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Pandemic Politics

Unmasked And Drowning In Nonsense

“Thou shalt not Covid thy neighbour’s life. Wear a mask.”

Church billboard outside Royal Columbia Hospital, New Westminster, British Columbia

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person,” Oscar Wilde once noted.  “Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”

The famous playwright died 120 years ago, destitute and alone, three short years after being released from prison.  His sexual orientation had earned him a two-year stint in the slammer.

If Mr. Wilde were alive today, he’d find the world a more enlightened place, undoubtedly. 

He might also expect to find the world awash in truthfulness, what with all the Covid-generated mask-wearing.  But he’d be disappointed: there’s no pandemic of honesty.  Instead we’re submerged in a toxic soup of misinformation and falsehoods. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m more afraid of drowning in nonsense than I am of dying from Covid-19.

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Pandemic

The Dangerous Morbidity Of Covid Denialism

Morbidity, n. — A diseased stat or symptom; ill health.

Merriam Webster Dictionary

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

Mark Twain

Under a vast blue mid-November sky, Peter climbed the grain bin to check on its contents — a task he’d completed countless times in thirty-five years of farming Alberta’s prairies.

Halfway to the top his foot slipped on one of the metal rungs. As he struggled to regain his balance, he lost his grip on the ladder and plummeted, landing head-first on the concrete pad below.

Rushed to hospital, he succumbed within hours to catastrophic brain injuries. Dead, at the age of 67 — leaving his wife, four grown children and five young grandchildren to grieve his passing.

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Pandemic

The Biggest Problem With Covid-19? The People Who Don’t Die.

Newly married in 1951 and pregnant with anticipation, my folks joined the great post-war exodus from Europe to North America, emigrating by ocean-liner from Holland to Canada in search of opportunity.

Their straight-laced version of Protestant religion crossed the Atlantic with them. Soon they had a brood of children (by 1968 they’d generated an iteration of Cheaper By The Dozen), dutifully shepherding them to church twice each Sunday to be properly schooled in the tenets of the faith.

The church’s Reverend, himself a Dutch immigrant and as fond of cigars as he was of sermonizing, had but a nodding acquaintance with the English language. To get himself through sermons in his adopted tongue he drew heavily on a store of pet phrases committed to memory; there were, to put it mildly, a few slip-ups.