These Good Things Came From The Pandemic
February 1st, 2021 | CW
Covid-19 was terrible, but here are some positive lessons and silver linings…
A lot of people are slobs. A minority of people are extreme slobs that would make normal bourgeois people recoil in horror. Colds and flus regularly spread every year… until 2020. Why? Because the fear campaign of Covid trickled down to even the dumbest and grossest people in our society.
Other preventative measures were put in place that were long overdue. Plastic shields in retail stores between the customer and the teller are a great barrier for high contact transmissions. Putting up hand sanitizer stations on walls and in walkways is a great way to conveniently annihilate everything on your hands every. Wearing masks on airplanes is no hardship and it stands to reason that it helps confine the spread of germs.
We can debate how far is too far regarding hygiene practices and I would argue we’ve gone way too far, but nevertheless, this obsessive attention to public hygiene has made people more aware of cleanliness and has reduced the spread of disease as a result.
I have to say, from my own personal experience, I’ve been much better off. In 2019, I was sick five times. In 2020, I wasn’t sick once. I don’t consider myself a dumb gross slob, who simply cleaned up my act (although who does consider themselves to be this?), so I can only surmise that the aggregate influence of public hygiene and sanitation has positively contributed to my outcome.
When Covid-19 is gone, I hope many of these best practices stay in effect.
2. It revealed the weakness of our healthcare system
Canadians have a bizarre moral attachment to our healthcare delivery system. It creates enormous problems regarding reform and innovation when the politics of the system is tied to some kind of national mythology.
Canadians are loath to recognize any problems with our system, but Covid made it clear that we were woefully ill-equipped. From a lack of PPE to ineffective contact tracing to shortages of ICU spaces and wild “make it up as we go along” policy prescriptions, Canada did not perform well.
Knowing Canadians, they’ll reflexively just point to the United States and with haughty eyes and contempt in their voice say, “We did better than the States!”
Nothing will likely change, but it should and Canadians know it.
3. Working from home
For years on end, possibly even decades, we’ve been hearing about not having to go to work anymore. The magic of the world wide web has made working from home a new and real possibility. Yet, this never came to fruition. People by the millions were still expected to get in their cars and drive (sometimes hours away) to work every day just so they could sit in an office and do what they could do from home anyway.
Some people have blamed the sclerotic culture of baby boomer managed offices for this. The idea being that innovating away from how things were done in the 70s and 80s was just a bridge too far for boomer leadership to wrap their heads around. Consequently, it took an extra 20 years and a global pandemic to demonstrate that the old way of doing business is no longer necessary, or even desirable.
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Childcare has been a huge problem for people for at least the last thirty years. A two-parent working household has been the norm since the early 80s and yet the solutions for this was piecemeal practices like a latch-key generation in the 90s or expensive daycare in the 2000s. A greater balance of family life and working responsibilities is exactly the direction we should be aiming for in the 21st century and it took the extreme situation of Covid-19 to provide the proof of concept.
4. It demonstrated the fragility of our freedom
I remember when Maxime Bernier was running in the last election and some of his buzzwords were things like “Freedom” and “Responsibility”. I remember thinking that this is a horrible thing to build a campaign around in a democracy, because the last thing voters want is freedom and responsibility.
Covid proved it too.
Rather than implement a policy of personal responsibility, people demanded totalitarian action. Lockdowns and restrictions and policing in the name of Covid was applauded by the majority of Canadians. Questions of freedom and liberty are looked upon as a trivial non-considerations. People with an irrational fear of Covid…some refer to them as Covidiots…are more than willing to crush freedoms in the name of safety.
We saw personal freedoms reduced 20 years ago with the whole Islamic terrorist thing. No water bottles on airplanes and government internet spying were then accepted as the cost of safety. Climate alarmism was the other big intrusion on people. Carbon taxes, shutting down Alberta’s oil and coal and banning one-use plastic was simply the cost of saving the planet from a warm weather future. Covid-19 proved to be the big one. This offered governments the excuse to micromanage people like marionettes, destroying jobs and ruining lives with abandon.
Most Canadians love it and want more.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely conservative at a minimum…so consider this a reminder or better yet a warning…most Canadians love it and want more.
