Opinion triple pack: garbage bag limits, COVID, and Hunger Challenge

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By Nick Seebruch
Opinion triple pack: garbage bag limits, COVID, and Hunger Challenge
Photo from pixabay.com.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a column covering multiple topics, but as we move from summer into fall, there have been a few important topics crop up at once. The following are some brief takes on things going on in the city, the United Counties and across the province.

Hunger Challenge

This week I start my second year of participation in the Agapè Centre’s Hunger Awareness Challenge. From Monday, Sept. 21 to Friday, Sept. 25, I will be living off of one week’s worth of food supplies from the Agapè Centre’s food bank. Additionally, I also have an allowance of $10 for the week to get any other food supplies I need from the grocery stores. For lunch, I’m allowed to pick up a meal from the Agapè Centre soup kitchen.

I have no worries about keeping my stomach full, but the concern is nutrition and health. The Agapè Centre provides limited canned vegetables, and one meat product from their freezer to their clients. With my $10 I plan on buying whatever protein and vegetables I can.

I enjoy cooking so, I’m optimistic that I can make some delicious food with what I have to work with. For me, it will be a fun challenge, but at the end of the week, I get to go back to my normal life, eating and making whatever I like.

There are at least 1,400 individuals in Cornwall who use the Agapè Centre food bank for whom the challenge never ends. What for me, is a chance to be creative in cooking is an unending reality for many. Donations of food and money can help support those who rely on the food bank during hard times, and can help them get back on their feet by not having to worry about where the next meal is coming from.

To support the Agapè Centre with monetary donations, e-transfers can be sent to accounts@agapecentre.ca.

Bag limit

The City of Cornwall passed a motion to drop the bag limit from six to four per-household starting Oct. 5. The goal is eventually to get the bag limit down to two, which is the case in neighbouring South Stormont.

I have seen some complaints about this decrease. There’s real logic behind it and it is a good idea.

Cornwall’s landfill is running out of space. Closing the current landfill, maintaining the site after it is closed, which is required under law, and finding and opening a new landfill all costs money, a lot of money.

There is about 15 years left in the life of Cornwall’s landfill and the cost to close it and maintain the site alone is estimated to cost roughly $36 million.

The longer the landfill lasts, the longer we can stretch out the pain of replacing it.

If your household is having trouble staying under the bag limit, try doing more composting and recycling. There is no bag limit on recycling.

COVID-19

I received a comment last week asking what the difference is between COVID-19 and the common flu. The difference is a fatality rate of between 2.9 and four per cent. That number is according to the World Health Organization.

I have seen comments on social media criticizing the WHO, Canada’s Public Health Officer Theresa Tam, and the local Health Unit’s Dr. Paul for not knowing the truth behind COVID, or violating human rights for insisting on limits on social gatherings and mask wearing.

I trust the world’s medical officials’ stance and advice on COVID-19 over the cherry-picked research of the “experts” on Facebook. Are doctors right all the time, especially about a new disease? No. Also, there will always be some doctors who disagree, but what is the consensus in the medical community, what do peer reviewed research papers say? Sources matter, experience and education matters. No one is an expert in all things, and sometimes we have to admit we don’t know things and defer to an expert.

Also, not having social gatherings and wearing a mask while you are in a store for 10 minutes is such a small inconvenience. The fact is that if we follow the example of the U.S. government and ignore our health experts, people will die who do not have to. How much is a human life worth? Is saving the life of a child, parent, or grandparent, or a stranger worth wearing a mask for 10 minutes?

What do you think of the bag limit, or the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases? Email me a Letter to the Editor at nseebruch@seawaynews.media

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