Two years ago, we went into hiding from a rising pandemic. At the time, we were bracing for at most a few weeks of remote operations, with hopes that things would return to normal fairly quickly.
Hoo boy, how wrong we were.
To be more accurate, we were naïve: almost no-one alive had living memory of the last major pandemic, the “Spanish” Flu of 1918-1920, so we have only the news and events of that period to give us a sense of what we could expect.
What we couldn’t have predicted, not by a mile, was the additional layer of social media, and the massive amount of disinformation it spread. Complete lies (drinking or inhaling bleach or hydrogen peroxide, taking very hot baths, taking chloroquinine or Invermectin), right-wing nut jobs went ballistic over the restriction of their freedoms (which right-wing politicians only amplified), and the media latched onto all the noise, resulting in people developing false senses of security, which led to higher infection rates. And more deaths.
Two years in, we’re really seeing the influence of the right wing on our day-to-day. Constant freedom protests are a thing here in Calgary, and no-one in goverment is doing anything to curtail the disturbance of the populuous by a distinct minority. Were the tables reversed, you’d bet there would be a more visible response.
COVID is now #5 on the all time list, though that comes with a pretty wide range, because it’s not easy to know how many have actually died, because COVID is so much like a flu or a cold, and many governments opted to not track the disease after a while because it was bad for optics.
The restrictions are all largely coming down, too. Alberta is, for all intents and purposes, open. Do what you will. Take the risk for yourself. It’s hard to say whether or not this is correct, since there’s a lot of people who really have no damned clue about being safe, let alone thinking about others’ safety. (This is, after all, how the disease has managed to keep spreading.)
And, to be honest, we’re all kind of done. The numbers are dropping (albeit very slowly), though that’s also due to under-reporting (see the aforementioned lack of tracking), confidence is up, and here we go.
Which, relatedly, we’re going. To London. England. March break is upon us next week