Slow Travel and Purchasing 

I have been fed up with the crowds at popular tourist destinations like Venice or Barcelona, and the dominance of Amazon for some time now.  You may not see these going together, but to me they do, just like the slow food movement.  The spread of AirB&Bs in popular destinations is causing local housing crises.  Even here in the ski country of southern Ontario it is hard for employees to find accommodation during the winter season. 

We should also be trying to buy local whenever possible, and I am glad to see local businesses developing online ordering opportunities, even if delivery is a little slower than from the giant multi-nationals!  Here in Canada we certainly need to be able to provide our own personal protective equipment!

A Living Wage for Essential Workers

And what do I need to say about this!  We depend totally on the essential workers who have kept us going through this, but with the exception of doctors, we pay them all too poorly.  And it is not just medical workers, but the grocery store employees and the truck drivers and many others as well.  I have always felt that the disparity between rich and poor was too great, but now itts very obvious!

I see this everyday in my caregivers, up close and personal!  Three of them are young single mothers, and I simply do not understand how they can afford to pay rent, maintain a car, and raise their children.  They and all other essential workers deserve a living wage!  In my mind this is something that simply needs no debate!

That is it for my rant today.



  1. You covered important areas.
    It will be intresting to see what leadership talented people rise to advocate positive, and fair changes. They are the people to take notice of and to support.

  2. Good post, you hit all those nails on the head. Although it's all been said before, not enough people who can do something about the issues are listening.

  3. So true one very point. I like the forward looking attitude you have, FG. You show us the way!

  4. Great rant, I agree! Take care, enjoy your day! Wishing you a great new week ahead!

  5. An Instagram friend moved to Venice because she loved it so much. Her coronavirus photos of the empty city showed how much more beautiful it is without the heaving crowds we have been used to seeing. It’s hard to know how to go forward with fewer visitors if we ever return to ‘normal’. Although I believe many of the hoards are day trippers, and we avoided them once by accidentally visiting in the middle of a snow storm. The last time we visited it was more crowded than ever with all the tour groups hitched up to their guides with headphones so they don’t notice anything but what the guide is pointing out. A real hazard if you are trying to make your own way round town.
    But what can you do? On the one hand half the apartments in Venice are on AirB&B but then you read that the locals have been moving out for years. And no wonder if every other person in the street is a tourist taking selfies. Central London is bad enough (all year round these days... well, you know) and it’s huge compared to Venice.
    Not trying to demolish your argument but it’s difficult with the current mania for travel to know how to ration visits for the good of the beautiful places everyone wants to go to. Having said all that I have been to Venice 7or 8 times, at least twice as a day tripper. But I did start in 1966. I might try and live there too but I don’t eat fish which is a bit of a handicap.
    And a final thought: even people who can scarcely feed their children appear to look on holidays as a basic human right. So there are more tourists than ever clustering in ever more crowded hotspots. My goodness. No wonder we have a pandemic. Happy Sunday to you.

  6. Good Rant. That has been something I highly agree with you. The most used and needed workers do deserve a decent wage rather then needing multiple jobs to survive.
    Wishing you both a Safe, Healthy and Happy New Year.

    It's about time.

  7. The phrase "Build Back Better" is Biden's hope for the US, too. I think a working wage and health care should definitely be standard everywhere. Thanks for the great rant.

  8. Just checking in today. You have some interesting concerns.

  9. Here's to a better year for everyone. Happy New Year!

  10. Thanking a cashier or teller in our stores really does nothing that a nice raise in pay would do, but I do it anyway. You are absolutely correct. True, medical staff and other assimilated workers full well deserve good pay but so do these who are there behind the plexiglass counters day after day when we buy our groceries.

  11. I understand the logic of 'build back better' and do agree with it. Now, if we could just all pull up our soaks and do something positive about it.

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