Written by our friend, and proud American, Jona Hildreth, whose summer was heavily affected by the U.S-Canada border closure.
With this extra time in quarantine, he decided to try and become the next Joe Rogan, creating a podcast entitled Joking with Jona. We had the privilege of being on a brand-new episode of the podcast entitled Episode 13: Ft Mira Hallock and Natalie Brown. For some extra fun, while listening to the episode, drink every time either of us says “like” or “um.” It’s truly a big character flaw of ours, we get it. We’re working on it.
Without further ado, here is Jona– uncensored and as patriotic as ever.
Coming home in March after my hockey season concluded, I had high hopes and big plans for this summer. Naturally, they included coming over to Canada to visit all my friends, whether we were hanging out in St. Catharines, taking a trip to London, or making a quick stop to party in Guelph.
However, every plan I had came crashing down on me when this global pandemic hit. Being from America, I found myself constantly watching the news in hopes of everything calming down so the border would reopen. The two-sided media we have here made it almost impossible to gauge what was actually going on. I would click one channel and they would make it seem as though if you stepped outside you were going to die, and the next channel didn’t even seem to care that the world was in the middle of a pandemic. After a couple of weeks of this, I kept my hopes up but realized that I probably wouldn’t make it over the border to visit most of my friends this summer.
I knew eventually that I had to get through this summer in other ways, and much like the progression of society becoming normal again, my summer can be described in the following three phases:
When the pandemic hit, I entered the first phase of summer, which was staying home all day, every day, quarantining. This was the time when I, along with many others, watched shows, read, did house chores, or played board games. Of these shows, I was most intrigued by “Tiger King” and “Outer Banks”. Although watching “Tiger King” made my eyes bleed, it was so unorthodox I couldn’t look away. And Carole Baskin most definitely killed her husband. That’s not even up for debate.
I then moved on to “Outer Banks” in which I went through every human emotion possible. However, I could not look past the question of why these kids don’t have phones. The whole time I was screaming that they should whip out their phones and record some of this so there is some proof.
Finally, this phase also included a lot of FaceTiming friends to stay in touch. Unpopular opinion: HouseParty is better than Zoom. I know it can’t have as many people but it is way easier and better quality in my opinion.
This was when I could no longer just sit in my house reading and watching TV all day, so I moved on to outdoor activities such as walking my dog, playing hockey in my driveway, or I would even meet up with a friend at a park to chill with him. Not the most thrilling of activities I know, but better than being indoors all day long.
I started working at a hockey clinic and restaurants started to open up, so I was able to experience a little bit of what life was like before the pandemic. I was reminded that there is nothing like going into Chipotle only to have someone breathing down your neck as you’re trying to order.
What I did find though is that the masks make it a lot harder to talk and people can’t hear you as well, so I found myself shouting to try and communicate with someone. Isn’t it the best when you are trying to talk to someone and you only pick up half of what they say, or you have to say “What did you say?” every two seconds?
Through all of these phases, one positive that came out of not being able to make it over to Canada this summer was that I started a podcast, called Joking with Jona. I got the idea when I heard the border closure was getting extended for another month, so I wanted something cool to do to stay in touch with my friends. It was originally going to be called Tea Time with Jona, but I felt that gave off the wrong vibe.
Now, I use my podcast as a platform to allow people to talk about themselves and share anything they are passionate about and have learned a lot about people that I never knew before. Additionally, it has been something new and I have enjoyed reconnecting with people whom I haven’t talked to in a while. Side note: If anyone who reads this wants to come on shoot me a text or DM!
To conclude, this summer has no doubt been terrible and barely any fun–especially when you can’t even see a vast majority of your closest friends. If this ever happens again, which it better not, I’d recommend thinking outside of the box. Try to find fun things to pass the time and maybe dive into stuff that you wouldn’t normally try! I definitely miss everything north of the border and all of my friends, but I know that we’ll meet again soon.
This is a message to look forward to the future and be ready for my return, Canada! I’ll be back.