Mr. Mike George from Soaring Families: “4 coping strategies that work NO MATTER WHAT!”

Bambi has written a post in the past on leadership, featuring two colleagues: The first is an inspiring dad that she is proud to work with (yes, this is Mike George) and the other is an inspiring colleague from Montreal (Dr. Mirella De Civita).

This is your lifetime chance to hear these podcasts again, if you have some time to kill in a COVID-19 pandemic. OK, that was Bambi being too silly before midnight :).

More seriously, thank you Mike for sharing your story and your resilience journey.

Thanks to Soaring Families for existing and helping “families impacted by a serious health condition or a disability”!

In 2005, she survived a car bomb, losing two limbs. Today, she was discharged from a COVID-19 designated hospital to be quarantined at home

Born in 1963, Ms. May Chediac is a journalist and a former Lebanese Minister.

In the brief video below, you can see her leaving the hospital on a wheelchair, with her beautiful smile. Obviously, she is happy to be quarantined at her place. Good for her ?!

As she publicly explained, she was infected with the coronavirus likely in France where she had to travel for an overdue rehabilitation follow-up appointment:  

Below is an older CNN documentary, featuring her incredible story after a cruel car explosion in 2005 (she was a vocal critic of Syria’s keeping troops stationed in Lebanon upon the end of the Lebanese civil war).

What an inspiring character this May Chediac. May she completely recover soon.

Is Mr. Trudeau striking the right note on the federal government’s savings?

In addition to reassuring us about toilet papers ?, Mr. Trudeau also told us today that our federal government “has a lot of money. Thus, we need not to worry”.

Although it is thoughtful of him to reassure afflicted or worried Canadians about finances in COVID-19 times, we all know that this is not the precise accurate reality, don’t we?

From the Lebanese financial tragedy pre-COVID-19, Bambi sadly knows too well that no country, whether tiny or large, is immune to increased debt and even bankruptcy.

Today more than ever, we realize how much it is necessary to wisely manage our budget, both personal and collective, in order to be ready for any unexpected emergency (of course whilst also living, investing, and taking calculated risks).

Without such wisdom, Bambi’s own parents (not millionaires :)) would have not been able to bring their family to safety during the last sprint of the civil war. Thank you.

Yes, in life, money does not grow on trees. Bambi recalls how, as a child, she used to ask her dad during war, time after time: “Dad, how is work? Are we OK?” Perhaps a bit like Mr. Trudeau (but surely for different reasons!), her dad used to tell her with his most reassuring voice: “Thank God, it could be worse” (I guess the worse sadly occurred in Lebanon only last October, 30 years post-war).

Of course, there was no government able to support entrepreneurs then (and now). It must have been hard to be in the business of selling electrical supplies/HiFi in times of power outages and long rounds of shelling, hiding in shelters or working behind sandbags.

Thank goodness, today, the emerging Lebanese government (that the people kept rebelling against only recently) is doing a rather excellent (if not impeccable?) job in its fight against COVID-19. So far, so good… Things still under control (at least death-wise and recoveries). Even Bambi has no critical comment, for the moment, but just: Thanks to everyone there working/serving to keep her loved ones and everyone safe.

Anyhow, to come back to Mr Trudeau, there is a Lebanese saying that goes like that: “Hide (for put aside) your white penny for your black (for dark) day”.

This piece of wisdom is meant for individuals yet it applies to governments.

Without being too sarcastic and surely while being grateful to our governments’ efforts, Bambi would like to share a text much more sarcastic than her own words. It was published in the Journal of Montreal on March 26, 2020 and signed by Mr. Joseph Facal (

When she first read it, she was not interested in sharing it. However, today, upon hearing the PM press conference (whilst working), she thinks that it may provide an interesting reading, just for fun if not for reflection:

First, here is the French original text entitled “the young man with a can of gasoline and a match [Le jeune homme avec un bidon d’essence et une allumette].

“If you don’t go out, you spend less. If we spend less, businesses die.

If businesses die, thousands of people lose their jobs. It’s an automatic gear.

It is estimated that 47% of Canadians find it difficult to pay their bills as soon as their pay is delayed by… seven days.

Imagine their anguish. Now is not the time to blame them.


Our governments are therefore announcing emergency measures.

The Trudeau government has just committed $ 82 billion: $ 27 billion in direct assistance to businesses and workers, and $ 55 billion by delaying the payment of amounts due.

It’s only a beginning.

Now, let’s go back in time.

