You are not your politicians' plaything
(The original version of this piece was published on Medium on May 13, 2021.)
Even after 15 months of pandemic theatre, the people of Ontario are now leverage in a pissing contest between the province, and the federal government. If more concerned Ontarians don’t speak up now, the lockdown capital of North America becomes the lockdown capital of the world — to the further detriment of millions of lives and livelihoods.
What Jason said.
In a year that forever exposed the folly of partisanship (there is now zero correlation between a Conservative or Liberal government getting it ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ on restrictions, some simply treated adults like adults, or chose not to), what better way for Ontario to cap off its run as the lockdown capital of North America, than by eschewing their responsibilities to lay out a permanent roadmap for reopening, in favour of more fearmongering, and more hyper-political cries to weld the border shut?
It’s clear that the facts no longer matter in OntarioLand, particularly when travel-related cases can be linked to less than 2% of PCR positives. It’s restrictions, and ‘pandemic theatre’ first. Resources, and meaningful measures come second — if at all.
Today’s #BadNewsThursday presser was particularly poor, and carried all the trademark flights of fancy, from a risk-averse group of decision-makers who long ago abdicated all responsibility to the internal polling of government and media-made hypochondriacs, and a ‘science advisory table’ made up of U of T academics with a strange obsession with cellphone mobility data, and who seem to possess conflicts-of-interest at seemingly every turn.
And, as has been the case since May of last year, the premier’s words and body language were utterly incongruous with a beautiful sunny day, which made the near-hallucinatory effects of cognitive dissonance impossible to ignore.
The warm embrace of seasonality mattered not. Neither did our improved vaccine delivery, nor our nose-divising hospital metrics.
With all signs pointing to a wonderful Ontario summer — for a province that deserves a little hope and positivity — surely it was time for our leadership to finally start cutting into a towering mental and physical health crisis that threatens to engulf a generation of kids, and small business owners.
Surely it was time to rejoin the rest of the Western world on the path to reopening.
But then the premier started talking.
What did we learn?
There’s no plan to reopen. Not until the feds “fix the border”.
There’s no returning to school, because the teachers’ unions won’t allow it.
There’s no end in sight for the world’s least scientific restrictions on outdoor recreation, because when Doug Ford’s friends play golf, they like to carpool, and that inevitably ends in unacceptable levels of safe outdoor beer drinking. (Yes, that’s really the excuse.)
For the many feeling insulted: welcome to the club. There are millions of us who grew tired of this shtick a year ago.
How irresponsible — how insulting — that it continues still. Especially now, when 15 million of us can see Americans filling up arenas, and Brits dancing in the streets.
The average Ontarian is running on fumes, and running out of daylight. How on earth is the province not running out of excuses?
You are not your politicians’ plaything, and they are not your helicopter parent. Your life and livelihood is deserving of far greater respect. Yet time and again, that’s how you’re treated.
At this point, what else can you do but shake your head, and then head out the door for a little civil disobedience? (Maybe even a round of illicit golf?)
That, dear reader, would actually be good for your health.