Right in the centre - Thoughts from a long, long road


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

This is my first column since our extended road trip to the United States last month. It was supposed to be a two week trip, but it got extended by a five day side-visit by me to North Kansas City Hospital.

The trip was pretty good overall and even the hospital stay was good in many ways. Not sure yet what all went wrong with me, doctors are still checking, but we learned lots. I think I will fully recover, but armed with 30 pages of reports sent with us from Kansas City North Hospital, our local medical team, I am confident, will figure out the best action.

The care was very swift and very good. Three hospitals in total actually, one in Kentucky and two in Missouri.

One thing they did at Kansas City was that patients were not brought a standard food tray, the patients ordered off the menu. Good food and small portions too.The big advantage would appear to be less waste. In Manitoba, everybody gets a tray of food whether they want to eat, or can eat it, or not. The Kansas City system seems to make a lot more sense.

Here are some sayings I have picked up along the road of life and have come to my mind recently, lots of time to think in a hospital bed and as a three day passenger from Kansas City to Neepawa:

•“When all is said and done, there is usually a lot more said than done.” Ken Waddell, Neepawa.

•“Feelings are a good barometer but a very poor compass.” Mike Waddell, Brandon.

•“We need a lot more rockin’ and a lot less talkin’.” Former Westman area contractor.

•“Never tell a lie– except for practise,” Mark Twain, Archibald Henderson (1912). We spent a few hours in Mark Twain’s home town of Hannibal, Missouri and it was an absolute delight.

•“No matter what happens, look after your faith, family, friends and finances, and in that order.” Ken Waddell, May 2003 addressing a meeting of very distressed cattle producers at Eddystone Hall, Eddystone, Manitoba.

I invite readers to examine this Manitoba government press release on the monkeypox virus and then draw their own conclusions.

“After working with the federal government to secure additional doses, Manitoba Health is expanding eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine so people who may be at higher risk of being exposed can be immunized as a preventative measure.

The vaccine has been available in Manitoba since June for people who may have been exposed to monkeypox. To date, no confirmed cases of monkeypox have been detected in Manitoba.

Anyone can become infected with monkeypox. However, in Canada and around the world, at this time infections have been primarily reported among people who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) community. These individuals are now eligible for a preventative vaccination if they also meet at least one of these criteria:

•Have received a diagnosis of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and or syphilis in the past two months;

•Have had two or more sexual partners in the last 21 days;

•Have attended locations for sexual contact (e.g. bath houses or sex clubs) or are planning to;

•Have had anonymous sex in the past 21 days or are planning to; or

•Engage in sex work or plan to, either as a worker or a client.

Preventive immunization for eligible people can be booked at three locations in Winnipeg using the online booking tool at https://patient.petal-health.com/login?groupId=6032 beginning Monday, Aug. 8.”

Apparently, all 200 available doses were booked very quickly after the announcement. There have been about 975 cases of Monkey Pox in Canada but I was not able to find a death toll.

While I have been on the road, in hospital and still recovering, I have tried to stay in touch with the community, family and staff. I want to extend a huge thank you to all who have carried on so very well in my absence. Our staff are amazing and I think do a wonderful job.

I visited with dozens of newspaper editors at our conference in Lexington, Kentucky. Some papers are doing quite well, some are really struggling, but the key is that a community or a region absolutely needs a local newspaper. I could talk for hours, and did at the conference, on the topic of local newspaper viability. If you don’t get the local news and truth from your local paper, then corporations and governments are more than willing to fill your heads with their version of news and truth.

Most of all, when I took sick, and  nobody should be surprised, my wonderful wife of almost 53 years took full control, helped nurse me through. When I was well enough to travel, she took the wheel and drove three days to get us safely home. I am very emotional as I write this, eyes filled with tears, when I think how much, in spite of all my faults, Christine loves me, our sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Thank you Christine and may God bless us, everyone.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.