5. It challenged conservative notions of policing
I’ve usually been the type of conservative that sides with the police on any given issue. Most of us are law and order types that have no problem giving police the leeway they need to do their jobs. Dealing with society’s trash day in and day out takes a toll on anyone and they deserve our respect and honour.
There’s another side of me though that resents the police. If I’m honest, most of my interactions with the police haven’t been good.
Entrapment style traffic tickets make up the most of these interactions. Coming to a rolling stop on an empty street or driving 90km on a stretch of highway that for some unintuitive reason drops to 70km and not noticing the sign…these sorts of things are just revenue harvesting. It has nothing to do with public safety.
Neither does Covid policing.
Example after example after example of egregious policing of Covid kept coming across my Facebook feed. As the months dragged on, it’s hard not to see cops as just bureaucratic ticket dispensers selectively enforcing “the law”. Respect slowly receded every time I saw the latest example of “Cops versus ordinary people” roll across my news feeds. The fact that they would also politically calculate where and when not to enforce “the law” such as during the Black Lives Matter protests, also diminished my respect for them.
As woke progressive orthodoxy becomes more and more hegemonic, conservatives are going to have to address their relationship with law enforcement. The police are looking less and less like Dudley Do-Right Hero Cops and more and more like Gestapo all the time. We need to recognize it and discuss it more. Covid has definitely given us that opportunity.
6. It revealed the hypocrisy of our leaders
Politicians left and right claimed, “We’re all in this together”, but then regularly and flagrantly disobeyed the rules or at a minimum, the spirit of the rules, that they forced us to live under.
Whether it was Doug Ford heading to his cottage after telling everyone else not to, or Brampton mayor Patrick Brown booking ice time at the rink for him and his buddies to the exclusion of all others, or politicians not wearing masks where they should have been wearing masks or jetting off to sunny destinations after telling the rest of us that we need to Just. Stay. Home…. the whole thing was egregious and disgusting and revealing.
Our ruling class think they’re above us and the Covid rules are obviously more about controlling the little people than they are about public health.
The epitome of this was when the Black Lives Matter protests were, for some reason, imported into Canada. Suddenly, left-wing activists decided it was time to ignore rules regarding mass gatherings and began demonstrating in solidarity with protests going on south of the border. Public health officials then tried to come up with rationalizations as to why mass protests were acceptable during a pandemic. They risked being labelled a racist should they stick to their previous policy, you see.
"Nothing will likely change, but it should and Canadians know it."
Justin Trudeau attending a Black Lives Matter rally in a mask, looking around to make sure that cameras were focusing on him while he took a knee and bowed his head to show respect for the murder of a drugged up on meth, career criminal in a foreign country is the epidemy of woke insanity and ruling class hypocrisy.
I noticed the insanity and the hypocrisy and so did many others. It’s good that people notice things. It assures reality and diminishes respect for our rulers.
7. Saving and preparing
When Covid hit initially back in February/March of 2020, most people were caught completely off-guard. This was reflected by the hysterical and irrational actions of manically buying toilet paper. If ever there is a question about the madness of mobs, just remember that in response to a global pandemic people rushed out to stores and panic bought toilet paper.
I am not advocating becoming a doomsday prepper. I think people who are obsessed with turning their homes into a survival fortress and awaiting a Mad Max-styled collapse are probably mentally ill. If it ever comes to that situation people will have to improvise and get violent anyway so being too prepared could end up being a liability.
Nevertheless, society has become severely weak and untested and lazy and unserious. Before Covid there were numerous reports about Canadians not being able to come up with $400 for an emergency. People were living pay cheque to pay cheque and just hoping for or assuming that nothing bad would strike them.
Covid was a wake-up call.
People are saving money again. People are thinking twice about unnecessary purchases. The spirit of self-sufficiency is coming back into vogue. People are thinking about buying guns and having a food hamper and growing gardens. Conversations are happening that didn’t happen before. These are all good developments.
Life isn’t a bowl of cherries. The level of comfort and prosperity that people have grown to expect as a natural entitlement is a detriment to our security. Covid woke people up to the precariousness of real life and the need to prepare for the worst.
8. Lower immigration
Immigration in Canada has been ridiculously high for far too long in Canada. We have become a shattered community of strangers with nothing in common and no shared values, principles, or goals. Our biggest cities are enclaves of foreign born and majority-minority hyphenated Canadians, all voting for competitive forms of socialism.
