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  • Writer's pictureNikki Mantell

Who isn’t hyperactively multitasking?

And now we know: after three weeks of silence, our MP finally holds a press conference – happily a press conference for just the local media – to explain what would cause him to expose himself for the second time to his work colleagues on Zoom. The root cause? “Hyperactive multitasking.”

This editor’s reaction varied in degrees between “pissed off” and “major eye-rolling” in the days following his announcement. Earlier versions of this column were accentuated by teeth-gnashing and some righteous indignation.

But then, on Sunday, my oldest and dearest friends from high school came over for a long-awaited, provincially-sanctioned gathering – all of us double vaxxed – and we shared rounds of hugs! I have not touched another human being who isn’t in my immediate family in 16 months. I’ve been on a high from the endorphin release ever since.

Monday morning, I woke up and thought, “Know what? Life is too short for angry teeth-gnashing.” This is a situation that can be black and white simultaneously: we can have empathy for the guy as a human being and still hold him accountable as a politician.

This pandemic is crazy-making. People have and will continue to make big mistakes. Amos may have his own fancy “wellness” team to come up with the label of “hyperactive-multitasking” as a plausible explanation for getting naked twice (twice!) on Zoom in a work setting, but let’s just call it for what it is, shall we? Or rather, how’s this for another diagnosis: Pandemic-Induced Acts of Incredible Stupidity.

Amos probably would have gotten more sympathy with a straightforward “I’m so dumb” mea culpa. After all, we all know that single parents, nurses working 12-hour shifts in terrifyingly busy ER wards, or people who struggle with ADHD on a regular basis all manage to do their jobs without peeing in a cup on camera in a work setting. Or maybe not. Maybe there are all sorts of PIAIS cases waiting to be revealed.

For the most part, Will Amos has been a good MP, who has ‘exposed’ his constituents to many positive opportunities thanks to the many (too many) hours he puts in. The Pontiac Liberal riding association, which could have fired him, instead backed him as an “excellent” MP, which may or may not have something to do with the fact that an election is likely to be called this fall. No doubt he’ll have to work hard (but not too hard; that’s what got him into trouble in the first place) to win back voters’ confidence. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt that he can bring more to this riding in the months to come than international notoriety


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