Monday, September 20, 2021

What I Still Don't Get (Ok, I kind of do)

 Exactly a year ago, I posted this, which enumerated much of what was going wrong with the pandemic response.  I didn't get why bars/restaurants being open was more important than figuring out schools and other parts of the economy. I didn't get why testing was so poor.  I didn't get why schools weren't prepared for the fall.  I didn't get why people couldn't wear masks over their noses.  A year later, there are lots of things that remain similar except I am not so confused.

  • I get why some places have been so slow to develop vaccine mandates.
  • I get why Ontario continues to screw up the schools.
  • I get why Ontario's testing is just as screwed as last year, and they have given up on tracing.   

 If you had a kid with symptoms today (I don't—knock wood—just keep checking this in anticipatory horror) right now you could not get a testing appointment in Ottawa until Wednesday afternoon. Minimum four days out of school. Same demand as this time last year.

 It turns out that there is a common answer to much of this: governance matters, and when one is governed by people who hate government, you get bad governance.  Jason Kenney and Doug Ford have stood out in Canada as the worst of the #incompetentmurderclowns.  I do think for Kenney it is probably more about pandering to the right wing of his party.  Ford?  I think it is less about ideology and more about laziness, hostility to experts, and to government.  I mean, Ontario has not spent the $2.7billion (in Canada, billion is a shit-ton of money) it got from the feds for pandemic response.  Ford wouldn't want to spend it on hiring contact tracers, on improving accessibility to vaccines, certainly not on sick pay for hourly workers, and not even on improving ventilation schools.  That testing still sucks is now deliberate negligence.  Last year, it could be written off as stupidity or the challenges of pandemic realities.  But we have had plenty of reports of unused tests.  It is not about supply chain problems, but that Ford simply doesn't want to do stuff.  

My friends who have kids are outraged, and they should be.  Delta is more dangerous to kids, and thanks to vaccination of adults, kids are now a primary vector of the pandemic.  So, there should have been much more effort to create better conditions for the kids.  Nope, not here and I guess not in Alberta.  

As I keep saying, it didn't have to be this way.  Yet, I fear that there are enough resentful voters who will keep voting for people who are hostile to government.  Why?  Because they want their services but they resent when government helps "others."  It certainly is not really about freedom since better responses earlier would have meant we would have more latitude now.  

Oh, and like my friend with kids, I am outraged.



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