Tous Ensemble (All Together Now)

Good morning. This issue is brought to us by the helpers.

This famous line by Mr. Rogers was always meant for adults to tell children. It's not really meant for adults to tell adults. But we can have it in our back pocket for scary and traumatic things when children need comfort. It also isn't enough for adults to just look for helpers. We have to become helpers. We want to feel better, yes. We can't despair, no. And we have to help.

1. Pharmacies and grocery stores in Ottawa are opening early and offering discounts strictly for older folks and people who don't have strong immune systems right now: cancer patients, asthmatics, diabetics, people with disabilities.*

*All the precautionary measures in Ottawa are thanks to the work of Ottawa Public Health and our Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches. It's been so quick and helpful, that I've heard that Montreal is going to emulate the work done here.

2. Here is the best sign of helping I've ever seen in my entire life.**

**For my newsletter readers who don't know: National Observer is a real news website whose business model is based on reader subscription. There is usually a paywall that you pass by paying per month or per year. They now have their coronavirus coverage free to everyone—because this is a national emergency (or soon will be). Also: The Canadian Press (which originally published this article about all the helping) is the oldest newswire service in Canada and writes stories that are meant to be republished in newspapers around the province, country, and even around the world. So: real news.

3. My friend Isaac remastered his ambient album Arctic Summer from 2008. "It's approximately 55 minutes of peaceful sounds. I figured it could be useful right now," he said.

4. My friend Emily is thinking of writing a zine for nursing homes. Who's with us?

5. I'm giving blood on Saturday, March 21 at 10:40 a.m. It is safe and imperative to give blood right now. I'm O+ about it.

Here's Cap yesterday:

I want to remind people:

  • It's not the time to be going into public places lightly. I'm going to be very cautious about going to give blood, and I trust those nurses to be even more cautious.

  • I think this is going to be a bit of a ride. Things will continue to be strange for quite some time. I hope I am wrong. I hope you hope I am wrong!

  • I asked my readers not to read news from anywhere and everywhere. I have been guilty of ignoring my own advice. So I have made a pact with Karine: we read Ottawa Public Health's website and the CBC. All else is not for us right now.

  • Eat well. Sleep a lot. Take care.

  • Holler at me if you need to chat :)

Much love. Oh oui,