Many jurisdictions are re-starting too fast, and some have still not started to shut down their activities – the virus doesn’t seem to heed political statements, doesn’t read tweets – but it seems, from surge statistics, the virus does go to crowded beaches and protest marches. Because it goes wherever people are breathing heavily on each other …
We’ve learned to trust everyone less and to trust science more. Models of what might happen didn’t sway many decision-makers enough until the damage was done.
Every adult on this planet has begun navigating an uncomfortable and, in many ways, a new reality – one without instruction booklets, without maps or APPS. We collectively wander aimlessly, without a clear view of what the future will look like.
Kudos to New Zealand, Kudos to Taiwan – proving decisiveness is a virtue. It helps, when being decisive, to be right. And we are learning that science, models, doctors, and the CDC are not always right, or fast.
But, we’ve also learned they aren’t far-wrong most of the time.
Our 2020-esque daily thirst for information – we want it all, want it instantly, and don’t want our facts mired in miss-information, fake-news, false claims, or fantasyland conjecture (a.k.a. political bloviation).
Our vision, however, is anything but 20/20.
Talking heads talk, pundits pontificate, and only the sane ones are saying, “I don’t know anything for sure. Everything depends on what everyone does.”
Each time we hear scary numbers and dire warnings, we shudder a bit, and for me, I shudder a bit more each time some expert, official, or politician pooh-poohs this reality as something we shouldn’t worry about. There is a solution, there will be a resolution, but nobody has anything more to offer than an optimistic view their scenario will win the day and return us to some similarity to 2019.
It’s spring. Birds chirp, gophers scrounge, shoots of green appear, and the cycle of life we so routinely take for granted resumes, bringing us home – to be grounded in nature’s annual cycle of birth, growth, and death we’ve all taken for granted.
We’ve all known rivers have 100-yr. flood, or 500-yr. flood risk. We see maps that show the science – yet we build housing and commercial buildings everywhere, not just on the floodplain, but right up to the edge of those rivers.
Because we believe it won’t happen.
We build towns and cities in or on the edge of forests with the confidence those pesky forest fires won’t destroy them.
We don’t have to wait a century for man-enabled disasters to happen, the impact of which rob us of the comfort of everyday lives, cash, and comfort level. It’s not nature that’s out of whack, it’s our collective and individual expectations.
In 1918, a world at war, and a flu pandemic enveloped the planet. A lethal virus, millions died, and there was no immunity afforded by wearing a uniform or toting a gun.
There’s no immunity to COVID-19 – if you have lungs, you are eligible and likely to get infected if you wander unprotected into close proximity to someone who has it, someone shedding the virus – statistically, you are safer if you are young and safer if you aren’t exhausted or compromised in some way regarding your stamina, respiratory health, or another life-shortening ailment.
There is no way out.
We are here together, 7.5 billion pairs of lungs sharing one atmosphere.
What comes next?
Please, let me know if anyone knows for certain.
What comes next is followed by ‘what comes after whatever comes next?’
I want to live.
I want everyone I care about to live.
Beyond that, my caring diminishes.
I don’t care as much about stupid people, reckless people, far away people – people I don’t know and have no personal motivation to care actively about. Would it be sad for me to learn of some famous star actor, athlete, writer, or artist? Sure, but it’s just as sad to learn that someone’s not-so-famous star mom, dad, grandparent, child – all innocent in their victimhood – yes, just as dire.
We are reminded, in this process, of our brilliance as a modern world, as a society, and of our frailty no different than what we see in the animal world, as Darwin so richly described for us, about the survival of the fittest. Humans aren’t tested every day the way animals in the wild are. So we thought. We are being taught by circumstance, that our governments’ lack of readiness and budget for ventilators, is a twist on Darwin’s observations.
Prepare for the survival of the least sick.
We will witness the survival of the least weak, the least needy, and the least vulnerable.
Our best-case scenario, whether we catch this virus or not, is to not require a ventilator or an ICU bed when the last one was just given to someone else.
For now, Alberta has entered Stage 2 of the re-start.
Canadians are generally offended by any suggestion that anti-black racism is systemic in our country (Although I think few would doubt that indigenous racism is systemic, long-standing and continuing). I think Canadians take offence because they don’t want to be lumped into the same racist camp as their American cousins. We do not share their history of slavery and violent oppression and ongoing and obvious economic, social and political disparity. We are not them. But too often that allows us to ignore the subtle ways in which systemic racism operates in Canada. Donovan Bailey referred to it as “racism with a smile”. And while we’re nowhere near the American side of the racist spectrum, it is still very much a part of our shared experience and our reality. We need to own up to that, RH, Calgary, AB
Mark, You nailed the history and present situation(s) and how much effort real change probably will take. Its been going on since mankind started and some change has happened (women’s rights in some parts of the world). I believe some change can happen, fairly easily to me, just by us being more human to each other as often as we can, but some don’t even believe in this. Those with power being prejudiced towards those without power may be built into us. I don’t think it has ever changed unless those without power somehow gained power, LH, Lethbridge, AB