There is a never-ending chorus of contradictions about the pandemic and the mess that we’ve been in for one year.
Look at how people are living. Some are so terrified they rarely leave their homes. Others are so annoyed by the restrictions on their freedoms that they won’t wear a mask. Quebec went as far as forcing a war-time curfew of 8 p.m. and police even ticketed a man out at night walking alone with his dog. The curfew was later pushed back to 9:30 p.m. but by the end of March it was back to 8 p.m.
Hundreds of people shop at one time at Costco but a Jamaican migrant worker was ordered to stay in a Morrisburg-area farm bunkhouse alone in quarantine for 14 days last month even though his job is pruning trees and he could have been working every day in the field and still be a kilometre away from the nearest passerby.
British Columbia locked down religion. You could play cards in a church basement but it’s been illegal for months for those same people to go upstairs and hold a religious service. That’s a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
We were told to not wear masks, then to wear masks, then wear two masks and then get vaccinated and keep wearing masks. We discovered early on that our country’s only plan for a vaccine was tied to a Chinese research company that took our data, made its own vaccine, then sold it to other countries. When we finally came up with a plan B it was to secure vaccines that other countries banned. You know who else buys discarded medication on the cheap? Third World countries.
So, now it looks like the Oakland zoo will vaccinate all its animals before all Canadians. We’re in line after the monkeys.
Ontario has had one of the severest lockdowns of any jurisdiction in North America. How did we do? On average, each citizen gained 20 pounds. Obesity is right behind age in the risk factor for COVID. So, thank you very much Mr. Ford.
Probably the most outrageous quip of the past year is, “We’re all in this together.” Of course we are not. Ask front line health workers who got sick while caring for COVID patients. Ask the people who have underlying conditions. Don’t ask the people who get full pay to stay home while hundreds of thousands of jobs vanished. We don’t hear people who are at-risk or who are now unemployed lament philosophically that “we are all in this together.” I have heard them curse.
Surely, we can introduce restrictions that don’t crush livelihoods and at the same time we can avoid super spreaders.
Through all this our prime minister continues to tell us that he is working very hard for us. He has told us that over and over and over again. In fact, he told us he was working very hard 17 times in one afternoon. So, it’s rather odd that as more and more statistical evidence rolls in we learn that Canada’s performance in the pandemic makes the former president of the United States look like a god. In an ongoing study assessing public health and economic performance of 15 developed nations, Canada ranks 15th, , dead last, on an index for economic misery, according to the Macdonald-Laurier think tank.
Canada’s unemployment has almost doubled (It was at 9.4 per cent on March 31) and the country is on a debt binge. The economy shrank by 5.4 per cent last year, the sharpest annual decline since the Second World War. How does all this misery translate exactly to following the science?
Making matters worse, there’s more economic misery to come. In November, Trudeau told us that all this uncertainty in the world handed him the opportunity for an “economic reset” to change how we live and to combat extreme poverty and climate change. So, some of this mess we are now in isn’t even about COVID. I am looking forward to our brave new world.