You in Your Small Corner, and I In Mine

It’s been a month since I’ve written anything last. Let’s do an update on The Pandemic, because I was sorta trying to keep tabs on that for…posterity I guess.

When last I wrote we were just about to start Phase 1 of re-opening services, which went really well overall. Phase 2 began yesterday, so restaurant dining rooms can operate at half capacity, gathering sizes are increased (25 people indoors, 50 outdoors, provided of course social distancing and other health guidelines can be followed), some outdoor sport programs and things can maybe resume I guess. Parks & playgrounds can carefully admit people again. A friend asked if I was “excited” about this development, but honestly there’s not much I’ve been burning to do, lately, that I haven’t been able to. So no, not really.

I have a nice mask made by somebody local that Lori knows, and I’ve worn it out and about a couple of times, but around here there is decidedly a Low Emphasis on mask-wearing when out at the shops. Makes me feel a bit weird but I dunno, I’m trying to do my part.

Manitoba has been a remarkably safe province overall so I’m glad that we can relax in some ways, but there’s still lots of opportunity for a 2nd wave to roll through, and I’ve almost no doubt it will.

I’m getting my hair cut Thursday morning. While scheduling the appointment I was asked several questions about my overall health and recent history of travel or interacting with unsafe/infected people. I was expecting this, and now that I think about it, it’s interesting how normal the conversation seemed. A year ago such questions would have seemed strange, maybe even invasive. New normal indeed.

Since I’m writing about big events I’d be remiss not to mention the huge protests going on daily all over the United States, as well as here in Canada and around the world. On May 25th, an African-American man named George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by a white police officer during an arrest. The officer held Floyd to the ground with a knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes, and a video showed George exclaiming “I can’t breathe!” among other things before going unresponsive.

There is video circulating, taken by a bystander. I haven’t seen it. The whole thing is so brutal, and so senseless, and so tragic. Outrage boiled over into protesting almost immediately in Minneapolis, and the rest of the nation, then the world, have joined in.

I’ve been struggling with maintaining my sense of optimism and hope for the future, but I’m so privileged in so many ways. I have no idea what it’s like to deal with systemic racism and injustice, and to see tragedy after tragedy befall my community and loved ones while the wider world continually tries to walk past it and “move on”.

So I hope and I pray that meaningful, lasting change can come from all of this unrest. Reading back what I’ve written doesn’t seem like I’ve said enough, but I don’t have enough words or insight. Take this opportunity, if you can, to research and learn about the names listed alongside George Floyd, as victims of police brutality. There are so many names. Or, find and follow creators and writers of colour on your favourite social media platforms. Or, donate to nonprofits and organizations that are trying to make the world better. I personally supported this one, a Canadian initiative to bring low-or-no-cost mental health counseling to the Black community of Toronto. As they put it,

It is not enough to “not be racist,” we have to be actively anti-racist by striving to rededicate ourselves, love our neighbours, and become the change we wish to see.

Thing I Saw: My own list of Recently Completed games, an ongoing attempt to catalog everything I’ve played to completion since the beginning of 2019. I try to find a nice representative screenshot and write a lil’ capsule review of the game. Everything on that list has something positive about it, because if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t play it all the way through, I guess. If you want game recommendations, go look.

Thing I Learned: Despite owning and driving our green 2000 Honda Civic for a while, I’ve never known to push the hood lever back in after opening the hood. I always thought there was something wrong the the latch and the hood had to be shut multiple times before it ‘caught’ – turns out I can close it instantly with One Weird Trick. (Lori has owned the car for longer, and had no idea either)

I’m Grateful For: Games that draw me in and remind me why I like to play them so much. Currently, that’s Nier: Automata.