Mount Robson (BC)
No, not the band. The situation we find ourselves in now. "May you live in interesting times" the curse goes. Well, here we are. The straits we are in are most definitely dire...
I can't help thinking about the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic. Thousands of people became ill and a significant number died. This event happened close enough to present day that we still have excellent documentation about it - how many hospitals were overrun with patients, how many health care people were infected as they battled to provide care to the sick. How many people marched, protesting the recommendation to wear masks, isolate, gathering in groups, denying the danger to themselves and others.
It is said that those who refuse to learn from history are bound to repeat it. And here we are.
Canada is no stranger to the danger. The west coast was hit hard, early, and did a decent job of flattening the curve. But now the predicted 'second wave' has hit. The two largest provinces have struggled to deal with it and have recorded high numbers of cases - and deaths.
In the meantime, people are struggling financially because businesses are not doing the kind of business they need to stay in business. Even with the financial stimulus provided in the spring/summer, things are actually worse now, and people are tired. Bored. Fed up with the restrictions.
All very human. But. But.
The virus is not bored. The virus is not tired. The virus is just looking for a host. Any host. It doesn't care. Any warm body will do.
And so more of the provinces are putting more stringent measures in place. Mask mandates. Group size limits. If people had not fought wearing masks in the first place, things might not be where they are now. But the political climate says that people have to protest such measures as being some kind of attack on their personal 'freedom'. And that clarion call was heard here in Canada as well, where we are bombarded by American media. And the internet of course.
And no, governments enacting measures to protect the good/health for all is not an infringement of an individual's freedoms. Rather than just repeating some meme read on the internet, maybe stop and think a wee bit.
I suppose I'm old enough that the 1918-19 influenza pandemic is not ancient history to me. I suppose I am old enough, know enough, to understand how a virus works. How it can grow exponentially. And that the best way to deal with it is to remove myself from the line of transmission.
I suppose that because I'm an introvert, one who has had to, on several occasions, temporarily isolate myself while dealing with a health issue that this time was less onerous for me.
I am also without close family, so I don't have the tug of wanting to visit with g/kids. But here's the thing. I want to stay alive for a while longer. My underlying health issues make it likely that if I should catch Covid, it will kill me. Or at the very least make me extremely ill. So the best approach is to not catch it in the first place.
Over the summer, reports of friends of friends catching - and in some cases dying - of Covid have now grown, both in number and in fewer degrees of separation. Instead of a friend of a friend, it's now the friend's brother/sister, aunt/uncle, mother/father.
Politicians who are ignoring this threat to their constituents are the worst, imho. They should have been listening to the medical professionals, the historians, setting an example through their leadership by wearing a mask, isolating when they had been exposed to the virus - and knew it - encouraging financial stimulus packages - rent moratoriums, unemployment support.
When this is over - and it will be at some point - it is our duty as citizens to remember the politicians who did not help. The ones who actually harmed their citizens by down playing the pandemic and not providing adequate support.
With climate change percolating, still, I suspect we are going to see more of these events happening and that a 100 year pandemic will be rolling through more frequently. Like the hurricanes - so many this year they had to go to Greek names.
Worried about the economy? If governments moved stimulus to renewable sources, that could provide a big push to a financial recovery. And might help the climate as well.
But first? First, we have to survive. Then we have to fix what is broken in our society. Our world. There is no Planet B.