In the first Morneau-Trudeau budget, in March, 2016, the announced deficit of nearly $30 billion was three times higher than expected.

We then asked Ottawa: isn’t it reckless? What if something unexpected strikes?

We were told: we need to stimulate the economy.

We asked: will you have a plan to return to balanced budgets? How many years will you run deficits?

We were told: don’t worry, all the signals will turn green.

The important thing, they said, is that economic growth can support increased debt.

The second federal budget? Another deficit and no plan to return to balance.

But what if something happens?

Trust Bill and Justin!

The third federal budget? Another deficit and no plan to return to balance.

But what if something happens?

Trust Bill and Justin!

The fourth federal budget? Another deficit and no plan to return to balance.

But what if something happens?

Trust Bill and Justin!

Inevitably, the federal debt increased, increased, increased, while the provinces rowed to balance their accounts.

The HEC Montréal Centre for Productivity and Prosperity, after all the accounting adjustments, estimates the deficits accumulated between 2015 and 2018 at $ 56.6 billion.

Last month, Ottawa forecasted a deficit of $ 26.6 billion for 2019-2020 and $ 28.1 billion for 2020-2021.

And it was before this atomic bomb that fell on our economy that is COVID-19.


You’ll tell me that no one predicted this virus.

First: not exactly. As early as 2018, the WHO said it was not a matter of “if”, but rather of “when”, and that we were not ready.

Second: by definition, prudence and foresight are precisely to keep in mind that the unexpected can arise at any time.

Lots of economists were already telling Trudeau that his reckless spending, which increased the debt, was an injustice to future generations who would pick up the bill.

The more the debt increases, the more the interest on it increases, forcing tax cuts or increases.

And that was before the economic paralysis and the rescue expenses demanded by COVID-19!

Justin went to the casino with our money…”

Will history repeat itself in Canada during pandemics?

Human beings have the amazing capacity to learn from their past. Sadly, they are also notoriously known for sometimes letting “history repeat itself”.

This being said, by the own admission of our federal government’s website (, Canada has founded a new bureaucratic layer (Department of Health) in 1919 as a response to critics for failing to provide resources and coordination to public health authorities across the country:

Criticized for failing to provide resources and coordination to public health authorities across the country, the federal government responded to the crisis by founding the Department of Health in 1919. From then on, public health was a responsibility shared by all levels of government” (please see the last paragraph of the website above).

Despite all the best intentions of the world, like anyone else, Bambi has seen outcomes of bureaucratic processes in her life.

Always frustrating, especially in pandemic times where rapid decision-making, implementation of decisions, and careful coordination (to avoid miscommunications, duplication, potentially harmful mistakes, etc.) matter more than ever.

It is surely not helpful to have a very large country with several jurisdictions. However, it is also an amazing opportunity to cooperate and learn from each other, to adjust decisions or mistakes that are bound to happen (and that’s OK as we can learn from them). The idea is to have a plan, to try it, and to adjust the stages, according to new daily input or damage in sectors or lives, etc.

Bambi does not have any issue with mistakes. Her problem is more with ideology mainly, coupled with continuous vague answers to journalists’ important questions.

Mr. Trudeau is right. We all need to collaborate by staying in social isolation. However, what will he do to help provinces/territories/communities OR companies (transportation, etc.) enforce measures imposed by the authorities? Concretely. Not a time to answer vaguely with beautiful but empty words.

For instance, does he feel comfortable to support provinces, if some people from groups he considers racialized refuse to quarantine or others attend religious services ( as seen in other countries in the middle east, including Lebanon and Israel?

What about groups from first nations communities? What if, may God forbid, the virus spreads there (e.g., in Montreal or elsewhere) and people do not collaborate?

On a different topic, why does he talk to us every single day? Would it help if he does it every second day? Or as needed? In the meantime, we can listen to our own provincial authorities. And that way, he can rest to keep his energy alive for this pandemic (a lengthy marathon).

Yesterday, Mr. Trudeau told kids that they are going to lead us through this crisis. Like him, Bambi loves children and was happy to see him thinking of them. However, she found this platitude scary. How can kids be leaders in pandemics? Why doesn’t he be a leadership model for them? They may be looking up to him for that. Who knows?

Children, adults of middle age, and especially seniors, we are all eager to see more concrete actions.

As his own (and our!) Sophie Grégoire Trudeau wrote on her FB yesterday, to overcome this crisis, we need science AND compassion.

