The Page

As a weekly paper, The Leader often ends up a week behind. For instance, Nov. 22 to 28 was National Addictions Awareness Week, but we didn’t find out until Nov. 23 after the publication deadline.
A year ago, a lady in western Washington was reading The Leader. She was very pleased to see the locations of the AA meetings listed in the Community Upcoming Events. ALANON and Narcotics Anonymous are also listed.
The 2020 theme is ‘Change Begins With Me,’ which adds to the 2019 theme of ‘Stigma Ends With Me.‘
The Canadian Centre of Substance Abuse and Addiction has fact sheets on cannabis, COVID-19 and substance abuse, methamphetamine, opioids, gambling and alcohol.
The Addiction Helpline is 1-866-332-2322.

How seriously are regular Albertans taking the threat of COVID transmission? Judging by the prevalence of masks around and about, it seems more are than before. But still there are plenty of groups of people rubbing shoulders unprotected. That was evident at the Santa Claus parade on Nov. 20 in Slave Lake. Not to mention ad hoc games of shinny on local rinks. We’re not saying anyone was doing anything wrong, per se, but in situations like that, it would be so easy for a virus to pass from one person to many others. Slave Lake (at least as of this writing) was still in a sweet spot. But that is just blind luck. It can blow up into something bad, very easily.

Nobody living remembers the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-1920. But there are people hereabouts who remember hearing stories about it. The pandemic reached into all corners of the country, including the Lesser Slave Lake area. One story we heard was how some people, frightened by the news of the deadly disease, got out of Slave Lake and set up camp in the bush around Marten River, thinking it would be safe there. Perhaps it was, too. People died in town from the flu bug. Some people believed it was the poison gas, drifting over from the battlefields of Europe that was killing people.

So….how about those Eskimos? Or not Eskimos….the team formerly known as the Edmonton Eskimos. The official website these days is entitled ‘Edmonton Football Team,’ which sounds pretty lame. The team needs a name. Not to mention the league needing a season!

The problem is so many things are not happening, it’s a challenge to find things to report on besides that one big thing hanging over all of us that we’re not going to talk about anymore this week. How are those home renovations going? What sort of solo activities are people engaged in, as an alternative to group things?
Commenting crankily under online news (or maybe ‘news’) stories is probably one of the more popular activities these days.

Hey, how about this, for one of the more outrageous scams. Apparently some crook (or crooks) is trying to extort money out of people who are in a vulnerable state due to a loved one having gone missing. The caller says ‘I know where your (son, daughter or whatever) is. Give me money and I will tell you.’ And even, sometimes: ‘Give me money or I will hurt them.’

One thing that could be a bit better around here is the Good Neighbour feature, which appears on this page. We used to get a lot more nominations. It’s a nice community-boosting kind of a thing and there’s a $25 gift certificate in it for the nominee, from our friends over at Southshore Hidden Treasures – good neighbours themselves!

Looks like the magazine Alberta Views is going to run something on Lesser Slave Lake and wants to include a photo of the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation. Keep your eyes peeled. Somebody from the magazine apparently spotted an article that ran in The Leader a few weeks ago on the BCBC.

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