There is always one common denominator in a global crisis, be it financial, enviornmental, or pandemic. The rich and the powerful are above doing their, or any, part.
These days, our news is full of warnings to isolate, quarantine and use social distancing to stop the spread of the potentially fatal COVID 19. We are told to wash our hands at every opportunity and to clean all surfaces and clothing regularly . We are told how to cough and how to sneeze. We are told to close all non-essential businesses – restaurants, bars, clothing stores, hairdressers and the like. We are told to keep this virus from spreading beyond the capabilities of our health system. It is in our best interests and those of our families, friends and neighbours to control the spread of this virus as it has already proven capable of devastating results if it is not controlled.
The problem is not with what is being done. It is with what is not being done. For every list of non-essential services that are to be closed down, there is a list of essential services. That list should be a no brainer. Medical facilities, grocery stores, veterinarian services, gasoline stations, utility companies, the trucking industry, railroads and the like. Essential services.
However, there are businesses and services that get carte blanche because they straddle the line of essential and non essensial service – like manufacturing plants. If they are producing essential items – food, medicine and the like, then yes, they must be allowed to operate under strict regulations. They must do everything in their power to protect their employees – and in turn, their employees’ families and communities. What about construction? If it is an emergency repair or securing a jobsite, yes do it, responsibly – otherwise SHUT IT DOWN. Oilfields, potash mines and the like. There are stockpiles of their products around the globe right now. SHUT THEM DOWN.
The thing is – if we shut down all non-essential work in Canada for a month, this virus would be contained and we would all be able to get back to a virtually normal life within weeks.
The problem is, that will not happen. The rich and the powerful will not allow it. Therefore, our politicians will not allow it – until it is too late. There is an old saying “Doing the same thing, in the same way, and expecting different results, is insanity.” We watched this virus, get out of control in one country after another while politicians dragged their feet. Let’s try that Canada! (Because that’s not the definition of insanity.)