The great irony emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic is that the strong measures that were taken have worked as intended to limit the devastation of the virus, and those who said the crisis was overblown can now say, “See, we told you they were over-reacting.”
Of course, that position is piffle.
I was in Spain in January and February, just a short hop from Italy, where the health care system was overwhelmed by the virus and more than 30,000 people have died. Funeral homes were overrun. Patients died from lack of equipment. Doctors had to decide who would get a ventilator and live and who would die for lack of one.
The realities unfolding in Italy and elsewhere were part of what prompted health authorities in Canada to react. One might quibble that they didn’t act quickly enough, but once they were off the mark, things unfolded with dispatch and, more vitally, to great effect.
Closed borders, travel restrictions, 14-day quarantines, gathering bans, business closures, social distancing and other measures have worked. The curve was flattened. Our health care system hasn’t been overwhelmed. And the numbers of cases and fatalities in Canada are relatively modest.
Medical leaders like Bonnie Henry have got us this far, using science, facts and expertise. Now is not the time to say, “Thank you very much. We’ll take it from here.”
We need to keep paying attention to the experts and, as we move to re-opening, to do so slowly and carefully, knowing that the virus still lurks and remains highly communicable and deadly. The so-called second wave isn’t a fantasy, it’s a real and present danger.
A Make Canada Great Again ball cap was recently spotted atop the greying head of a retired Reform/Conservative member of parliament living in the Okanagan.
One can imagine such a symbol being an ironic rejection of the Trumpian sentiments underlying it. But given the right-wing bone fides of the individual wearing the cap, it’s safe to assume that imitation, not irony, is at the core of the message.
Of course, some of Canada’s bygone days – when working people could buy a house; when the middle class was growing, not shrinking; when children were likely to have a better life than their parents; when the wealthy paid their share – are worth of returning to.
That’s not the message Make Canada Great Again conjures. It rings with echoes of Donald Trump and his divisive, greed-driven, Darwinian world view.
Canada’s not like the US. But, despite our relatively enlightened and progressive society, Canadians do have baser instincts that are there for exploitation.
If we want to preserve what we have, we need to be vigilant. So, if you see someone wearing one of those caps, just say, “Not here, buddy.”
Speaking of Trump, I wish he didn’t play golf.
The sport has traditionally had an image problem as the preserve of rich white people at fancy country clubs.
But over the past few decades the game has become more accessible to lots of people. Public courses have abounded. And those of us who love golf have felt more comfortable extolling its virtues.
It is a beautiful game, full of mental and physical challenges. A lasting source of surprise and delight; disappointment and despair. It builds and reveals character as we forever seek but never attain perfection.
Now Trump, the archetype of wealth and white privilege, is constantly caricatured playing golf at one of his exclusive country clubs when he should be attending to affairs of state.
He has dramatically set back the progress of golf’s image rehabilitation. Why couldn’t he play polo or go fox hunting?