The Authoritarian State of Canada

Protest Weather!?!

I have no idea how Canadians can feel like they’re losing their freedom. If wearing a mask is all it takes to make us feel like we’re living in some kind of authoritarian regime, we’ve got it pretty good. While I was hesitant to sign up for a vaccine in the beginning, I stopped worrying about it as the ranks of the vaccinated grew, mostly without any adverse consequences. Being as fat as I am, from that point forward, I was vying to be first in line for the next jab. I can still see some folk worrying about having to get a vaccine though. I’m of a mind that if some people don’t want it, they shouldn’t get it. If the majority, moral or otherwise, want restrictions imposed because of that, I’m really not sure how we handle that to satisfy everyone. We probably can’t.

Most of us wouldn’t want to send our kids to school without all the regular childhood vaccinations. Nor without all the other kids being vaccinated too. There are a lot of things in life like that. I don’t have the freedom to smoke in restaurants any more. But I doubt I’ll be starting a freedom movement because of that.

Now my purpose isn’t to waffle on about the rights & wrongs of people having the right to protest. Nor is it about the rights & wrongs of either sides’ opinions, I’m sure there are some great arguments to be made on both sides. Most of us have already picked our side & we’ll probably stick with our choice. I’m curious though as to why anyone would want to go out in -18°C temperatures to protest something that’s going away soon anyway. We’re all fed up with this covid bullshit & I’m way overdue for a trip back to Ireland. I certainly don’t want to pay an extra three hundred bucks for tests to get out & back again. I’m equally pissed that I didn’t get a winter break to the sun the past few years. With another $300 in test costs added to that holiday.
(Nice first world problems to have, eh!)

But the reality is that some version of normal is coming back soon anyway. Most people know that they’ll survive covid just fine & we all desperately want to get back to normal. Now that we’re over (hopefully) the hump of the fatalities, we can be reassured by the graph trending down & we’ll return to being statistically oblivious again. We’re a pretty shitty species, eh? But we probably have to be this way. We’ll lump the reduced number of covid deaths in with those from the flu, heart disease, cancer & accidents, & we’ll all get on with our lives again. It’s the way it’s always been. And if for no other reason than us telling ourselves we have no other choice, it’ll be the same this time around. So why spend time protesting stuff that’s about to change anyway?

You can’t help but wonder if we’ve all missed an opportunity to learn how to do this whole pandemic thing better. Instead of protesting & blocking streets, we should all be pulling in the same direction. If all that protest time, money & energy went into supporting our healthcare system, would we have been better off? If all the protesters volunteered their time & money to supporting the healthcare system, would that have helped remove the concerns about the stress brought on by the peaking of hospital cases? Would that, in turn, help remove the last of the lockdowns & restrictions sooner? And isn’t that what the protesters want at the end of the day? Stop whining about the problem & figure out how to be part of the solution instead.

Look, I really have no idea how realistic it is to have us all pulling in the same direction. I also have no idea how we can do pandemics better. And we probably should learn how to do it much better, for when we’re faced with a far deadlier & uglier bug than omicron. But I’m guessing that wasting our time on this kind of protest doesn’t contribute a whole lot. Besides, our politicians couldn’t organize a piss-up in a brewery, so I’m not too worried about them getting sophisticated enough to take away my freedom!

At the end of the day, I’m still worried about covid killing me. Despite that, I’ve had enough with some of the restrictions too. Just not enough to have me thinking that my freedom is at risk.

With or without masks, we’re still the true north, strong & free.
Be nice & polite to each other out there, Canucks! 🇨🇦🍁🇨🇦

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