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PECKFORD: Blue Monday


Larry Peckford has had a varied career in Newfoundland as a public servant and community volunteer. He maintains a seasonal residence in the Codroy Valley. You can e-mail Larry at: larrypeckford@outlook.com.

I am late. When you read this Blue Monday will be more than week old. It is scheduled for the third Monday in January. I had not heard of it before, but it kind of makes sense. Reportedly it was the idea of a psychologist who said that January is the time in the new year that we are likely to be depressed and ‘blue’. This is brought on quite possibly by the cold and depressing weather, bills may be piled up by too much Christmas spending or we realize that those new year’s resolutions are long past being filled if they are started at all.

I can tell you it is blue here in Ottawa. Like everywhere else in the country, the COVID situation is not settled. No one is sure whether the Omicron variant might be the end of the pandemic or a starting point for yet another new one. I have hunkered down as many others have. I have narrowed my contacts and I am feeling it too. I am vaccinated three times and will readily take anything else that comes along. If young children of school age are not allowed to attend school for the want of proper vaccinations, well, I sure as heck will take whatever the health authorities say is safe. I am not second guessing that.

The media is filling spaces with the arguments on whether it is safe for kids to resume in person classes. Ontario schools are open. One argument largely centers around the potential negative impact that virtual/stay at home learning has on kids. Also, it is maintained that the risk of contracting the virus is no greater in school than it is staying at home. Children are social creatures and they thrive on social interaction. They say kids need it for good emotional development. I buy that.

Thank God for today’s technology though. As I observe it for my grandkids, personal contact is ever present what with video calls and contact on smartphones and computers. There is a never ending stream of chat and conversation going on between the young people I see. They are never alone; just the opposite. If adults don’t like the computer face time, social media may in its own way be saving our kids from the isolation and the damage that is said to be caused by it.

When I look at my place today, I hate to admit it, but I have more than one gadget strategically placed so I can catch the latest text message, Facebook post or email. I remember the day a long while back when my daughter, then a young adult, showed me a large clumsy device that she said was a mobile phone. She would call me on it during a drive across the island to reassure me she was okay. I shook my head. Now I’ve got one to my face or close by 24/7.

Maybe we need to start a new colour for Mondays now that January’s Blue Monday is past. Let’s say that we give the first Monday of the month a colour that is anything but blue. Let’s keep the colours bright and vivid to lift our spirits. Maybe create a theme to go with it. Any creative people among my readers who want to start the wave?

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