April 2020 Editor’s Fix

Setting the scene: We’re in the midst of COVID-19. It’s the first Saturday of Spring Break, and in true Fernie fashion a chilly storm is upon us and it’s too cold to ski. I have a cold and am self-isolating, so am working from home. You can just imagine the state of affairs in our household. Forts abound on every floor. The dress-up box is a hot commodity. (Wonder Woman and the Wicked Witch of the West are currently lunching to my left.) Walkie Talkies at all times, with secret operations going down. (How can we get another cupcake?)

I even made the mistake of letting them watch Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. At its completion, my youngest said, “Why did you let us see that? I am sad for that movie!” as tears streamed down her cheeks. Oops! 

That is just day one. Two more weeks, likely four. Possibly more. At first, I started to panic. But then I looked out the window - space. We have a lot of space! In our yard, on our street, along the path behind our house that leads to the Elk River. We have mountains, full of adventures. Snowshoeing, Fairy Lands to discover, imaginative games to explore! We have groomed Nordic, biking and running trails. Back roads that lead into the wilderness, soon ready for biking. We. Are. Lucky. But even in Italy, where there is a very firm lockdown with much closer quarters, people are taking to their balconies and creating beautiful music together. It is truly inspiring how something so devastating and scary can bring out the best in humanity - a global effort of social responsibility for the benefit of everyone. 

It is hard not to wonder why we haven’t globally come together to remediate another crisis on our hands, the climate. We have had plenty of disasters around the world specific to this crisis… the Black Summer in Australia is the most recent and alarming. I suppose when it’s not immediately in your own backyard, it’s easily forgotten or put aside. How can we forget about the two back-to-back summers BC was literally aflame, with fires just over the ranges on all sides of Fernie?

 It is in our backyard, and soon to be on our doorstep. All it takes is one look at Wonder Woman and the Wicked Witch for me to feel its immediacy and recognize our responsibility to stand up for their future. 

As I type, environmentalists and scientists around the world are documenting the effects of decreased travel, suspended industry and social isolation on our climate. I have a feeling these figures are going to be eye-opening, and perhaps just the alarm needed to initiate our social responsibility when it comes to climate change.