Can You Be a Little Bit Pregnant ?

During these dark and for a lot of people, depressing times, I thought I’d add some levity to the beginning of this article before I address a more serious matter.

As many of my friends know, I used to be a half marathon runner and was pretty successful at it in regards to distance and time. I ran 5-10K on a very regular basis per week for about 3 years but eventually developed weakness and atrophy in one of my arms and on the left side of my lats (back).

Bullheaded, I ignored the increasing pain, and my chiropractor’s advice to get an MRI. Finally, my doctor sent me for an MRI that showed an impingement in my C4/C5 disc in my neck. The only solution was surgery. The Sudbury surgeon said, “Live with it”. I sought a second opinion in Toronto.

After a successful surgery, I was not to exercise for 6 weeks, and then, only after a good post-op check. After that green light – I began exercising and running, a fantastic feeling. Fast forward about 18 months, and now, my left hamstring muscles were hard as rocks and I was developing “drop foot”. I hoped it would fix itself, but it didn’t, a mere 5 minutes of running – and I was in so much pain. I was devastated and extremely depressed as running gave me the dopamine and serotonin I needed.

Still with me.?.. We’re almost there.

With a new MRI in hand, I was booked into another surgery because now different discs were impinged. Another post-op wait, and then the green light or so I thought; “everything looks good and healed fine” my saviour said.

Here’s the funny part (to me anyways). As I was in Dr. Perrin’s office, hearing the good news about the surgery healing well and that my reflexes were better; I asked him the same question as before; “So can I go back to weightlifting and running again now?” Stunned, I heard him say “No”. He explained that he had determined I had Congenital Cervical Stenosis. The more I ran, increased my risk that more disks would creek towards and cut off a nerve, and then limbs etc could be compromised.

Well, as runners and athletes know, it can consume you, and it is what makes you live and feel good; and this news was just so devastating and shocking, I had to ask if I could run just a little bit per week instead of daily. (Here it comes…)

“I don’t know Mr. Skinner, can you be a little bit pregnant?”  🤣. 

Ok enough of my rambling, and on to the main event.

I want to address the fact that politicians and experts who are the ones locking us down and telling us what to wear in public, when and where we can shop and when we are free and out of lockdown are being outed quite a bit lately for breaking the rules/suggestions they give us. For once social media is being used a good tool for this. Many I am sure would just as much lie through their teeth if it were not for cell phones, and Twitter and FB posts they make etc.

Nobody likes a rat like the neighbor who calls the police because they see too many cars in your driveway.  We also don’t like the person that rats on someone that breaks some of the guidelines. It is their business and if it doesn’t affect you and me directly, well so be it, is my opinion.

The big difference is when politicians that tell us over and over and over again, that we should be responsible and respect the mandates are found to have basically given the rest of us the middle finger. I want to go to Mexico right now and vacation and you want to go and visit your kids an Alberta, but God forbid if we did this during these times, we would be crucified and shamed.

Most recently, the CEO of our local hospital in Sault Ste Marie, has been the focus of much talk as it has been revealed that she has traveled outside of the city to British Columbia to see family and for pre arranged medical appointments.. I do not know Wendy Hansson so this isn’t personal; it just the fact the SAH have issued statements regarding restrictions and travel in the past and unless you are her best friend or close colleague it would be most apparent that this is hypocritical. In fact, doctor/patient confidentiality would certainly protect us from knowing if this was true as well. I think she should be issuing an apology instead of remaining mum on it as councilors Shoemaker and Gardi have asked for more information. She holds a very high profile position but it doesn’t make her exempt from rules and mandates that have crippled our economy and devastated millions of lives. On the same note; family are not even allowed to visit relatives that are elderly in nursing homes across the country let alone the ones who were dying during early stages of the pandemic. Again, Ms Hansson, this isn’t personal, but I do think you owe us some sort of clarity and an apology.

Now on to the politicians who actually should be scolded to a more extreme degree ; we have witnessed politicians flaunting their own advice such as Premier Ford telling us not to go to our cottages or attend gatherings such as weddings to find out that he has done both of them. He is actually the one who basically has the final decision on giving these mandates and ordering these lockdowns and there is no excuse. What is good for the Goose is good for the Gander. 

His office confirmed and addressed these infractions with lies and untruths including that during the wedding all protocols were followed when in fact there is picture that is still circulating showing about 10 people gathered around the premier and not one mask was present.

There have been others examples recently of politicians doing as they please while preaching (to us) from the party guidebook.

There are literally dozens of Canadian politicians who figured they were exempt and above the rules such as the Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs Tracy Allard who decided to go to Hawaii as per “long standing family tradition”, Joe Hargrave, the Saskatchewan Highway Minister who went to Palm Springs to finalize a house sale, Quebec Liberal member Pierre Arcand decided a nice Barbados vacation was in order, or NDP member Niki Ashton who went to Greece to visit her ailing Mother when scores have been prevented from seeing their dying ones during this horrible situation.

This is not shaming of these politicians because there is a boatload of …..actually a  super tanker of politicians around the world doing the same thing. If they don’t feel the virus is that much of a danger; why don’t they be brave and put themselves on the line like MPP Randy Hillier or most recently MPP Roman Baber who knowing the risks wrote an open letter to Premier Ford to lift the lockdowns. He knew his fate was sealed but his integrity and convictions prevented him from going on further with what he personallythought was the wrong approach. A few days later he was kicked out of the Conservative Caucus, and I knew he figured that was going to happen..

I don’t know why, but it is increasingly coming to bear that in the opinion of myself and others, is that our politicians it seems are looking out for only themselves and not their constituents. I believe that reason is that they don’t want to lose the benefits and perks and salary they receive for going against the current narrative and rules we  are told to follow. The sad thing is that their constituents whom they are sworn to serve and protect are suffereing and on a vast scale are losing their perks, benefits and employment on a very steady basis.

On a personal level I understand that politicians are people and as people they error, but when you are put in such a high position of influence, you better have your integrity and honesty meter working because in the end, you have to live with yourself.

So just as you can’t partially follow guidelines concerning a virus that we are told is lethal enough to warrant masking, lockdowns, business closures, and travel restrictions ; answering the riddle of the title to this aritlce …NO!!




Ernest Skinner