340 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 78 PART 3 MAY 2020
Steve Martin’s wild and crazy song reverberated throughout the tomb,
and I wondered if King Tut himself cracked a smile, notwithstanding his
extremely bad dental work. Although King Tut gave his life for tourism, all
the tourists stayed away that day … except us. I also wondered if there really
was a curse, and if I somehow annoyed all the other gods in the Valley of
At a dinner in Aswan a few days later, our guide told us that we could not
get into or out of Jordan, so the tour would end in Cairo, and we would have
to make our own travel arrangements back to Vancouver ten days earlier
than planned. The next two days were spent trying to rebook our Amman-
Heathrow-Vancouver business class flight on British Airways to Cairo-
Heathrow-Vancouver. We used toll-free international help lines for British
Airways that should have been called “no-help lines”. No one would answer.
Another “help line” put us on hold for two hours. Even our adult kids separately
dialed a number in Toronto to help us, but they were put on hold for
six collective hours. So we gave up on swapping out the British Airways tickets.
Texts were coming from home that we had better get a flight out of
Egypt immediately, before there were no flights left, or Canada closed its
borders. Or both.
We finally got flights via Cairo-Munich-Toronto-Vancouver, and as much
as people like to criticize Air Canada for virtually everything that goes wrong
in their personal lives, Air Canada was professional, compassionate and
understanding of their new responsibility: get Canadians back home. The
flight was filled with people like us: Canadians abandoning their return tickets
on other airlines in favour of the one carrier that could actually get them
home. Had we waited another day, we may have been stranded in Cairo.
So here we are, in “self-isolation”. We feel fine. My wife, also a lawyer, is
with me in our house in New West. I’m fortunate enough to have adult kids
who are more than happy to drop off bags of groceries at the front door.
Although fifty per cent of my “grocery order” is not available, we have
enough wine to last two years. I’m not worried about toilet paper.
What’s self-isolation, or “self-quarantine”, like? As I teach ethics at
Thompson Rivers University, I’ve been in constant touch with the law
school about how to deliver the remaining lectures to my 119 students
(given that in-person classes are cancelled) and how they will be graded. I
have concerns about what their summer articles will look like, as well as the
previous year’s class. What will articles look like in 2020 for them? What will
the practise of law look like in 2021?
In terms of my own practice, my law firm has an excellent and robust
remote-access system to allow me to work from home and access, edit and
produce any document that I need. But I don’t face any pressing deadlines.