It's a small world

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Let’s sing a song. It is only one verse and virtually everyone knows it.

It’s from the ride Disney has with all the little people from around the world. “It’s Small World.” We are only doing the first verse so pay attention to the words please.

“It’s a world of laughter… A world of tears… It’s a world of hopes… And a world of fears… There’s so much that we share… That it’s time we’re aware… It’s a small world after all.”

Does it not describe how things are today, right now, in this pandemic? Although we have fears and tears, we must also must spread laughter and hope. We must be aware of everyone one around us and in every country.

I took the time to think about people I knew in different countries and was stunned at how many people I knew; it really is a small world.

A few years ago, a young man who was with the Beijing Ginn Culture Co. and his family came to Tillsonburg to research Tillson Lever Harrison. I called him Steven, but his name is Shuyang He. On Feb. 27, I received an email from Shuyang warning me about the COVID 19.


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“This is Steven, I was helping Chinese hospitals search medical supplies around the world… and from what I know, I strongly recommend you not to go outside unless to buy necessary things. When you go outside the room, remember to wear mask, be aware of crowded people! Because some people didn’t get any symptoms even if they have virus, who knows can get infected! Take care of yourself!”

I was very touched and replied that at that time things were not terrible here, although later emailed again letting him know how things had escalated. Unfortunately, haven’t heard back again from Shuyang.

Researching Tillsonburg’s history over the last 30 years has led me around the world, especially chasing information on Tillson L.H. Very recently however I was contacted by one of the Tillson descendants from wife No. 3, who he married in Alexandria, Egypt, but when she discovered he was still married to wife No. 1 ended up immigrating to Australia. So, I have been in touch with his granddaughter to make sure she is doing okay in Australia. A dear friend’s daughter lives there now as well.

My grandparents were from England, and about 10 years ago Peter and I went across the pond to follow my roots and meet some previously unknown cousins. It was a fantastic time and of course I need to make sure they are doing okay too.

I have many friends through my wildlife rehabilitation connections from all over North America, but also people in Britain, Denmark and Germany who imported domestically raised skunks and then discovered they really didn’t have any contacts locally that knew anything about skunks, so we stay in touch sending pictures and working out various medical problems and idiosyncrasies of the species.


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My brother-in-law and his main squeeze spend six months in Florida and six in Canada as she is an American. Alas when the call came to come home to Canada, he returned but she could not. The main problem was insurance. For either one of them to be in a foreign country, they could not be covered for COVID-19. He delayed coming right home and she ended up being classified as a non-essential person.

Closer to home, I have cousins in Halifax, dear friends in Burnaby, B.C. and acquaintances all over the country!

I was stunned at how many people I knew that were so far away! So now I can put them all on a big email list and send them little notes to cheer them up or give them a place they can vent or calm down, if need be. I think I will call the Tillsonburg Retirement Residence where Mom was and get a few phone numbers of some of the ‘old girls’ there and call them up every day. They must be going crazy.

It truly is ‘A Small World,’ so become aware of the people you know, get in touch with them to help ease their fears or tears and bring back hope and laughter!

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