To The Editor,

“This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.” The last line of the poem The Hollow Men by T. S. Elliot. His words seem fitting right now, looking out at a society coming unravelled like some finely crafted embroidery at the mercy of a playful kitten.

Our health minister has advised each of us to regard our neighbour as a potential Typhoid Mary and stay away. Grandparents are not to get close to grandchildren and visa versa. People are being divided into categories of essential and non essential as businesses close and dreams turn into nightmares. In what seems to be unprecedented in modern history, churches are closed; considering that they stayed open as places of salvation and sanctuary through smallpox, cholera, typhoid and Spanish flu pandemics as well as two world wars.

The world we see around us might be manifested in brick and mortar but its foundation is in dreams and the personal drive which brings them into the physical. These are being destroyed now by government decree with the very real chance that many will not survive. We cannot social distance and maintain any semblance of what we once knew as normal. How long before a mass crowd is permitted? Or even a last hug between generations?

I have in hand a manuscript written by a woman whose experiences in a way mirror those of Mr. Herbert Scherer. (He was featured in a Review article some weeks past). As a young girl in east Europe she went through WW1 with its loss of life and subsequent poverty. Then WW2 and invasions by Germany and Russia and those horrors. As with Mr. Scherer, many times, just when all appeared impossible and there was no way through, the Divine opened a door. When her life was at its lowest with disease and famine and hostile soldiers all around and it seemed as if she had been living in fear forever, a thought crossed her mind: is it not better to accept the end without fear than to live in fear without end?

With the defence minister preparing reserve troops for deployment in Canada and Quebec already requesting forces for that province, I think it is reasonable to assume life as we knew it last year is gone. A new reality exists of hoarding, huddling indoors and snitching on neighbours who are not doing the same. Even if we hold compassion for one another, contact is not allowed. We are obliged to watch each other sink while the most basic of all healing power, human touch, is forbidden.

It is my opinion that divinity brings with it the comfort of an end without fear; while political diktats are designed to induce fear without end. To each the choice.

Gordon Fraser