Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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24

Dec

2022

When illness disrupts mental pathways

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday December 15, 2022

 

I was sick a week ago. Medically, I just had a cold. A bad cold. Perhaps the worst cold I have had in ten years. I feared it might be Covid-19, despite a full house of vaccinations. A Rapid Test proved negative. 

            I thought of Covid because I had read that Covid can scramble one’s brain, randomly disrupting neural synapses that have formed a reliable communications channel for decades. 

            So that one suddenly can’t remember how to do the simplest things. 

            They call it “brain fog.”

 

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22

Dec

2021

We are more than our masks

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday December 9, 2021

 

The woman standing in line looked vaguely familiar. But because she was wearing a Covid mask, I could see only her eyes and forehead. 

            “Holly?” I asked, tentatively. 

            Her eyebrows shot up. Her eyes crinkled. “Jim!” she exclaimed, flinging her arms around me. (Take that, Covid!)

            I find it hard to recognize people with half their face hidden. 

            In the old days, people used masks to cover other parts of their faces. The Lone Ranger and Batman wore masks over the upper half. 

            Now it’s the opposite. 

 

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16

Oct

2021

Isolating those who are different

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday October 17, 2021

 

We who live in the enlightened western nations tend to heap scorn on the Hindu caste system. We don’t recognize that we have our own caste systems. 

            Indigenous communities scattered across the boreal north are our Dalits, the outcastes, the untouchables. “At any given time,” writes the Council of Canadians, “there are drinking water advisories in dozens of First Nations communities across Canada.”

           Most recently, Iqaluit residents were assured their water was safe, even though it smelled of diesel. Then this week that assurance was reversed – it was now unsafe even when boiled. 

            Can you imagine an entire city, like, say, Regina, being told its tap water was unsafe for drinking, for cooking, for washing, even for washing your hands in? There’d be hell to pay.

            But this is Iqaluit, not Regina.


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20

Jul

2021

If I were a coronavirus…

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday July 18, 2021

 

COVID-19 cases have started surging again, in places like Brazil, India, Indonesia, and the U.S.. Reports blame the rise on anti-vaccine movements, distrust of authorities, misinformation, and government incompetence. 

            If I were a coronavirus, I’d be celebrating all of those.

            As a virus, I have only one goal – to get inside the cells of as many humans as possible, so that I can take over their cell mechanisms to make more copies of me, so that I can get inside more cells of more humans. 

            We viruses run the ultimate assembly line. All we need is victims. 


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13

Jun

2021

The Covid Quarantine Blues

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday June 10,2021

 

Only 14 days to go. This shouldn’t be difficult. I don’t expect quarantine will be much different from daily life in these Covid-restricted times.

            I live alone. Covid rules won’t let me invite people in for dinner or coffee. The only germs I have to deal with are my own. So keeping the house spotless doesn’t need to be a high priority.

            I have a freezer full of frozen food. I’ve got more books than I can possibly read. The cable is working, and Google awaits.

            This could be almost like a mini-vacation.

            I can see the routines shaping up.


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