Joy Fielding

Letter from Joy

June 22, 2020

Hi, everyone,
Well, another month has come and gone, and Covid is still with us. At least in Ontario, the numbers have been steadily declining, despite a big increase in testing. And in Toronto, we’re entering stage 2 of what has been a very cautious reopening. So starting very shortly, more restrictions are being eased - hair salons will finally be open, as will restaurant patios - although there will still be strict social distancing policies in place, as well as the mandatory wearing of masks where social distancing isn’t possible. This is all good news, and fingers crossed it keeps getting better. Not sure how people will react to having everything curtailed once again if there’s a second substantial wave. So better to be cautious now. Still, like everyone else, I miss my old life - going to movies and restaurants, hugging family and friends, having lots to do other than housework, which is tedious and never-ending. Thank goodness for golf - although my game is going through its regular downturn at the moment - because it’s something to do. I’ve also been going to long walks with my sister or a friend on days when I don’t golf, and I’m certainly getting to know the city. As for the weather, after a throughly cold, wet and miserable spring, it’s been incredibly hot all this month. Much as I love the heat, walking today was like walking in a sauna. It was hard to breathe, especially in areas where I had to put on my mask due to the number of joggers and other people out walking.

There was one really terrific thing that happened this month however. The Ontario government said we could have “social bubbles” consisting of ten people, and we would be able to not only socialize with these people, but hug them as well. So, off my husband and I went to Windsor to see my daughter, her husband and my gorgeous grandchildren, whom I missed more than I could say. We hadn’t seen them since they moved in February, and even when we drove home from Florida in March and drove through Windsor, we could only stop in the driveway of their new home and speak to them from a distance. So this was our first trip back there and we stayed for three days, enjoying lots of hugs and kisses and going for hikes and just being a real family again. It did my heart good. Hopefully, we’ll get back there next month. It’s been an understandably difficult month for them, moving to a new city just before Covid hit, and then having the border to the U.S. closed and my daughter’s new job in Detroit put on indefinite hold, and the kids’ new school shut down. Still, they’re handling things incredibly well - much better than I think I would, under the circumstances. At any rate, their new house is beautiful and they love it there, and as my mother used to say, "things have a way of working out.”

At this time, I have to add my voice to the many others out there in support of Black Lives Matter, and to those who are demanding changes in the way the police operate, especially in their dealings with minorities. I think that when people object to the term, Black Lives Matter, they are deliberately misinterpreting the phrase by putting the emphasis on the wrong word. We aren’t saying BLACK lives matter; we’re saying black lives MATTER! Of course, all lives matter. Nobody disputes that, and that isn’t the point. The point is that it’s time black lives mattered as much as white lives have always mattered. The colour of one’s skin should be irrelevant. And the police are supposed to be there "to serve and protect,” not to bully and abuse. I’m not a fan of the term “defund the police” because I think it’s misleading. Nobody is suggesting we stop funding the police altogether, but instead use the money in different ways, ways that bring the police and the communities closer together. A pilot project in Camden, New Jersey, has been particularly successful in this regard, redirecting some of this money to improving conditions in the community through increased social programs and education. There’s no reason such a project wouldn’t work in other cities. No one should be afraid of the police, or see them as enemies, and the police should definitely be held accountable for their actions. The hard truth is that most police get no training in how to deal with the mentally ill or how to diffuse potentially difficult situations without resorting to violence. And they need to stop lying and protecting one another when they witness the misdeeds of colleagues. I fully support all these protests and marches and hope they continue until real change is affected.

Anyway, that’s it for this month. Please stay healthy and safe, and most important, as always, be kind.