Since the author of the blog was feeling better, I headed out to Mentor Headlands Beach again between rain showers. Compared to the last time I was there, it was like an October day with white-capped waves, winds blowing grains of sand, and parts of the beach becoming wading pools for seagulls to explore. Except for one windsurfer who wisely came back onshore, Lake Erie didn’t have a single boat or swimmer. Of course, Northern Ohio is one of the few places in America where another country is less than 50 miles away. Of course there’s a whole lot of freshwater in between but, in normal times, one can drive via I-90 and Buffalo to Niagara Falls, Ontario, in three hours; and there was once a time that many of us can recall being able to do this without a passport.
Today, I came across on NPR this piece on how, despite the closure of the US-Canadian border to non-essential traffic due to the pandemic, Americans still somehow manage to head north of the border, and the locals want us to go back home. Here is the text version of that piece.
It makes perfect sense to me that our neighbors to the north feel this way. After all they have 116,858 cases of which 8,945 died and 101,558 recovered. While more than one American (including myself) would like to escape the train wreck that this nation is heading towards with this pandemic (among other things) we have to abide by the rules and if the border is closed to day trippers, businessmen tired of meeting on Zoom, vacationers or subscribers to the Shaw Festival (most of whose shows are cancelled this year anyway) so be it. The fact that residents in British Columbia want people with their boats from just south of the border to go back home I find completely justified.
We’ve got to get our house in order first folks. After all, it’s even money that a year from now the situation here will get better so that the border will reopen anyway. By that time, hopefully for me, I will get that passport renewed.
Photograph by James Valentino.