The photo adorning this post is a screenshot of our political brain trust, sitting at a table yesterday fielding question after question about their handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Lots of talk about flattening the curve, about aggressive social distancing, etc.
Yet there they were, sitting side by side (!), speaking to a crowd of reporters, in a classic example of “Do as I say, not as I do”.
Is it any wonder that many Canadians don’t get it? Is it any wonder that many Canadians are confused?
We closed schools and daycares on Sunday in Alberta. The following day (yesterday) was a glorious, warm sunny day, a welcome respite after a nasty cold snap.
We took our kids out for a walk late in the afternoon to get them out of the house after their first day of “online learning”.
And it was awesome.
What ISN’T awesome is kids congregating at malls and organizing playdates now that they’ve been loosed from the confines of school.
THAT’S NOT AGGRESSIVE SOCIAL DISTANCING, PEOPLE!
WE DIDN’T CLOSE THE SCHOOLS SO THAT YOUR KIDS COULD GO ON SPREADING CORONAVIRUS WHILE HANGING OUT WITH THEIR FRIENDS!
Yet this sort of behaviour is hardly surprising, given the example set by our top political leaders: “Monkey see, monkey do” is a phenomenon as old as our planet.
And what to make of our PM closing Canada to all visitors from abroad while leaving our southern border wide open?
The coronavirus has spread like wildfire throughout America.
When the history books are written about Pandemic 2020, the U.S. handling of CoVID-19 will be held up as the most obvious example of what NOT to do.
Yet we’ve banned visitors from everywhere but not from the 330 million-strong viral inferno to the south.
We’re trying to save the Canadian house from burning down by stamping out embers on the front lawn while ignoring the five-alarm fire on our back porch.
Wouldn’t it make sense to control our southern border? To admit only those who are essential to maintaining our supply chains and those who are critical to keeping our infrastructure functioning through this crisis?
It would be make sense, all right.
But to expect common sense from a PM who allows his top five cabinet ministers to blather on about “aggressive social distancing” and “flattening the curve” while sitting side by side at a table for an hour in public is to expect night to turn into day.
And we have a very long night ahead, as Canadians begin to fill our intensive care units in coming weeks; as doctors are forced to choose who gets a ventilator and who doesn’t, who lives and who dies.
These will be very difficult times.
But you can help, my fellow Canadians.
We CAN “flatten the curve”.
We CAN reduce the stress on our health care system.
We CAN reduce the number of people who die.
We can make a HUGE difference NOW by staying home with our families, by staying 6 feet away from others, by properly practicing social distancing.
That doesn’t mean we can’t go outside, to hike and bike and take car rides and discover the great Canadian outdoors.
Many of us have gallivanted around the world without ever exploring the jaw-dropping beauty of our very own country.
Now is the time.
We will get through this, together.
The world will not end.
The sun will rise on the other side of this darkness.
But today we must all do our part:
For the sake of our families.
For the sake of our friends.
For the sake of our neighbours.
For the sake of our nurses.
For the sake of our doctors.
And for the sake of our country.