Science means public health experts and input from the “health soldiers” on the ground. Emerging science on this new virus, yes, but ultimately political decisions need to be taken, even in the absence of full knowledge.

Mr. Trudeau keeps talking about coordinating with other countries. If she may, Bambi thinks that now more than ever, we need to see him putting us first. Before other countries or other ideologies. Please Mr. Trudeau accept to be more flexible with your vision.

As far as compassion is concerned, when we have it, we can naturally care for all people, including those in more dangerous regions and those more vulnerable. Related to the latter, Mr. Trudeau has all the compassion needed. It should be easy then.

Last but not least, compassion may also mean putting aside one’s older political ideologies (i.e. globalism mindset or other) and so-called values, as he told us yesterday during his press conference. He said that he assures us that “Canada will act according to our values”. Bambi finds this sentence rather scary, not reassuring.

Mr. Trudeau needs to be ready to innovate in actions and to surprise himself even with that. For example, the Hezbollah (which Bambi is clearly NOT fond of) understood this and is acting smartly: Their Chief even ordered mosques to close a while ago and said that “this combat is more dangerous than July war” (2006 conflict with Israel, that left over 1200 civilians dead). We all know how much he hates Israel. If we forget, every now and then, he goes out publicly, reminding people of it.

If Mr. Nasrallah is able to be “covidwise” like that and forget even his own values (and raison d’être, in a bankrupt country which was able to secure 1185 ventilators in a quick partnership between the public and private health sectors), why is Mr. Trudeau so attached to his “values”?

Can he remain faithful to them in general (post-pandemic) but change his mindset now to help in protecting us?

On what planet does Canada live? Perhaps planet B?

First, before talking about Canada, let’s start with New Zealand.

Here are the measures taken by NZ at its airports early on before their country’s full lockdown (see article below published on March 1st, 2020),”including temperature checks and having travellers manually processed instead of going through e-gates” as well as pamphlets and messages on board of airplanes:

Same for airports like Dubai before it closed temporarily… Note, it is the third busiest airport in the world, if Bambi is not mistaken:

What a contrast with Vancouver airport in Canada, today on Saturday March 28, 2020 in the middle of a pandemic:

Is this normal? Is this wise?

To what extent did the WHO’s delayed warning about the coronavirus pandemic delay the world’s preparedness? And what about Canada’s further delay(s)?

The government of China’s initial reaction was to hide its tragic coronavirus outbreak for whatever reason.

Perhaps it is embarrassing for them not to have been able to control the outbreak in its early stages? Perhaps this government was too busy fighting the virus that it did not think of the rest of the world? Perhaps it truly believes that China is the centre of the world?

Or perhaps Bambi is being too harsh now…?

One thing is sure: It is heartbreaking to have witnessed the suffering of the Chinese people from Day 1 (Bambi followed this story. Intuitively, she saw this pandemic coming early on…). It is also very sad to see the progression of the virus around the world and to know that our turn is coming (what we have seen thus far is likely just the start…).

Like many advanced countries, Canada’s population is older. Thus, more vulnerable (age or comorbid health conditions). The coronavirus may/will put a huge pressure on our health care systems, like what we have seen elsewhere. Thus, although tough on people, our province took a very smart decision by locking down nursing homes. It has also increased screening for staff at hospitals (hopefully it was earlier than at the UHN’s Toronto General Hospital…). Our town is also taking the needed measures. Our Mayor reassured citizens early on: Sackville will ensure that the basics are there: running water, etc. They may have to play a larger role in the future. Who knows? Things are changing on a daily basis.

This being said about our town and province, as a citizen of Canada and of the world, Bambi has all the rights to be angry at the UN-WHO for its delayed declaration, even if it may have perhaps been because of China’s own delay or political influence in this organization?

Bambi wrote the above and she appreciates when China’s leaders behave in a human way. Recently, they send a small donation of medical supplies to Lebanon. Thank you. Same to France, in the middle of its own tragedy.

As citizens of Canada, we have all the rights, of the world, to keep a critical eye on the decisions or absence of decisions by our governments. More than ever now, we need to demand information and transparency.

In Bambi’s mind, the WHO’s delay has likely prevented many countries from preparing as fast as possible before the tsunami of COVID-19 started spreading everywhere; yes, due to travels across any border and by any human being… and then the virus enters countries and starts to be transmitted locally. This is how the Spanish Influenza pandemic spread (with soldiers’ travels, and it hit younger people then).

