The failure of government means we must rely on ourselves

The Ford government has conclusively demonstrated its incompetence in the face of COVID-19. Time and again it has bowed to the special pleading of special interest groups—not least the hospitality, tourism, and construction industries —placing their self-interested economic concerns over the well-being of Ontarians.  Science has been subordinated to politics.

Over the past year a series of perplexing and contradictory colour schemes, and constant rule changes, have confused and frustrated citizens.

The definition of “essential” services has been contorted beyond recognition— too farcical even for Borat.

Despite a clear need and ample time to do the work last summer, Ford’s actions to strengthen health protections in public schools fell woefully short.

Meanwhile the Trudeau government, after a promising start with its CEBA and CERB programs, has failed in its most crucial task—securing timely delivery of enough vaccine.

It’s no wonder we are all exhausted, demoralized, and angry.

But if we are to avoid moving from simmering catastrophe to total ICU meltdown, Ontario, we need to stop transmitting COVID-19. We’re almost at the point that if you get COVID, our hospitals simply won’t be able to take you. You’ll be on your own to recover or die.

Unless it’s for food, groceries, medical appointments, or medicine, stay home.

Does your life or the lives of your family members depend on getting that bag of fertilizer, or cordless drill on sale, or that new set of all-weather radials in the next four weeks? Stay home.

The lawnmower will last another season. Last year’s pool noodles are just fine. Stay home.

Are your kids climbing the walls, causing you to climb the walls? They are alive, you are alive. Keep it that way. Get out with the dog. Safely walk a trail. Otherwise, keep them at home.

Time is up for the (literally) sickening narcissism of COVID denial, of anti-mask stupidity. Law enforcement must act to curb clear and present dangers to public health. The “education” approach has obviously failed. Jail time and large fines seem to be the only language understood by those who falsely equate economic survival with actual survival.

Come the next provincial and federal elections, there will be ample opportunity to kick out the incompetents who got us here—but here, right now, is most definitely where we are.

It’s too late to vaccinate our way out of this. If we can’t manage to hunker down for the next four weeks in order to protect ourselves and each other, then there’s honestly little prospect in the foreseeable future for a return to life as we once knew it. Not this summer, maybe not by next summer.

For God’s sake—for everyone’s sake—stay home. ◆