A Sidewalk Message of Hope

Sunday was an unusually busy day in Ward 9. I was catching up on a pile of emails, returning phone calls and dealing with a wide range of constituent concerns. Early in the day, I drove out to the Devil’s Punch Bowl to check on some reports of drag racing, household garbage in a ditch as well as people congregating on the observation platform. In fact, the night before I received an email with a photograph of some misguided dingleberry climbing the Stoney Creek Cross. (see pic below – he’s halfway up the cross)

On the way home, I was struck with an overwhelming sense of frustration and exasperation. Alone and not prone to swearing, I found myself expressing out loud a stream of expletives reminiscent of that scene in Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswald learned that his Christmas bonus had been cancelled. I won’t share with you the exact words that I said but trust me when I say, it was out of character. Yet, it was totally cathartic. (Yes, like Clark… I also needed the Tylenol.)

I mean really. What is it going to take to get people to physically isolate themselves from other people? Every public health expert and every epidemiologist has agreed that quarantines and self-isolation is the only way to break the back of this viral beast that is plaguing the world and killing our family and friends. So, why would you put yourself and others at risk, by gathering in such proximity to complete strangers to view a vista that you will be able to see any time, after the virus has burned itself out. While I’m at it, who the heck was the moron that was willing to risk his life and the life of first responders by climbing this iconic cross? And please don’t tell me that he did it for a fleeting selfie!

Fortunately, my positive and hopeful outlook quickly returned as I drove by this quaint and gracious message of hope written on my neighbour’s sidewalk.

Truer words were never spoken. As such, I take great comfort in knowing that the vast majority of residents are following the advice of our public health care experts. I remain hopeful that we will continue to listen and abide to these scientists. I remain hopeful that our first responders, health care professionals and cleaners will continue to have the personal protection equipment that they need to keep themselves safe as they care for the ill. I remain hopeful that our hospitals will have the capacity and the required number of lifesaving ventilators. I remain hopeful that our senior levels of governments will ensure our hospitals have the requisite equipment to do their jobs. I remain hopeful that the City of Hamilton Emergency Operations Centre will continue to serve our communities well. I remain hopeful the promised emergency funding will start to flow to those who lost their jobs and are in real financial states of despair. I remain hopeful that this viral beast that has stolen thousands of lives will soon burn out and we can return to some sense of normalcy, scarred but having survived it.

Above all else, I remain hopeful.

Stay safe and God bless