Dear Americans

Well, some of you! Letter from a Canadian parent

Alison Acheson
Jul 24, 2020 · 3 min read
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photo: Erik Mclean on Unsplash

My son has been pulled over by Canadian cops recently, at home in British Columbia. The reason: his Oklahoma State license plate. He explains that he is a Canadian who has been going to school in Oklahoma for half a dozen years now. And he’ll be returning south for the coming year, which should include his graduation with an MBA…if all goes as planned. If all goes as planned. The cops nod and tell him he’s free to go. (For the record, I am not happy about BC folks shouting down people in cars with American plates; this, for me, has been a lesson that we do not know, and cannot assume, why people are doing whatever it is they are up to…)

But as he gets in his car, two weeks from now, armed with enough food, water, and cold coffee drinks in his cooler, and that rear seat stretched out so he can fit his athlete’s body in for the one night en route (driving hard, sun-up to midnight the following day)…armed with gas station gloves, hand sanitizer, some cleaning thingeys to swipe clean his credit card, masks…

I’m saying a prayer. And I’m saying, Please America! Smarten up!

(Yes, there is an some expletive in there, prayer and all.)

The county he’s going to in Oklahoma has yet to have one confirmed case. I remind myself of this daily. Hourly. But I look at the numbers. The people with no masks, the beach crowds. Mostly, I see the maps with the dots of red, the widening, connecting, and overlapping dots of red. The numbers in the thousands daily. Your leader and his cronies scare the shit out of me.

In BC, we have Dr. Bonnie Henry. She had an announcement period on provincial news shows every evening through the worst of the lock-down. She has her three phrases:

“Be kind, be calm, and be safe.”

The woman is like the Queen Mother, who Hitler called the “most dangerous woman in all Europe.”

We have heard Dr. Henry’s phrases so often they have become part of our psyche. She was featured in the NY Times for her efforts. We have listened to a medical person, not a politician. (Yes, Mr. Trudeau also did an every-evening talk, standing out in front of his home — no doubt, avoiding his wife, in quarantine with a positive diagnosis, but it was Dr. Henry we have been hearing.)

Maybe you’ve seen the image of two tour boats at Niagara Falls? The US boat, overflowing, and the Canadian with its limit…of 6 passengers? The distinctly different approaches — Canada listening to medical folks, and the US following politicians — are taking us down two different roads. And I’m in a knot, seeing my son drive down one.

Then there’s this article, and if you’re not getting it from my request…well, here you go. Walter Rhein wrote this, and he is such a kindly guy, that I’m thinking he’s seriously riled to write this! So listen up —

Signed,

One Canadian Momma who wants her kid to return home next May.

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Alison Acheson

Written by

Alison Acheson’s latest book is a memoir of caregiving, Dance Me to the End: Ten Months and Ten Days With ALS. She teaches writing in an MFA program.

ILLUMINATION

We curate and disseminate outstanding articles from diverse domains and disciplines to create fusion and synergy.

Alison Acheson

Written by

Alison Acheson’s latest book is a memoir of caregiving, Dance Me to the End: Ten Months and Ten Days With ALS. She teaches writing in an MFA program.

ILLUMINATION

We curate and disseminate outstanding articles from diverse domains and disciplines to create fusion and synergy.

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