War vs Covid

Contributed by Duncan Fremlin. For the first time in our lives, death has not so quietly infiltrated our day-to-day consciousness.   The daily news feed has become routine – “4724 new infections,  29 deaths”.   The alarming part is, it’s actually happening to people we know.

In the five years of the second war, which was fought somewhere else, over 45,000 Canadians died.  Pretty much all of them were young men.  The number suggests the vast majority of families in Canada did not lose a son.  It’s even likely that most Canadians didn’t even know a family who lost a son.

This pandemic couldn’t be more different, and will likely be more deadly.  In a little over one year, more than 23,000 Canadians, from all age groups and walks of life, have died from COVID.  This third wave has taught us that no age group is immune.   These numbers suggest, if this continues, as the experts predict, many families will lose a close family member to COVID.

My father was born in 1905 in rural Northern Ontario.  By his 31st birthday, he had learned how to deal with death.   One of his brothers died when he was 5.   His mom died giving birth to twins in 1918.  Only one was strong enough to survive.  In 1932 he buried his first wife of tubercular meningitis.  In 1936 his second wife died of pulmonary tuberculosis.

Dad’s entire generation lived through carnage the world had never seen before.  The two wars, the depression and the flu killed many thousands.  Few families from that era, if any, were untouched by this.

Those of us (baby boomers) born after the war have pretty much escaped the immediacy of death.  It’s something that “happens to other families”.  We know of it mostly as a news story about somewhere else in the world.  The Vietnam war happened to people we didn’t know.

Our parents’ generation survived the war and were the recipients of an advanced and free health care system.  They lived when their ancestors did not.  For the first time, heart attacks, infection, pneumonia and so on were not death sentences.  Their life span was the highest ever.

Even when someone we know does die, it’s seldom at home and more likely in a hospital.   How many of us have actually seen a dead body that wasn’t in a casket?  I’m pretty sure Dad saw a few by the time he buried his second wife.

I lost my parents, one when I was 18 and the other when I was 37.  They were older than the parents of my peers so it didn’t leave me traumatized for life.  I don’t count watching Lee Harvey Oswald shoot Jack Ruby on TV after Sunday school in 1963.  I was 13, so for me it was just another TV show.

All that has changed.  Our world today has been given a good whiff of smelling salts and we’ve awoken to a new everything.  How adults will process this is a mystery – young people, not so mysterious.  They are showing their true mettle, respectfully wearing masks, social distancing and generally getting on with it.   The world is now officially theirs and it looks like it is in very good hands indeed.

TwitterGoogle+FacebookLinkedInDiggStumbleUponBlogger PostDeliciousShare

Other News


Meet BGC Toronto Kiwanis!

It’s official. Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Clubs has become BGC Toronto Kiwanis. Not to be trendy. Not because it’s shorter or catchier. But because Clubs across the country open their doors to all … [Read More...]

Photo credit: Ramos Visuals

Cabbagetown Fashion – Hoodie

Let me introduce myself. I am Lenka, born in Slovakia, living in Cabbagetown since 2009. I love fashion, photography, and baking. I have been around fashion since I started modeling as 14 years old. … [Read More...]


The CAN Fund #150Women – BE EPIC

Jane was a promising track athlete before a devastating car accident ended her athletic career. Jane turned this traumatic life lesson into supporting athletes on their journey to be the best in the … [Read More...]



  CANADA’S PLACE FOR MUSIC & COMMUNITY HUB -The local planning group of the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (IRCPA, a service organization for Canada’s … [Read More...]


The Gentle Treasure Hunt #2

On the lookout for art that looks out on the street. Article and images contributed be Ed Drass. Trapped between cabin fever and depressing distractions? Then tuck this paper into your vest and bolt … [Read More...]


A Special Garden Sign

Contributed by Heather Wilberforce, with Catherine Tammaro. Have you ever wondered about the sign that stands inside the Winchester School Children’s Garden? It was designed with Green Thumbs Growing … [Read More...]

May the REAL NDP please stand up

The Winds of Change have hit the current NDP. Contributed by K. Fisher  - Full disclosure, my vote usually flip-flops between Liberal and Conservative depending on the official mandate of the Party.  … [Read More...]


Romanesque Revival ON Winchester St

There is a lot written about the dance theatre on Winchester Street. Many of us have been there for events, community meetings and taken our kids to dance classes. However, there is remarkably little … [Read More...]

War vs Covid

Contributed by Duncan Fremlin. For the first time in our lives, death has not so quietly infiltrated our day-to-day consciousness.   The daily news feed has become routine - “4724 new infections,  29 … [Read More...]


Should You Apply?

For Both Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits and Canadian Pension Plan Disability (CPPD) Benefits? YES! Contributed by: Tony Lafazanis – Personal Injury Lawyer www.TLLawCanHelp.com Many people are … [Read More...]


Peer Support Responder

A community initiative by Heart2Heart CPR that provides FREE training and supplies to people likely to encounter opioid poisoning. Written by: Nick Rondinelli, Owner of Heart2Heart … [Read More...]


Cabbagetown Cares

A unique partnership between the Cabbagetown BIA, Dixon Hall and St. Luke’s United Church Contributed by Rick Matthews, Executive Director of the Cabbagetown BIA The idea for ‘Cabbagetown Cares’ … [Read More...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *