The hardest hit?

There is no doubt about it. We’re in strange times and things are different all over the place.

I wonder though – even if we’re all complaining, who’s hardest hit outside those who have had the virus or suffered from it.

Jaimie and I were out for a walk the other night in the park and heard the loudest screams that I’d heard since I hurt my shoulder.

It wasn’t just screaming – it was really loud profanity tossed in with a few Fords. Just our luck, I thought, we’ve run into a group of anti-maskers. Well, that wasn’t it. They appeared to be about 16. Upon further inspection of the screaming (I wasn’t eavesdropping; you could hear it for blocks) I can confirm that they were 16.

What were they screaming about?

They’d lost a rite of passage that we’ve all taken for granted.

Because of the closure of Service Ontario, they felt robbed. You see, they’d all turned 16 and couldn’t apply or get tested for their driver’s license.

Now relieved, in the big scheme of things, Jaimie and I just went on looking for more bushes and trees that needed some attention. I then put myself into their shoes and I guess I’d be pretty upset myself.

You see, growing up there was a tradition of going and getting what we called the Learner’s after school on our 16th birthday. I remember feeling cheated because my birthday was on a Saturday…

Service Ontario around here has been mostly closed and I was relieved when the government indicated that we didn’t need to renew our licenses during COVID times. It actually opened for a couple of weeks this fall and I did go in and renew – I was mostly curious to see if I could still get a set of blue license plates.

There is a bit of good news for these teenagers….

Ontario government to hire 84 drive testers to deal with backlog in appointments

I hope that it happens for them sooner rather than later. Everyone needs the opportunity to be tricked by a tester to go the wrong way on a one way street.

5 thoughts on “The hardest hit?

  1. Doug, have you seen this video?

    While not on the same topic exactly, I think it provides a really interesting perspective. Makes you see the COVID world through a teenager’s eyes. Your post reminded me of this.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good morning Doug!

    Your post this morning is timely. I was unaware that the government had suspended the need to renew licenses during the pandemic. However, now that I think about it, I have not received a plate renewal notification, and when I think about it further, I realize that my birthday is only a couple days away. I guess it’s coming up this week.

    I can appreciate that with the Service Ontario office closed, the opportunity to renew drivers licenses that are in need of a photograph would certainly be curtailed. However, I think I have at least once renewed my plate/sticker online, and received the sticker by mail. I guess that process is dependent upon having someone in a government office somewhere going through the motions of confirming some data and ensuring that the proper sticker is included in an envelope sent to the correct recipient. I can see how that process could certainly be automated, but when I think about bureaucracies, I can understand why it likely isn’t (yet).

    It’s a positive thing that the actual drivers license test hasn’t been put online. Obtaining a license does confer a huge responsibility as well as creating/granting a significant freedom to young adults. It makes sense that they would be upset, but they will also survive the delay. Also, given that the drivers license in Ontario is a primary form of identification, the process for obtaining one does require a measure of oversight and in person authentication, so keeping it a face to face transaction will continue to remain important. The same will hold true for obtaining a new passport – – although the immediate need for one of those these days is decreased, especially after yesterday’s announcements.

    Give my best to Jamie, Doug. I expect you can’t walk him through a drive-through to pick up a maple dip, but I bet he would wolf down in an instant if you gave him the opportunity!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel for them too! It’ll make a good story at their 20th high school reunion though. I should go check my expiry date now.

    I sent my US passport in for renewal last February. I expected it back in a few weeks but I think it wasn’t here until July. It was several months anyway. I was really worried about that! I wasn’t sure if, at any moment, the president might decide I couldn’t have it back! These government documents really are important.

    Liked by 1 person

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