Would we have been able to stop this new virus? Likely not. However, perhaps we would have been able to act faster (prepare hospitals, hotel rooms as they are working on in Lebanon now, secure medical equipment, including clothes and masks to nurses/physicians, respiratory machines to patients, negative pressure rooms, etc.). We could have had more time to psychologically better prepare the population.  

If Bambi is angry at the WHO now, imagine how frustrated she is at our own federal government for the initial and continuous delays, misjudgements, and inefficacies.  

Canada was SO LATE, even after the declaration of the WHO and seeing BC, Québec, and ON dealing with the crisis first.

Bambi saw this coming and cancelled trips in April and did not purchase tickets for later travels. How come our leaders did not see this and did not ask people to be mindful about travels for March breaks and after even?

Of course, it is easy to say “shoulda coulda woulda” after the facts. However, common sense/leadership must be present before/during/after Bombardier sagas, railway crises, and pandemics…

Perhaps Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Freeland did not understand yet that what is ahead is the biggest fight of their (with OUR) lives?

No time for ideology now. No time for political correctness. This is a pandemic and it requires a war mindset against this virus. They cannot ask Canadians coming from abroad to self-isolate (with a walk to breathe far from people and not into grocery shops, etc.). Many but NOT all Canadians will act accordingly. Bambi has posted comments about cultural differences of travellers:

Why is Trudeau, the king or the prince (as his dad is the king) of “multiculturalism”, so naive about cultural differences among Canadian citizens?

Is he afraid of being accused of being racist? The seriousness of the coronavirus will force him into going into uncharted waters.

Will he know how to swim these waters and lead our sinking boat?

Time will tell…

Why don’t I be a good “friend” to myself, especially in a pandemic?

Make no mistake, please.

The picture above is not one of Bambi. This is her new little friend that she was so lucky to see yesterday from the window (little forest in the back of her backyard).  

Not only he is cute, he is also a respectful, “coviwise” fawn. Indeed, he did not knock on their door to visit and play. His mom (and health authorities) must have raised his awareness about the coronavirus pandemic.

How ironic because on the same evening she met him, Bambi learned a beautiful quote about friendship, thanks to “Plus Belle La Vie” (a daily fun sort of soap-opera from Marseille on TV5-Monde); she has been watching this fun French soap opera from Monday to Friday for over 6 years now. She is grateful to her mom for introducing her to it when visiting Sackville. Anyhow, she loves that show so much that she combined it to biking (otherwise, she would be too lazy to exercise). This combination resulted in TV watching, relaxation, and a 30-minute of healthy/even singing behaviour.

To come back to the saying about friendship, it is by Richard Wagner and it goes like this: «Quelle noblesse d’avoir un ami, mais combien plus noble d’être un ami». This means: “How noble to have a friend, but how much more noble to be a friend”.

Isn’t this beautiful? Bambi thought to herself whilst biking. It made her think of her new “deer” friend who kindly confirmed the arrival of spring, despite the remaining snow. It also confirmed what she knows so well: Atlantic Canada is truly charming.

Talking about friends, she cannot help not to wonder: Why don’t I be the best friend that I can be… to myself, especially nowadays?

Friends are usually kind with us, patient, authentic, loving, and most importantly respectful. They care and they know how to listen. They are also whom they are (like us… yes, no one is perfect. Even better, they do not feel the need to pretend to be perfect when around us, thank goodness).

During a pandemic, it is perhaps more necessary than ever to be a good friend to oneself before caring for others. If we are parents, when we feel calmer, our kids sense it and it calms their anxiety, if any. Not always easy when we are all stuck under the same roof, especially when this can exacerbate tensions or when we worry about our precious seniors or younger ones, especially if they are more vulnerable for whatever reason.

We can begin by accepting the change in our daily life and that this would be a tough, and likely lengthy, journey. Thus, it is OK to feel all the mixed feelings we may go through, sometimes all at once. We can set our own daily routine. Routines fill time and routines can be soothing, whether we are by ourselves or with others. If it is harder to concentrate, we can take little breaks. We try to focus and we do what we can. We enjoy the moment. We work (those of us who are able to do it from home… or who still have a job 🙁 ). If not, we keep ourselves busy differently. A little project here or there. Some of us cook to survive or for pleasure (others just eat!). We entertain our kids or call friends, etc. We take little breaks again… etc.

We take or we set a time to keep being informed whilst knowing when/how to take a distance when we feel too anxious (we are constantly bombarded with information on COVID-19). Of course, a critical sense matters more than ever whilst processing information and new knowledge.