This social disunity can be solved simply through lower levels of immigration. Lower immigration levels would help solve our housing bubble, stagnant wages, public transportation infrastructure, demand for public services, crime, health-care system stress, productivity failures,there’s almost no problem we currently have that wouldn’t be better served with drastically lower immigration levels.
You won’t hear this on the news however, because vested interests have money to be made from relentless and never-ending mass immigration. No political party will dissent from progressive orthodoxy of “more is better” immigration other than small organizations like the People’s Party or the Christian Heritage Party.
As a result, we’ve had mass immigration in Canada for 30 years and it was only stopped with Covid.
It won’t last of course, but even a two-year reprieve like we’ve had can add some breathing room.
Ramping up immigration again may also prove slightly more difficult than anticipated. Once that infrastructure has been disrupted it can take a while to get going again. Canada has rarely met the immigration targets that we’ve aimed for at the best of times, so a Canada with a shattered Covid economy and high unemployment rates may not be that encouraging for new immigrants to run towards.
None of that may matter anyway, since what Liberals are looking for is more voters not productive citizens seeking employment, but it does need to be acknowledged that Covid did what politicians have been unable to do: reduce immigration.
9. It ruined public finances
Fiscal conservatives have annoyed me for a long time. They think balancing the government budget is a badge of honour, without seeming to realize that this achievement only serves your enemies when governing in a democracy. Voters want their free candy and the political party that offers it is going to win. If you’re over the age of 40, you’ve seen this time and again.
The good thing about Covid regarding our disastrous public finances is that it ate up a ton of money that would have been spent on stupid stuff anyway. The biggest expenses incurred by governments has been strengthening the healthcare system, subsidizing businesses, and paying people with free cash.
In a perfect world none of this would have been necessary, but guess what? We don’t live in a perfect world and as such I am glad to see so much money just being shovelled to people who found themselves unemployed and to businesses trying to hang on and to hospitals that should’ve been better prepared in the first place.
Now Canada and the provinces have way less wiggle room on the balance sheets. This means less money for stupid woke progressive stuff like climate change nonsense or foreign aid or systemic UBI programs. To be sure, Justin couldn’t help himself and a lot of stupid woke progressive stuff was still funded, but now that our finances are in the red zone, the grown-ups are going to have to start getting real.
I’ve said before in these pages, that the best route to fiscal conservativism in a democracy is to hit the wall and run out of options. There is no other way for reality to assert itself and correct the insatiable appetites of lowest common denominator voters. When there is no other choice, tough decisions must be made, and priorities need to be addressed. Bankruptcy keeps politicians focused and sharp. Delusions of grandeur must be put on the back burner while nuts and bolts machinations of government come back into vogue.
Covid provided us with a ceiling on Liberal ambitions. Appetites can be tempered. Woke progressive projects can be avoided. Fiscal sanity can be restored.
10. Simple pleasures
Lockdowns were in place this past Christmas so big family get togethers were banned. A lot of people still bent the rules here and there, but what I heard was that everyone was scaling back. No parties, no extended family meals, no big events and you know what? In hushed tones people said, “It was actually really nice.”
There’s something positive to be said regarding a simpler and less eventful lifestyle. Sticking closer to home shouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Quiet nights in with people closest to you is actually nice. Less shopping for stuff is a good thing. Less being busy is too. I found some good home workout videos on YouTube which saves me going to a gym. There’s plenty of good content on streaming services that saves me going to a movie theatre. Playing with the kids around the house and using our imagination is a good substitute for driving around buying tickets for things. Trying out a new recipe at home is a nice replacement for going out to eat.
I know the negative flip side of these examples can be quite dark. I’m not justifying or celebrating the severity of the situation and I know this new normal is harder on some people than others, but this list is a positive look at what was forced upon us, and some of these changes in lifestyle and priorities can be 100% positive. This pandemic shake-up may be a reminder or a motivation for us to do some reflecting and changing.
As more and more people recover from Covid and the vaccine keeps rolling out, the pandemic will end. Now that Joe Biden is President it will likely end even sooner than it will actually end, because the media in the United States won’t feel the need to torque every Covid development that occurs in order to use it as a cudgel against Trump.
So before we all instantly fall back into old habits, let’s appreciate some lessons learned and keep on looking for silver linings. There will always be new clouds around to provide them.
© 2021 Poletical