Newfoundland is locked up tighter than Fort Knox these days. To get in or out, you need to be Houdini and have multiple passports. Arrival from other jurisdictions, even for the native born, means quarantining and all the slim delights that go with two weeks of solitary hibernation. There is some good news, though, as there always is in Newfoundland and Labrador, even during the worst trials and tribulations.
It is agreed by all that several trips a week to Costco or Walmart can refurbish the human spirit. Who among us has not enjoyed a quick chat with a masked Walmart greeter? Still, the subtle pleasure of staring at hillocks of discount vacuum cleaners and pallets full of paper towels is not inexhaustible. And there are only so many cartons of Vienna sausages one can store at one’s home, so there are days, sadly, when there is no need to go.
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Sensing the population’s growing gloom during this anxious time, the Newfoundland government knew it had to do something to stir up morale. It was largely due to a concern with giving people something to look forward to, and to provide a source of engagement and entertainment, that an election was called. There was no constitutional uproar like in Ottawa. The lieutenant governor is placid and inviting. And besides, politics in Newfoundland runs on different grooves than in the rest of the country.