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Cold comfort

opinion editorial stock


Cold enough for ya? The weather is pretty chilly too.

The cold mentioned here is of the "comfort" type. That cold comfort we continue to feel as decision after decision meant to ease the pressures and frustrations of the global pandemic seem to do just the opposite. 

It's ironic and fitting that Alberta is currently under the spell of a Polar Vortex. It seems everything we see and here lately has a polarizing component.

Our kids can't play team sports ... Did you watch the Super Bowl? How about that Oilers game?  /  You can't hug your grandmother  ... but you can  go into a tattoo studio and get her name inked into your skin with a heart around it. / You are only allowed 20 people at a funeral and no reception ... there were 22,000 fans allowed in Tampa's "Ray-Jay"  Stadium to watch Sunday's NFL championship event. (That number, by percentage is one-third its usual capacity) On the same day, Sunday services in churches across the Lakeland were abiding by the province's in-person gatherings restriction of just 15 per cent its usual occupancy.

Is it any wonder people are getting upset? Is it any wonder neighbours, friends, family members are becoming so polarized on the COVID debate?  There is so much double-speak, so much of "do what I say, not what I do," and so many people choosing to cheat the system "just a little bit".

It's hard to blame neighbours for meeting for a garage drink or letting young kids spend an afternoon at a classmate's house. They see our leaders going on tropical holiday, breaking the laws. They see the fans allowed to watch a football game — they hear and see contradictory advice everywhere they turn. Just last week, that polar-opposite trait snook  into the homes of thousands of Albertans as provincial officials rolled out their plans to allow team practices for youth sports.  What?  Just days before, one of the largest sporting organizations in the province, Hockey Alberta, grudgingly announced the official cancellation of their hockey season. Dozens of community minor leagues followed suit, formally closing the dressing room doors for thousands of young boys and girls.  It must've been a terribly tough decision to make. But it was done — and it seemed cut and dried.  But then the province announced it would pry open the closure "just a little bit."  They clearly didn't communicate the plan to the large sports associations. They just slid it out there ... adding to the confusion. 

Now?  Confusion.

So with the temperatures dropping outside, perhaps it's cold comfort at least that many Albertans can stay warm with the blood that's boiling inside them.