The Page – September 30, 2020

Will there be a corn maze this year in High Prairie?
The giant corn maze on 18 acres of land, is usually an annual treat. It’s built by Lyndon and Denise Drefs just east and south of High Prairie at EC Bar Ranch.
This year, wet weather and the Wuhan COVID-19 virus are both putting a damper on the big Halloween event which attracts over 1,000 adults and youngsters every year.
“The corn is really stunted this year,” says Lyndon. “We were thinking of maybe using hay bales to build up a maze. That has worked in quite a few places. But added to that is the virus. We just don’t know what the situation will be going into the end of October.”
ECBarranch.ca will have updates.

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Already, many of the big events that happen coming up to Christmas are being cancelled right around the world.
Macy’s Department Store in New York City is going “virtual” with its annual Thanksgiving Parade.
Thanksgiving in America is celebrated Nov. 26 there. Toronto says they will be doing the same thing with their annual Christmas Parade.
So far, we have no word on what will be happening with our local Christmas events.
Light-Ups and parades have become fixtures in many communities across northern Alberta. In fact, the whole winter season for sports is on the minds of many, whether arenas, ski hills, or indoor swimming pools are open or not.
Young people of course, are chomping at the bits. Adults not so much. And seniors? Well, they can take things or leave them. Seems like the older one gets, the days go faster but the patience to get things done increases.
This seems to go hand-in-hand with how the virus affects each age group. Youngsters are the least affected. Seniors the worst off.
Since Santa Claus just happens to be a senior, do you think he is thinking about cancelling Christmas? Stay tuned!

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Centered deep in the Amazon jungle, and a long ways from anyplace else, is a Brazilian city of about two million people called Manaus.
It’s a bustling metropolis surrounded by the rain forest. It has a booming tourist industry in normal times.
As it happens, Manaus is a city in which about two-thirds of the entire population has been infected with the COVID virus. Some people are calling Manaus a gauge of what will likely happen to the rest of the world if there is no vaccine for the virus, and people do not get medical attention.
Although Manaus is actually a modern city in Brazil, medical facilities there were overwhelmed in past months, meaning most people with the virus did not get any medical care. Projections say between one in 500 to one in 800 people will die from the virus.
The not so scary number? Predictions in the early stages of the virus in the United States said that up to 2,000,000 people could die there. The Manaus numbers indicate about 650,000 Americans will die. So far, the death count there is just over 200,000.
Locally, it means about 100 to 125 people might die before the disease runs its course through our northern Alberta communities. That’s between Manning, Valleyview, High Prairie and Slave Lake. And keep in mind, that is assuming no medical attention at all.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you out there, especially those who have already lost loved ones to this disease.

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Holy Conference, Call Batman!
One of the three annual junkets our elected officials usually claim as one of their Really Important Perks wasn’t much of a big deal this year. The three events are the conferences for counties and municipal districts in Alberta, another Alberta event for towns, cities, hamlets and villages, and a national conference for all municipalities.
The national really attracts folks as it is usually held in places like Halifax, Newfoundland, Victoria, Quebec City and Toronto. Ooooo, eh?
Anyway, the Alberta chumfest for towns and such last year got 1,100 attending. This year, online, only 100 according to one report, managed to find time to register by last Wednesday. It’s when the three-day conference started.
As those attending back in previous years, when asked how these things are said, “We sure learned a lot.”
Maybe it’s the ambience of chowing down on lobster or halibut, or walking the cobblestones of old streets. Or maybe the free wine and dining that goes on.
Tsk! What a pity we have so few smarter folks this year.

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