Covid Journal, April 30, 2020
Conflicting views about how much longer ‘lockdown’ should continue are starting to show. Most started with the Michigan militia who were still wearing masks while protesting against hard-working nurses and doctors and other essential workers, saying the whole thing was a fraud. Mostly so that they go out and get their haircuts and fingernails trimmed.
Fucking dumbass end-of-world prepper pussies acting like a bunch of cry-babies when the shit hits the fan. Sporting their guns, showing off how tough they think they are.
They’re not helping the discussion concerning ‘when’.
Then there are seemingly more intelligent people that are questioning the logic of the ‘fascist-like’ lockdown. Like or not, people that will attract the attention of and win over lots of people as their voices get louder.
Example: Elon Musk, owner of Tesla Automotive (and a bunch of other planet-saving initiatives) recently had this to say about the reactions of global governments to the coronavirus, or Covid-19:
‘GIVE PEOPLE BACK THEIR GODDAMN FREEDOM’: Elon Musk bashes US shelter-in-place orders as ‘fascist,’ says they’re ‘forcibly imprisoning’ people in their homes
… Frankly, I would call it forcible imprisoning of people in their homes against all of, their constitutional rights, in my opinion,” he said. “It’s breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong and not why they came to America or built this country. What the f—. Excuse me. Outrage. Outrage.
If somebody wants to stay in their house, that’s great and they should be able to … But to say they cannot leave their house and that they will be arrested if they do, that’s fascist. That is not democratic — this is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom.
What do we do? I’m the first to take a position on this kind of stuff, but right now I’m on the fence. That said, I can easily see more and more people getting ‘antsy’ about lockdown and house arrest the longer it lasts.
Yes, science should win, but numbers should also win. In Ontario, most of the deaths that have occurred to date have been in private nursing homes and retirement facilities. The same places where Doug Ford chopped budgets and inspections.
We shouldn’t continue with a lockdown when confronted with this kind of information. We should have a criminal investigation.
And would almost as many people murdered in Nova Scotia in a single day than died of Covid have been susceptible to the whims of a madman impersonator had they not been in lockdown? No one will know the answer to that question, but a key ingredient is that people were vulnerable and someone took advantage of that.
On a lighter note …
Oddly enough, Maclean’s magazine (yes, the one that I probably don’t have a lot of nice things to say about) has started writing about ‘what’s next’, especially from a progressive standpoint. The return to ‘normal’ is flagged as not really being normal at all, is it? So why rush to the way things were when we should really be using this as an opportunity to talk about how to implement some pretty radical change in the way we do things since so many people are, quite literally, on the sidelines.
Good one Maclean’s. Just don’t fuck it up by plastering your cover again with clowns like Kenney and Ford saying they’re basically the second coming.
Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, and its widespread impact on various aspects of our lives, there are many ways of responding that could have a dramatic and positive impact. Over the next few weeks and months, as priorities are winnowed, a COVID-19 recovery strategy, governed by progressive principles and values, would look something like the following :
1. Prioritize the needs of people. We need to work with employers to save and create jobs, but the focus should be on bettering the lives of individual Canadians. Financial aid to corporations should be much more conditional than in past rescue packages. Any recovery must ensure by law that public dollars are not diverted into exorbitant executive compensation packages, stock buybacks or increased dividend pay-outs.
2. Reinforce people’s economic and social rights. Temporary fixes must be changed into longer term reforms, such as reconfigured income supports to supplement EI; extension of the scope of public health care to home care, long-term care homes and universal public pharmacare; and the implementation of a “decent work” agenda with paid sick days and liveable wages.
3. Public investment. With families and corporations deep in debt even before the crisis, and with some sectors (such as tourism and oil and gas) very unlikely to recover quickly, public investment will have to drive recovery. Such investment should be focused on job-rich areas that deliver on our collective goals, like green infrastructure (renewables, energy conservation, public infrastructure) and affordable housing.
4. Transition to greater national self-sufficiency in some sectors. The global economy is here to stay, but we need to rebuild Canadian productive capacity to meet key needs such as food security and medical supplies rather than rely exclusively on global markets.
5. Spend what it takes. The Bank of Canada is providing the resources we need short term to support Canadians. A longer-term public investment program intended to address income inequality will also require radical tax reform, including taxation of wealth.
In implementing all of the above, dogmatism should be avoided. Franklin Roosevelt said it best: we need “bold persistent experimentation” and we need to clear the necessary space for governments to adopt this temperament.
Let’s hope a storm is gathering and the rain brings a new kind of growth and change unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.