Maynard van der Galien
Did you ever think you’d witness something as bumbling and inept as what we’ve been put through by our federal and provincial government leaders during this pandemic?
Canada wasn’t prepared for this virus even though we had experienced Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003. That should have been a lesson.
The provinces and the feds blamed each other for slow vaccine rollouts. Health agencies gave contradicting messages. Premier Ford closed playgrounds and handed police sweeping new powers to randomly stop and question people. He apologized for the dumb deed as he should have. Those are just a few of the ludicrous things.
It makes me think of the early-20th century slap-stick comedies. The Keystone Cops — bumbling and incompetent policemen — were a huge hit with fans back then.
We, the people, get criticized and blamed for the spike in COVID cases because we didn’t follow the rules im- posed upon us. But at the beginning of the pandemic, back in March of 2020, we were told by Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam not to wear a mask and that it would do more harm than good. Why did she say that? Because The World Health Organization said, “There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit.”
Premier Doug Ford told us back then that we should go away for March break and have a good time. Later he called anyone having a good time “a bunch of yahoos.” More than two-thirds of Ontarians disapprove of how Premier Doug Ford is handling the pandemic. Many residents now believe that his government should shoulder most of the blame for the devastating third wave that has brought our healthcare system to the brink of collapse, according to an Angus Reid poll on April 23.
There were lockdowns. We were told we have the “toughest lockdown” in North America. Lockdowns were lifted. Then imposed again.
What really gets me is the Ontario government issuing the province-wide stay-at-home order on April 8 and extending it to June 2. It required everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to a grocery store or pharmacy, getting health care services and getting vaccinated. You could go for a walk but golf courses and tennis courts were ordered closed.
Grocery stores could only sell essentials. Big box stores were only allowed to sell grocery items, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceutical items, health care items, and personal care items only.
So when you went to a big box store such as Walmart you found much of the store aisles and shelves cordoned off. You couldn’t buy greeting cards at Walmart as they were taped up. But the Metro grocery store I shop at in Renfrew had a huge card rack at the entrance way and it wasn’t taped over.
I broke my shoe laces the first week of the lockdown. When you lace up a pair of boots a few times a day you are bound to break the laces after a few months of wear. I usually have a few extra pairs but they were used up during the past year as I haven’t been buying any clothes or footwear. Some stores wouldn’t let you try on footwear. A sales woman at Walmart said I would have to guess if it fit. If it didn’t when I tried them on at home, I could return them. That’s not how I shop. I want to try on a pair of boots before buying them.
So when I picked up a few groceries at Walmart I went to the shoe and boot section to get some laces. They were cordoned off too. I complained to the cashier about that saying shoe laces are an essential item for work. She told me I could order them online at the store and pick them up in the parking lot. An employee will bring it out to the parking lot. Of all the foolishness in this pandemic, this one takes the cake.
An interesting item on social media said buying a shirt or a pair of shoes might not be essential but it doesn’t account for the woman who left an abusive relationship with just the clothes on her back.
Maynard van der Galien is a Renfrew-area farmer and an agricultural columnist.