Once again, Margot was pressed for time, which she regretted, because she really wanted to delve into Kitty’s mind, and search her soul. Alas, ‘twas not to be on the eve of her tunnel trip to Wuhan.

“I have to get going, Kitty.”

“Yes, of course. You’re on some sort of mission of mercy, yes?”

“You sense that?”

“I do.”

“Yes, you do, and yes, I am. I have to visit a distraught friend. Her daughter is a doctor, working in a hospital in Italy.”

“Oh, dear. That would be distressing.”

“They speak, every day, and then she, my friend, talks to me about it. It’s very intense, as you know, in Italy. The frontliners are holding up. Bending, not breaking, but they need every scintilla of support they can get, material or spiritual.”

“And what’s the situation here? Is it bad?”

“Certainly not as bad as it is in Italy, or Iran, or Spain. But there is fear. Fear that we are not prepared for what may happen.”

“Fear among frontliners, or the general community?”

“Both, but more so among the frontliners, who know that they don’t have the materials they need, test kits, PPE gear, beds, to fight this, if it erupts.”

“Is there spiritual support here, at least? Is the community demonstrating its support for frontliners?”

“There is. Every night, seven p.m., people open their doors, or hang out their windows, and make a racket. It resonates. The frontliners really feel it. And tomorrow, we are all gonna get a show. A show of stupidity, but some will take comfort in it.”

“Show of stupidity?”

“Yes. The Snowbirds will be doing a flyover.”

“The Snowbirds are you version of our Blue Angels, and Thunderbirds, I take it.”

“Yes, but we use fifty year old jets.”

“Very Canadian of you, not to piss away ridiculous amounts of money for that kind of circus.”

“It’s all insane. The money and scientific genius we have all pissed away on militarism, when we could have been using it to fight poverty, and find cures for diseases that ravage us daily, never mind in a pandemic, is nothing less than a scathing indictment of our priorities as a species.

“A hundred years ago, during the Spanish Flu pandemic, people were using the same kinds of cloth masks that we are using today for personal protection. But look at the assault rifles that people are using for their alleged personal protection these days. They bear no resemblance to the guns people had a hundred years ago. We just keep inventing better ways to kill people.”

Kitty cringed, “And it’s all glorified by the warmongers. You wanna be a man? Be a hero? Here, take this gun, go over there, and kill those people, just like the guys in the movies, and on TV. If you come back, we’ll give you a medal. But we’d rather you not come back, because we don’t wanna spend any money trying to fix your broken minds. So, do us all a favour, and stay wherever we send you, or if you have to come back, come back in a body bag.”

“And tomorrow, people will be looking up in the sky and cheering, as the pretty war machines fly over, doing an aerial ballet. Kids will be looking up, and saying, ‘I wanna do that when I grow up!’ None of the cheerleaders will be even vaguely aware of the fact that they are cheering on the disease of militarism, which robs us every day, and in every way.”

Kitty shook her head in disgust, and scowled, “Meanwhile, we don’t even have the money to properly protect the real heroes who are fighting an enemy that has no religion, no ideology. An enemy that needs no propaganda campaign to spur it on.”

“Kitty, my friend, we are all subject to that greatest of Chinese curses.”

“Indeed, we are living in interesting times.”

“Time. Time. Time. I have to go, Kitty. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll love you tomorrow.”








94 A

94 B

94 C

94 D