It's a bit bleak in my neighbourhood these days. The ice has gone from the rink, so now if you want to skate you've got to have wheels.
But I was still glad to be able to spend some time by the lake this weekend, feel the cool fresh wind in my face, give thanks that I'm still standing.
And prepare for the crucial week ahead.
The one that should tell us whether we are winning or losing the war against Covid-19.
Canada's top doctor says this coming week will be a crucial time during which public health officials will start to see if the aggressive physical distancing measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are working.
Whether we are finally starting to flatten the curve, as some numbers suggest.
On Friday, the B.C. government released a report showing that physical distancing measures had helped to cut the province's rate of growth in new cases to 12 per cent per day. Without physical distancing measures, the report said that number would be closer to 24 per cent.
Or whether a surge of new cases will swamp our intensive care units, and take our health care system to the verge of collapse.
As is happening in New York City, where paramedics are being forced to make some heartbreaking choices.
Because of the volume, emergency medical workers are making life-or-death decisions about who is sick enough to take to crowded emergency rooms and who appears well enough to leave behind. They are assessing on scene which patients should receive time-consuming measures like CPR and intubation, and which patients are too far gone to save.
And so many are dying, some hospitals are being forced to store bodies in refrigerator trucks.
Or could this be our nightmare?
While the world’s attention now shifts to its own centers of contagion, the sirens keep sounding. Like the air raid sirens of the Second World War, they are the ambulance sirens that many survivors of this war will remember. They blare louder as they get closer, coming to collect the parents and grandparents, the keepers of Italy’s memory.
The grandchildren wave from terraces, and spouses sit back on the corners of now empty beds. And then the sirens start again, becoming fainter as the ambulances drive away toward hospitals crammed with coronavirus patients.
A place like Bergamo, where despite the heroic efforts of medical workers, death roams the corridors of overcrowded hospitals.
And the dead are so many the army must carry them away.
I have to admit that I have no idea what's going to happen in Canada.Italian policemen salute bodies of #coronavirus victims transferred from the besieged city of #Bergamo to be cremated elsewhere. This military honor is the only funeral they will get now and so it contains the sorrow and respect of an entire country. https://t.co/CuDjQGFCcI— Gianni Riotta (@riotta) March 28, 2020
I don't whether enough Canadians are acting responsibly, or whether many of them even understand that the fate of our health care system is in their hands.
What I do know is that our health care workers are among the best in the world. I know that they are risking their lives every single day to try to save the lives of others.
I know they deserve these kind of tributes.
The rain can’t stop the cheers in #Vancouver. Thanks to all the healthcare workers! 👏🏽#COVID19Vancouver #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/GNFk0XVgz8— Karm Sumal (@KarmSumal) March 28, 2020
I also know that there are many other heroes who are also keeping this country from collapsing, but don't get the credit they deserve.
And because of all of them, and because I'm an optimist, I like to believe that we are winning.
I choose hope over despair.
So I'll leave you with these two twins quarantined in the darkness of northern Italy, playing Cold Play's Viva la Vida...
Viva la Vida, long live life.
Stay healthy, stay home, and all together we will beat the bug...