Goodbye 2022-Welcome 2023!

With  New Year’s Day now a week behind us, the noisemakers are put away, the parties over, ( if they existed) and all have expressed best wishes to friends and family that 2023 be a year of health,  happiness, and reclaimed prosperity.  So it seemed rather ironic and bad timing that a family member would test positive for COVID on the first day of the New Year. Alas, COVID is still skulking around, looking for its next victim to spoil the optimism that we might put COVID behind us. Or at least have more normalcy in our lives than in the past how many years.

Most of us just want to forget about COVID-19 and it’s variants, and we will as we eventually create a new normal. However,  for those who have lost loved ones to COVID, it will forever be etched in their minds and hearts.  For those of us who have lived through it, if anything we have learned from COVID-19,  it is that we need to be more prepared for such an unexpected and serious health incident in the future. 

Although many people do not know what polio is, it occurred during many of our lifetimes. And those of us who survived it well remember the devastation it caused. But it has been forgotten by many and young people have not been told about it. Which would have been an appropriate time, especially as we experienced this pandemic. We know there will be other epidemics in the future, and need to be better prepared. We need to learn from the past.

A Texan, by the name of Paul Alexander, at age six, was paralyzed from the neck down due to contracting polio and has been warning doctors that polio is going to return. Paul has done amazing things despite spending much of his life in an iron lung. For his inspiring story, look online under the title The Man in the Iron Lung, written for The Guardian by Linda Rodriguez Mc Robbie

My novel Grounded and Activity book tells the story of polio and one of the children is also in an Iron long, but he recovers.  Although Paul’s, story involves a period of time when he was less dependent on the iron lung, sadly,  he now is again living in an iron lung. We need to heed his warning and remember the past to be prepared for the future.


Sergeant Tommy Prince


Sergeant Prince, an Indigenous war veteran, was recently honoured by Canada Post with his image on a newly released stamp. Born on St. Peter’s reserve in Manitoba, part of the Brokenhead OjibwayNation, he took part in World War ll as well as the Korean War, Among the eleven medals he was awarded,  they include the Military Medal (MM) and the Silver Star.  And in 2019, he was named a National Historic Person of Canada. The Canadian Forces Base in Petawawa, Ontario, where he trained was renamed The Tommy Prince Barracks, as were schools, streets etc. After the war, he was the VP of the  Manitoba Indian Association and was a well-known Anishinaabe activist.

Shamefully,  when Tommy returned to Canada, despite his heroism and sacrifice, he faced injustice and discrimination. As a member of the First Nations, he did not qualify for the usual Canadian Armed Forces Veteran benefits, receiving only a small supplement. Like many other veterans, he also had a hard time returning to civilian life and suffered what we would today call  PTSD, having nightmares and flashbacks of war  He died at age sixty-two, Canada’s most decorated First Nation Soldier.

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