As we begin day one of a 14 day lockdown in Ontario, I have thoughts (completely mine) and questions:
- How did we get here? How is it that the world with all it’s advancement did not prepare for such a risk- however remote it might have been in anyone’s mind?
- How do we get from here? I am completely opposed to placing economics over lives but how do we slow or stop the world enough to make reasonable assessments and get out of this better than we got into it?
Yesterday someone made a straight faced comment to me that we (in Canada) will not have sufficient funds to bail us out of this, because Justin Trudeau has wasted it on refugees who come here and are given everything for free. As upsetting as this completely odd and unnecessary pivot from reality was, this individual had a mother and brother who lived their last 15 years on earth in Canada, with full health and social benefits while on disability (in the brother’s case, due to an alcohol related disability). They didn’t work or contribute to their cost of living in any way- but the irony of this was completely lost on this individual. While there is a large population of Canadians who are genuinely good, individuals such as this one, who often are (I hate to say it), immigrants like me, see the world only through their ignorance and xenophobia.
Even in the midst of such a chaotic time, they choose to look backwards, to an argument that is neither here nor there; and it worries me that this God-given opportunity for individual and collective reflection will not be valuable to them because like an obstinate ox, they are firmly placed in their place- even against their own good.
I guess it helps them sleep at night
I wish I had answers to how we, as the world, will get through this. One thing I do know is that we need to break from our every day activities, and seek a lasting solution not only to this pandemic but to future possibilities of the same. In times when Nationalism had become the rallying cry for most leaders, this pandemic calls for even greater co-operation between countries, regions and the world. This issue has showed us that me-first, or me-only is just not a viable way for this completely interconnected world to continue.
At the other end of this, I hope not to have to listen to ignorance such as above (though I am not THAT optimistic but hey!)
Until then, wash your hands, avoid crowds, check on your neighbours and let’s beat this thing together