Thanks, you selfish, stupid, anti-vaxxers and COVID deniers. You ruined my Christmas. I hope you’re happy.

In the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Canadian Pacific Railway runs two “Holiday Trains” across North America. One train travels through Canada, while the second train stays mostly in the United States.

I’ve enjoyed photographing this train, and I had hoped for it to return to the rails in 2020.

Then COVID got in the way.

Now comes 2021. And I’ve been F5’ing Canadian Pacific’s website, hoping for a glimmer of hope that the train would travel through New York this year. And mostly, the images show references to last year’s “Holiday Train at Home” concert, which live-streamed musical performances.

Then I saw this image on CP website.

My heart just skipped a beat.

It’s a glimmer of hope.

But in what fashion might this arrive?

On October 8th, I found out that … there will be a virtual concert this year, but no physical trains traveling from shore to shore. Here’s the press release.

  • Canadian Pacific (CP) will host a virtual concert and donate to local food banks in communities across its network for the Holiday Train program’s 23rd year. Though this year’s Holiday Train will once again be virtual, the much-loved program will continue to serve as a beacon, highlighting the ongoing need for food banks and the critical work they do.
  • “The spirit of the Holiday Train is about giving generously and inspiring those around us to give as well,” said Keith Creel, CP President and Chief Executive Officer. “While we are disappointed we again cannot bring the Holiday Train to communities, we are honored to run a virtual program and continue to support communities and food banks across our network as they work to address food insecurity in North America.”
  • Since its inception in 1999, the CP Holiday Train has raised $19.4 million and collected 4.9 million pounds of food for community food banks along CP’s network. CP will again donate to all food banks that would ordinarily benefit from a Holiday Train stop, including those that typically receive the train in alternating years. 
  • “Throughout the pandemic, the need for emergency food support has grown tremendously, and we are grateful to be one of the charities benefiting from the CP Holiday Train this year,” said Vince Barletta, Harvest Manitoba CEO. “CP’s Holiday Train shines a light on food insecurity in communities like ours, and the funds raised help us ensure that no Manitoban goes hungry throughout the holiday season and beyond.”
  • Live music has always been part of the CP Holiday Train tradition. To maintain that tradition, CP will produce a virtual benefit concert, with details to be announced in the weeks ahead.
  • “We’re looking forward to Canadian Pacific’s virtual concert this year and we’re glad CP has found a safe way for everyone to get into the spirit of the season,” said Valerie Nicholson-Watson, President and CEO of Harvesters — The Community Food Network, a Kansas City, Mo.-based Holiday Train beneficiary food bank. “We appreciate CP’s generous donations to Harvesters, which have allowed us to provide nutritious food to the children, families and seniors that depend on assistance from our partner network agencies. Thank you, CP, for your continued support to our mission of feeding hungry people today and working to end hunger tomorrow.” 

Of course, I will be glad to make a donation to some of the national food charities, because the train is designed as a fundraiser to prevent food insecurity – which, during these pandemic times, is needed more than ever.

Details and performers will be announced at a later time.

Look, I’m just glad that CP is still doing something this holiday season. Even if it isn’t the big train going coast to coast, it’s still something important to help food pantries around the continent.

But the more I think about this, the more I realize that there’s clearly one entity that caused them to shutter the Holiday Train this year.

It’s those self-centered, COVID-denying, cross-eyed anti-vaccination navel-gazers. Because of you – yes, I’m talking to you, I know you read the blog – the pandemic has continued to spread. There’s no way that Canadian Pacific can operate a physical train and concert series throughout North America when it could turn into a rolling super-spreader event. If one child died from COVID-19 that could be traced to one of those events … ugh.

Because of you clowns who couldn’t be responsible enough to get a simple Fauci Ouchie, COVID continues to rage through our populace, it continues to morph into more contagious variants. But hey, continue on with your “research” that consisted of a meme on your cousin’s Facebook page.

Listen to me. The COVID vaccine does not mutate your DNA. It will not turn you into reptiles. It will not fill you with nanobots that will snitch your whereabouts to Bill Gates. It will not shrink your testicles to the size of snow peas. The vaccine will not cause excema, seborrhea or the heartbreak of psoriasis.

The vaccine is protection that stops the virus from spreading. That’s it. Case closed.

But hey, all you knuckle-dragging chisel-brains who still believe that ingesting a mixture of horse dewormer and sheep drench and Puppy Chow will save you, have at it. Earn your Herman Cain Award, it’ll look good on your gravestone. We could have made COVID-19 a thing of the past. All of us could. You and me. But you selfish simpletons had to go and ruin it for everybody else. Thanks a pantload. Because of your idiocy, I have to wait AT LEAST ANOTHER YEAR for the Holiday Train. ANOTHER FREAKIN’ YEAR AWAY.

But yeah, you keep on screaming about taking masks off of kids so that they can all get COVID and die. Keep on hassling doctors and medical professionals because they won’t administer hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin or Four Loko or whatever to your loved one, who’s now equipped with a breathing tube down their throat because their lungs are destroyed.

I did my part – I got vaccinated. Even got the booster shot. You know why I did this? Because, believe it or not, there are people in my life that I care very deeply about. And I want them to be as safe as possible. So with that, I make sure that the virus won’t spread through me. You could do the same thing, you know. If you weren’t so damn selfish.

But yeah, keep on believing Fox News when they tell you about how evil vaccination is. You do know that Fox News employees and on-air personnel are all fully vaccinated, right? Fox News, home of “do for me, not for thee.”

And keep on bloviating about “Don’t put masks on our kids, our kids need to breathe.” You know what, you jackasses? I’ve got at least three FB friends right now who are currently dealing with their grade school-age kids testing positive for COVID. I don’t know what their masking situation is right now, but this Delta variant that’s running through our life right now is more contagious and more deadly than previously claimed. Why on Earth would you want to cause some parents extreme heartbreak as they watch their children suffer?

And don’t give me that chickenshit about “Once you get COVID, you’ll never get it again.” Listen up, brainless. Once you get COVID, if you survive, your lungs and your heart and your internal organs are damaged. And they’re weakened. Anything else could attack them with ease. Influenza. Pneumonia. Myocardia. Stop thinking that “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and instead think of, “Whatever doesn’t kill you could make you susceptible to something that can.”

And don’t give me the song and dance about telling CP they could have the Holiday Train so long as everyone socially distances themselves at he concert. Really. When was the last time you went to any standing-room-only concert and didn’t have another concertgoer packed up so close to you that you could feel their belt buckle against your backbone? It’s just not possible. It’s a safety concern.

As much as I hate that they’re doing it this way, Canadian Pacific is doing the right thing this year.

I sure wish you anti-vaxxers and COVID-deniers would do the same thing as well.

So that we can truly have a Holiday Train next year.

And I can get some swank pictures that I CAN’T GET THIS YEAR.