Archives for May 17, 2020
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds’ cross-country tour to raise people’s spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic turned to tragedy Sunday when one of its planes plunged into the ground at Kamloops, killing one member and injuring another.
The Snowbirds jet crashed shortly after takeoff and burst into flames in the front yard of a house.
Capt. Jenn Casey, a public affairs officer with the Snowbirds, died in the crash
The pilot of the CT-114 Tutor aircraft, Capt. Richard MacDougall, sustained serious injuries in the crash, but they are not considered life-threatening.
Capt. Casey is from Halifax and joined Canada’s Armed Forces in 2014 after several years working as a journalist, according to her biography on the Royal Canadian Air Force website.
The crash happened before noon PT, shortly after the jet took off from the Kamloops Airport. Witnesses say it was following another jet when it appeared to veer upward and circle the tarmac before going into a nosedive.
“Canadians look at the Snowbirds as a source of joy and an exhibition of the incredible feats that our people in uniform are capable of,” Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a statement Sunday evening.
“Operation Inspiration was intended to lift the spirit of Canadians at this difficult time and the Snowbirds accomplished their mission. I know that all Canadians grieve this tragic loss.”
In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is “deeply saddened” and that his thoughts are with the families of Capt. Casey and Capt. MacDougall, and the entire Snowbirds team. He thanked emergency crews in Kamloops for responding quickly.
“For the past two weeks, the Snowbirds have been flying across the country to lift up Canadians during these difficult times,” Trudeau said.
“Every day, they represent the very best of Canada and demonstrate excellence through incredible skill and dedication. Their flyovers across the country put a smile on the faces of Canadians everywhere and make us proud.
Governor General Julie Payette said she was devastated by Capt. Casey’s death, and paid tribute to the Snowbirds.
“During a difficult time for our country, they were a source of hope, travelling across Canada away from their families, for us,” Payette said in a statement.
Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian described the crash as a “tragic scene.”
“This accident today really shakes us to our core, but we will do our best to support the military and the men and women in service,” Christian said during a media briefing Sunday afternoon
I first noticed it yesterday. It was like the first snowdrop seen after winter’s darkness. As I walked through the trees to the park, I heard it, like the first bird of the morning chorus. It was one of the simplest things, something that used to be a regular sight in the park, but one I had not seen for quite a while.
The sight and sound that made my heart sing was four people playing tennis on the community courts. Obviously the game was not being taken too seriously but the foursome were laughing and loving one another’s company.
Not too long ago this was a regular sight but for many weeks the courts had been empty and silent. So it was such a joy to watch the simple game of tennis.
Later in the day I was lucky enough to watch a wedding take place on the grass below my condo. There is a gazebo on the lawn and I noticed it being decorated with tulle and flowers. A small group assembled, just eight friends, and very soon the bride came walking down the path to meet her groom. A simple ceremony, followed by the traditional kiss, then a champagne toast and it was over, the JP departed and the friends spent a short while taking photographs. Several people watched from neighbouring balconies and applauded the happy couple.
No big church, no expensive reception with vast amounts of food, but two people beginning there new life together in a very simple way.
Maybe this is the way of the future. Things are definitely different and it looks like we all have to learn to learn to live in a simpler way. We have to take baby steps into our new way of living. It is going to take a long time for us to adjust to our new normal, but adjust we will.
Restaurants are going to have to spend much more time to earn less money. Guests need to be spaced out and, in between each guest there will need to be some rigorous cleaning protocols. We as patrons are going to have to learn patience. No more quick lunches as not as many tables available. More time taken for customers to be seated and staff are going to be kept busier as they will need to do more jobs. It is important that we, as customers, realize that all this is being done for our safety and if we start complaining about waiting, it is not going to help matters. We need to learn consideration and also to leave a tip for the extra effort being made on our behalf.
If we want services of any kind, we will have to learn to slow down. All store owners are going to have to follow procedures, which may seem unnecessary to us, as clients, but if these protocols are not taken the Covid monster will rise again. Businesses will have to do whatever is necessary to stay open and we are just going to have to learn to accept this as the new normal. The past couple of months have been so stressful to businesses trying to pay for rent and other running costs, even though no money is being earned. They badly need to get back to earning money but will have to learn to do it in a new way. They also have to make sure their staff follow all the procedures as well. There will be added expense for buying screening of some sort an the headache of working out a system to get customers in, but also keep them safe.
Most of us are looking extremely shaggy but the idea of trying to social distance for a hair cut is nonsensical. Barbers and hairdressers perform a very personal service and need to stand very close to their clients. Unless they wear scuba gear or a Hazmat suit, how will they manage to cut our hair?
The sight of four people playing tennis was very heart warming but it doesn’t mean we can lighten our vigilance of social distancing just yet. However, like the first snowdrop it does mean that better times are coming.
Let’s all do our part without complaint.