If you read this headline and thought that auto correct had gone out of its way to deflect profanity or perhaps that I had a brief stroke midway through writing, then quickly recovered, well, clearly you’re not as Icelandic as I thought.
Fagradalsfjall is a volcano on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula that erupted on the evening of March 19 after lying dormant for over 800 years. Since then, it has continued to spew lava, forming fantastical rivers of fire that were clear to see from space and even clearer to see for the many people that flocked to the area to get a close up view for themselves. Some of them even brought along their own hotdogs to cook on the lava that had already solidified as rock, which seems risky to me but I know from my one trip to Iceland a few years ago that hot dogs there hold a certain magnetism or I guess in this case, “magmatism.” (Volcano pun #1. Sorry not sorry)
I watched some footage of the eruption with my 6 year old daughter Scarlett, who is obsessed with volcanoes and swears she will grow up to be a ‘volcano scientist’ (which I’m not sure is an actual profession, but then again as a Canadian entertainer, I’m not sure my job is either) and she was, of course, full of questions. Though not very “scientific” ones. Her main question was “why are all those people so close to a volcano daddy? Isn’t that dangerous?” Which I answered by saying “well, it does seem dangerous yes, but it’s less dangerous than a lot of people are being right now not paying attention to pandemic restrictions.” Then she asked me why so many people are so stupid, which I unfortunately had no answer for.
I really don’t think it’s the people in Iceland’s ‘fault’ (Volcano pun #2) for being curious to see what had happened. If a volcano erupted near me, once I knew the lava wasn’t headed on a direct course to burn me alive, I’d go see it too. Though I’d probably bring along a homemade hamburger instead of a hot dog to heat up, because when else would I get the opportunity to cook ground beef with the actual ground?
However, those other people flaunting pandemic restrictions, I most definitely do fault with endangering the lives of others with their selfish stupidity.
Some states in America for example (let’s call them “Texas”), seeing that vaccines are now available, have simply lifted restrictions and bans, fully opening up businesses and removing the requirement for masks even though not all people have been vaccinated. Which would be risky enough if we were still just dealing with one strain of Covid, but we’re not. There are new variants now that are proving more contagious and harmful than the original Covid. These variants are like volcanoes, ready to erupt at any time, except when they do, they’re not a scenic adventure to pose for pictures in front of. They are people in still overrun ICU’s fighting for their lives.
Yes, people are getting the vaccines now, with over 85 million Americans having received 2 doses and 1.66% of the Canadian population including my 89 year old father (Which is the first time dad has been part of the 1% so…way to go Slim!) But that doesn’t mean we can all declare this thing is over. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but you still have to stay in the tunnel to get to it.
Outbreak Hotspots in the past week included Miami Beach Florida where young spring breakers, no doubt believing themselves invincible to all this, were forced into an early curfew proving three important things:
Meanwhile, in Oakville Ontario (which NO ONE would confuse for Miami Beach. The average temperature is as much lower as the average age is higher) there was an outbreak at a steakhouse which may have affected up to 200 people including staff and diners. I’m not sure how to convey how unnecessary this was. I understand people want to get back out and NEED to get back to work, but honestly it isn’t worth it right now to dine IN a steakhouse. Go outside and bbq your own. It’s really not that tough. Or at least it shouldn’t be, unless you overcook it and add too much basalt (volcano pun #3. Still not sorry)
In all honesty I get that people are ‘done’ with this pandemic. It’s been over a year now of isolation from friends and family and from group interaction. And with spring now upon us we are all more eager than ever to spring from our homes, which have served as defacto prisons for the past year. But the fact is this pandemic is far from done. These new variants are real arseholes. They don’t care that we are bored, exhausted or in fact at our breaking point. They are out to cause the maximum amount of damage possible. Which, unfortunately, is the same thing being done by those flaunting all restrictions at this point.
So please, everyone find your inner FAGRADALSFJALL. If a volcano can wait 800 years to erupt before putting on a magnificient display to be safely enjoyed by the whole world, surely we can all wait until we get the all clear before we gather, unmasked, in mass crowds again. Otherwise, as the Icelandic say, you’re being a real rassgat. (you can Google it after you watch this very cool video of very hot lava)