We check on our loved ones, when we can. Yes, we miss them but we can reach out to them. We can hang on to good memories or dream of next ones. We can even call them or see them, thanks to technology. We try to focus on the moment (even if it is hard at times) and we dream of next springs and next re-unions with our loved ones, or next touch or hug or kiss, etc.

In the end, pandemics will pass by, like anything else in life. The cloud of a health tragedy, along with an economic crisis, will both end up moving… and the sun of resilience is always hiding behind it…awaiting to shine.

We find our own ways to keep hope. We also accept that some of us may/will sadly lose loved ones (just like in life in general but… in a more condensed manner).

Even if it is clearly a nightmare around the world, we try to keep an existential (and scientific) perspective.

The world is more resilient than we think. Our own world too and each one of us, despite the moments of grief, despair, fear, and doubt.

If we feel stressed, it is a good thing. It would have not been otherwise, as we need to be anxious to be mindful about the coronavirus (protecting ourselves and others). Plus, without any stress at all, we would be like those “covidiots” ? ( Talking about the latter post, it helps to also keep a sense of self-humour/humour.

If we are a good friend to ourselves, we would be “coviwise”. By being the latter, we are also a good friend of others in our community and in the whole world even.

We can turn our own thoughts from: “Poor me, I’m stuck indoors” to “although it sucks, this is for my own protection and I am contributing to the protection of others”. No, I am surely not alone; the whole planet is in the same boat. I am contributing to the huge battle against the virus from out of the comfort of my own place.

OK, enough of philosophy. It is getting late. Time for Bambi to go to sleep… but before doing so, here is a joyful song, celebrating the spring. It is dedicated to her new little friend :). Bambi would also like to send a friendly wink to her mother-in-law who learned this Armenian song from her piano teacher in her young adult years. Of course, Bambi cannot help not to think of her friends who would understand the lyrics, whether they are in Amherst, Bandol (France), or Montreal. Best wishes! A friendly thought also for Lebanon (three more weeks of self-isolation), to those elsewhere in the Middle East, and in Armenia. This song is for you all, awaiting peaks of curves and/or surviving capital controls. Bambi hopes you will all be safe.

The song is called “Karoun Karoun” [Spring, spring]. Yes, there is a spring post-pandemic!

Two “covidiots” being fined… whilst swimming

A picture published by Reuters (March 25, 2020)

This is neither Parlee nor Aboiteau beach. The country is not NB, Canada (the water would be a little bit colder ?). This is Lebanon and these are swimmers who likely enjoy fresh water, like Bambi.

Careless people (so-called “covidiots” nowadays by many) may be religious over-zealous or… just selfish swimmers.

A neighbouring country to Lebanon (Bambi will name Israel) conducted an informative study (report published yesterday) on the ways of transmission of the coronavirus. It seems that places of worships were found to be the top places for the spreading of the virus there, with infections in prayer houses accounting for about a quarter of known cases, not brought in from abroad, or contracted in the community. They have since shuttered synagogues.

Of note, hotels were next (15% of the total), followed by restaurants (accounting for 12% of total cases), supermarkets (7%), various other stores (7%), and religious schools (5%).

The above interesting data makes Bambi think of the following: If swimmers in the beautiful Mediterranean sea deserve to be called “covidiots” and fined, how do we call Mr. Trump then for having declared today that by April 13 (Easter), the pandemic would be over in his country and people will be packing churches to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus!?

Does the word “politidiots” or, more sadly, “politi-deniers” exist when such mistakes, if listened to by “true covidiots”, can cost lives? Mind you, other leaders also can share a sub-part of this title with Mr. Trump, for their delayed, inefficient, or ideologically-driven response, sometimes hidden behind science to justify delays (e.g. Brazil and… Bambi will refrain from naming anyone domestically).

Anyhow, all the examples above, explicit and hidden, happen to be very large federal countries. Perhaps their mode of operation, in national crises like pandemics, need to be re-visited after this global nightmare would end (whether within a few months, 1-2 years, or… whenever).

This being said, thank Goodness, the places of worships of Lebanon have been much smarter than the American President’s last words. They all closed early on. They did not even wait for the governmental tougher measures. Plus, they cancelled their Easter ceremonies, turning them online. This has never ever happened, even during the 15 years of civil war.

As Lebanon’s PM said today, “social isolation is our first line of defence” and as Mr. Legault said today “When we protect ourselves, we protect others”.

We have no excuse but to be “coviwise”, if Bambi may say it that way!