LONG HAUL TRUCKERS ARE UNSUNG HEROES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE CANADA/UNITED STATES BORDER

In this COVID-19 pandemic, long haul truck drivers are depended upon to deliver the goods – feeding millions on both sides of the 5,500-mile US/Canada border. <PHOTO ABOVE – Richard Buchan, Canadian Press> American trucker DARRELL WOOLSEY, 52, sums up the challenge he and fellow drivers face.“I live in something smaller than a jail cell all the time. I hear other people complaining, and I’m like, get over it. There’s lots of us living like this, all the time, coronavirus or not.” He adds “It’s in the middle of the night that things feel a little more ‘Mad Maxy’,”On the Canadian side of the border it’s much the same, with the often exception of this country’s long, uninhabited and under serviced stretches of highway. There’s a reason Canada is nicknamed ‘Big Lonely’. No doubt many truckers would certainly understand that.  <BELOW – Queen Elizabeth Way, Globe and Mail photo>

RUNNING IS “THE PERFECT SPORT FOR A PANDEMIC” SAYS ‘SPORTS SUNDAY’ IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

As one who has run for 36 years, I can vouch for the goodness of my one and only sport. As The NY Times puts it “Forget the gym. While the coronavirus brings life to a near standstill, people are discovering, or rediscovering, one of the most basic exercises – running. It has a built-in form of social distancing, and its participants can take in picturesque sights.”As a regular runner you become addicted to the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other, because when you’re running hard that’s all you can think about. Just get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Get to the next repetition, to the next tree, to the next breath.”Running in TORONTO, I found a route with only two traffic light intersections, went out every evening by myself, winter and summer, wore the best running shoes I could find, sweated like crazy, solved problems while running, and felt great afterwards. Advice – build up very gradually; don’t overdo it; stretch first; good runners (running shoes) are essential.

QUOTES FROM TWO UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO STUDENTS WHO’VE TRADED RURAL FOR URBAN

THOMAS WILDEBOER, from Grand Valley, Ontario, population 3,000, is a first year student studying physical and mathematical sciences – “Many people who live in rural areas have a lot of bad ideas about city living but the adjustment really isn’t difficult,” he wrote. “I started to feel at home pretty quickly. Your walking distance is away from a lot of stuff, but the TTC can get you places. If all else fails, Uber is an option. In rural areas, driving for hours to run errands is common.” Wildeboer has found that one of the best things about living in the city is fast internet. <DINA DONG/THE VARSITY; JUSTIN TUNG/FLICKR>DEAN HILER, a third year student, is studying earth systems, geographic information systems, and history and philosophy of science. “I’m from Watervliet, Michigan, which is a town of about 1,600 people (and falling). Diversity adds this intangible quality to life that is often indirect and minor, but because it affects everything, it’s actually a huge part of your life and you don’t realize you were missing it or value it until you have it,” he wrote. “The perspective I get from being enveloped in (Toronto’s) diversity has allowed me to redefine myself using a much larger dictionary.” <PHOTO – SAMANTHA YAO/THE VARSITY; DINA DONG/THE VARSITY>

U. OF T. HAS LAUNCHED A MEMORIAL FUND FOR THOSE WHO DIED IN THE TRAGIC JET CRASH NEAR TEHRAN

The newly endowed Iranian Student Memorial Fund honours the memory of those who died in the crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 in Tehran. Six students from the University of Toronto were among 57 Canadians who died – along with another 119 on the manifest.

(Photo by Nick Iwanyshyn)  President Meric Gertler said “The University of Toronto continues to mourn the heartbreaking loss of so many members of our community, and to offer our sympathy and support to their families, friends, classmates and professors.”

THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO is dispersing$10,000 scholarships in memory of each of the 57 Canadian victims. Criteria for the scholarships will be based on academic merit and financial need, and recipients will be determined in consultation with the schools and families of the victims. – <IMAGES – U of T Magazine>

THEY HELPED US, & NOW WE’RE HELPING THEM – CANADIANS BATTLE AUSTRALIA’S FIRES FROM HELL

<Canadian and American firefighters arrive at Melbourne International Airport, January 2/2020><Canadian firefighters and specialists have a photo taken on arrival at Brisbane, Queensland, December 31/2019><Dozens of firefighters from all Canadian provinces gathered in British Columbia for transport to Australia. They were deployed for 38 days.>

<Canadian wildfire specialists are shown in this handout image in Vancouver before being deployed to New South Wales, Australia on Thursday Dec. 19, 2019. CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Ctre-Riel McGuire – mandatory credit.>

THE WORLD LOST MANY WONDERFUL PEOPLE in 2019 – MAY THEIR SOULS REST IN PEACE

THOSE WHO’VE LEFT US IN 2019
(Canadians, and those closely associated with Canada are marked with an asterisk)
Diahann Carroll, actor
Carol Channing, actor
Doris Day, actor, singer
Albert Finney, actor
Peter Fonda, actor
Robert Frank, photographer
Graeme Gibson, author*
John Mann, Spirit of the West singer*
Dave Bookman, Toronto radio personality*
Red Kelly, NHL hockey legend*
Karl Lagerfeld, fashion designer
Katharine Mulherin, Toronto gallerist, artist*
Jessye Norman, opera singer
D.A. Pennebaker, filmmaker
Rip Torn, actor
Agnes Varda, filmmaker, artist
John Kastner, filmmaker*
Jean Vanier, disability advocate*
Jackie Shane, singer*
Ron Joyce, co-founder Tim Hortons*
Norman Chin, Toronto restauranteur*
Margaret Lyons, CBC executive*

Grumpy Cat, personality
Gloria Vanderbilt, actress, artist, designer, author
Caroll Spinney, puppeteer, Sesame Street
Harold Prince, producer, director, 21 Tonys
Tim Conway, television actor, Carol Burnett Show
Jim Fowler, naturalist
Georgia Engel, Georgette on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Kaye Ballard, comedian and singer
Toni Meyers, IMAX filmmaker, writer, director, producer*
Joe Schlesinger, CBC correspondent*
Michel Legrand, pianist, film composer
I.M. Pei, architect
Michael J. Pollard, actor, ‘Bonnie and Clyde’
Jacques Chirac, French president, mayor of Paris
Valerie Harper, ‘Rhoda’, actor
T. Boone Pickens, oil magnate
Ross Perot, Texas billionaire, ran for US president