“It’s always darkest before dawn”… one of those sentences that’s used in the context of “As bad as things seem, they’ll always get better.”

Pragmatically, it’s not really true… for numerous reasons. At the most superficial level, we live in a world of artificial light… and if you’ve ever been out in the street at dawn, right at the moment the streetlights switch off, you may have noticed that the little bit of sun doesn’t actually make up for all the acetylene or halogen or neon or argon or sodium vapour or whatever lighting that just disappeared. And even if you’re out in the middle of nowhere, there are stars and the moon, which themselves can be bright and offer light… and whose brightness fades when the sun begins to emerge. I guess if it’s pitch black and then that first photon of sunlight appears over the eastern horizon, this would hold true… but there are too many other variables.

If you assume the end of this pandemic is sunrise, we’re in more darkness today than we might have thought a month ago. It’s hard to plan for the sunrise if you don’t know where you are, nor what time of the year it is. The darkness-to-full-sunshine in Costa Rica in July (around 20 minutes) is a different experience than being in northern Finland in late December. Dress warm; you’ll be waiting a long time.

Waiting for the end of this pandemic is like that… but where, geographically, we change locations every day. And date. And, just for fun, the earth slows down and speeds up without telling anyone.

Variants, transmission events, uneven vaccine rollouts, anti-vaxxers, politics… these are all independent variables in a formula that’s unsolvable because there are other variables too, and we don’t even know what they are.

In the meantime, locally, it’s gotten a bit darker. Numbers are up. The majority of people getting sick are younger… and that now includes the majority of our Vancouver Canucks. These guys are among the healthiest people around, yet some of them are concerningly ill and receiving IV treatment. And, in the midst of these concerning new variables, a protest was organized yesterday at 2pm at City Hall… small business owners protesting the recent 3-week restrictions.

I certainly understand their frustration. They want the sun to rise too, but it’s elusive. The rules seem arbitrary… and seem to change overnight. How can anyone plan for anything?

I have no problem with business owners protesting/advocating for what they perceive to be their best interests.

I have a huge effing problem, however, in seeing that the vast majority of those protestors, all standing close to each other, yelling and chanting and whatever else… were not wearing masks. It boggles the mind, and I would hope the irony is not lost on them. “If only there were a way to open up sooner”, they masklessly commiserate with each other. “If only people realized that restaurants aren’t the problem”, they masklessly voice loudly into each other’s faces.

More than 1,000 new cases each of the last two days. And as the news will be reporting tomorrow, Canada has just gone over 1,000,000 cases.

In the meantime, the long night rolls on… and the horizon, distant as it is, has yet to start spilling over some much-needed sunshine.