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.