Canada Day in Isolation

I wouldn’t consider myself to be overly nationalistic.  I also don’t think I have very many traditions or rituals the I follow.  Never-the-less, on Canada Day you can usually find me at Labatt Park watching the London Majors play a baseball game, followed by fireworks over the Thames River.

In fact, I can only think of a few times in my life when this wasn’t the case.  There was a Canada Day as a teenager when my family was spending the summer in England and we toured a ruined castle.  We questioned why the castle was flying a Canadian Flag, and the tour guide reminded us that it was Canada Day – we were so jet lagged we lost track of what day it was…come to think of it we also forgot my birthday that year.

When I was 19 I spent Kanada Tag in Germany with some friends while on a high school student exchange.  I honestly can’t remember if we did any kind of celebration.  We probably waved flags and drank beer in the back yard.

Finally, when I was in Australia I spent Canada Day with hundreds of Canadians celebrating in North Sydney organized by a wonderful group of people called “Network Canada”.  They bill themselves as the largest Canada Day celebration outside of Canada.  It is complete with artificially created snow, a giant inflatable snowman, Poutine, Perogies, imported Moosehead and Caesar cocktails. I even won a prize, which I think was a package of Tim Horton’s coffee.

Last year I went downtown minus and hat or sunscreen which I quickly corrected via the exchange of money in a variety store, then I mingled downtown before following the traditional baseball game along with some friends.

But this year is different.  Due to the COVID19 Virus, the baseball game and the fireworks are both cancelled.  With nothing else to do, I picked up a full shift at work and I will be making double time-and-a-half today.  When that’s done I will probably sit in a Muskoka Chair in the backyard, listen to a podcast and halfheartedly wave a tiny Canadian flag.  This Canada Day I will earn some extra money so that I can take a vacation when this pandemic is over, and hopefully next year we all go back to our Canada Day traditions.

For now, here is a photo of me at last year’s Canada Day in an enormous Muskoka Chair, and another one of me with a government issued Canadian flag and an awkwardly placed Blue Jays hat.



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