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Radioactive Republicans

Anna wrote today on FB, “The first week of 2021 over. Only 51,000 more to go.” 

My daughter-by-another-mother Holly was going to come for a visit today with Eli, for lunch and to go to a playground. But the numbers in Ontario are horrifying; she has just cancelled. I know it’s wise, and yet I’m bereft. Those boys are growing up on the other side of town, and I’ll hardly see them. I miss them so much. 

Ah well, better safe etc. The hospitals are jammed; anyone getting sick now is in grave trouble, so for me, that’s a serious consideration. The kids and I will Zoom at some point. And Sam is coming tomorrow for dinner, I think, so I’ll have a family fix. 

Yesterday the sun was shining; what a difference that made. Went for a walkabout with Ruth and sat at my south-facing desk drinking it in. Later, I watched Alex Trebek’s last Jeopardy and Radioactive, a drama about Madame Curie, flawed and overwrought but still, a tribute to her courage with a stellar performance by Rosamund Pike. I didn’t know that after Pierre Curie’s tragic death Marie took their married lab assistant as a lover, and a vicious mob, inflamed by scurrilous accounts in right-wing newspapers, surrounded her home, screaming abuse, including anti-Semitic slurs though she was not Jewish. Does this sound familiar? 

The same types are still out there, screaming untruths, lots of them in Canada too. Have spent these past days listening to the radio, obsessively checking social media and the papers online. Look at the decent, serious face of that policeman who was murdered. And yet more than half of the House Repubs voted not to certify Biden’s win. Something is rotten in their political culture, right to the roots. 

So now, for us in Ontario, 51,000 weeks of isolation and winter, with an incompetent provincial government that can’t do a single thing right. 

On the other hand, there are still kind words coming in about the article and the book. From a musician friend who knew my father: I loved the piece in last week’s Globe & Mail about the polio vaccine. It brought back a vivid image of the way your Dad held the bow. It also inspired me to order Loose Woman and the McCartney book from our local Book City, and I am sure they will be great reads. 

And another: What a poignant, timely and well written piece it was. I’m not surprised that Jane Philpott picked it up – it is such a sensible, yet moving, example of the power of vaccines.  

And I have bought and read LOOSE WOMAN and bravo again. It was so well written, honest, invoking cringeworthy memories for me and I found, especially, the parts of your time with the L’Arche community evocative and moving. 

Thank you! 

And there’s this: 

Be still my beating heart.

I’ve signed up for a virtual dance class from the Toronto Dance Theatre. I’ll dance as if no one’s watching, because luckily, no one will be. Onward!



2 Responses to “Radioactive Republicans”

  1. Theresa says:

    Dance on, into those 51,000 weeks.

  2. beth says:

    You too, friend across the mountains! Love to you both.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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