A cautionary note: This post is less cheerful than we’d like.

But it seems appropriate; after all, we’re now halfway through 2022 and it seems as though things are getting worse not better.

We may be ‘done’ with bad news, but it’s not done with us.

We thought that 2020 – the year the pandemic essentially began — was a bad year. And then as the pandemic raged on and lockdowns became the new normal, 2021 was even more depressing.

Indeed, as lockdowns created a global ‘Work from Home’ situation, travel ground to a halt and many basic rights were suspended, we all understood why. There was a virus spreading throughout the world that needed to be contained to prevent our hospitals from being over-run with sick people and to help the most vulnerable from dying. In short, we sucked it up and did our part.

However, now that we are used to the pandemic and have collectively accepted that life is not without risk, a war is raging in our world. Of course, there are wars all the time in faraway places like Africa, in the Middle East and in South America; However, never in our lifetime has a war such as the one caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hit home so much for so many.

Part of our empathy for Ukraine is due to close family ties with that country that run so deep here in Canada. But it is also that we know all too well what Russian aggression feels like. Yes, it was great to beat the Soviets at hockey in 1972 at the height of the cold war but surely, we’ve moved on.

But aside from family ties with Ukraine, are we really affected by what’s going on?

Due to the global economy and highly integrated supply and value chains, the answer is YES.

We feel the pinch on gas prices that are raising the cost of everything we ship. Inflation is at a 40-year high.

Prices are rising fast; wages are struggling to keep pace.  And as usual, lower-income people feel it the most.

We see supply chain disruptions at the grocery store.

There are shortages of auto parts, machinery parts, construction materials. And we don’t know when it will end.

And we don’t know what we can do either. What a terrible feeling of helplessness.

But we cannot lose hope.

We know things may continue to get worse. There’s even talk a recession is coming.

Some governments (Ontario and Quebec) are cutting gas taxes and mailing out cheques to people. Every little bit helps I guess right? But it doesn’t really solve our problems, does it?

For now, we feel the best we can do is buy Canadian so our dollars end up in our fellow Canadians’ hands and can be reinvested and create wealth here at home.

As the song says, “it’s not much but it’s the best I got.”

We’re going to stay strong. We’re going to stay hopeful.

Who knows what the second half of the year will bring? But we’ll get through it and there will be better days ahead.

Stay strong my friends!