He tweets, and millions are talking about it, responding to it and sharing it within moments.

I’m talking about Donald Trump, of course. He makes big splashes in the sea of humanity. The ripple effects resonate far and wide.

But what about the great unwashed? What about everyday people?

Well, in a small meat market in China, it is believed one individual selling questionable, if not illegal, animal products may have inadvertently started the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Surely the individual had no idea he was about to start a global pandemic that would kill thousands, make tens of thousands ill, send financial markets into a tailspin, see countries closing their borders to travellers from stricken nations, and cause myriad other problems for billions of people.

When all is said and done on the coronavirus issue, that one individual may have caused more grief for the citizens of Planet Earth than Donald Trump has with all his Twitter ramblings and bumbling politics.

It is a sobering reminder of the potential ripple effects of the actions of the most common of men and women among us. You don’t need to have a presidential platform to have a profound effect on the world, for better or for worse.

In another reminder, Quebecers and many other Canadians are reeling in the aftermath of a shocking, monstrous incident in Quebec last week, this time a deliberate crime committed by a previous nobody.

A 13-year-old girl was sexually assaulted and murdered, allegedly by a close 50something male friend of her family whom she had revered and called “Uncle.” Her body was found badly beaten by the side of a rural road not far from her home. It is alleged “Uncle” plied her with drugs and alcohol, sexually assaulted her, and beat her to death.

No doubt, there is more to the story, and — if he is guilty — his defence may very well talk about his unhealthy infatuation with her and how he was not of sound mind when he committed this horrendous crime.

That, of course, won’t bring her back. And it won’t soothe anyone.

Families and friends — of the girl and her killer — will undoubtedly be in pain for a very long time. They are scarred for life. Her murder can never be reconciled by them, or by anyone else for that matter.

Many citizens who don’t know anyone involved are feeling some pain, too. Many of us are crying inside, if not outside. Even the premier of Quebec, François Legault, expressed his sadness and condolences.

And many are angry.

I can understand mob mentality now. I can understand why the killer would be lynched if he wasn’t being protected by the legal system.

Yes, I wish we had the death penalty in Canada for monsters like this one.

Please don’t lecture me about it. I’m upset. I’m angry. And I would readily be his executioner. Off with his despicable head!

Such are some of the ripple effects of this man’s actions. He didn’t just rob a girl of her life. He hurt thousands, perhaps millions of people in myriad ways. He made us cry. He made us angry.

The same can be said for every criminal act. There are victims, there are immeasurable ripple effects. And there is no telling what bad seeds are sown in the process.

Most people, of course, would never become monstrous killers. Most people are good souls at heart who strive to produce good ripple effects.

— Jillian