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It’s Not All the Government’s Fault

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by Nick Kossovan

 

Often, I think the most common fear isn’t public speaking or the fear of heights, flying, finding a hair in your chocolate pudding. From observation, I’d say the most common fear is being accountable for your actions’ consequences. Blaming the government, corporations and circumstances created by lifestyle choices has become a national pastime. This contact blaming says much about our wanting to avoid the fact at any given moment, a person is the sum of their choices.

Lately, it seems it’s our political leaders who’re at fault for COVID, and now it’s variant, to keep rolling along. It’s easier to use the government as a scapegoat instead of taking responsibility for your own actions or looking at your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbours’ behaviour and calling them out if necessary.

This “I’m not responsible for my community, my country, how I’m leaving the planet for future generations,” or such egocentric attitude is why Doug Ford’s Whac-A-Mole lockdowns continue.

At this point, there’s not one person over the age of six who doesn’t know what they need to do to stem the spreading of COVID, which for those who need a reminder are:

  • When in public, which should be minimal (going to and from work, only purchasing essential items), properly wear a facemask.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands frequently.

 

It doesn’t get simpler than this!

Undeniably if everyone did these three simple actions, we wouldn’t be near the current infection levels we’re now seeing. I wouldn’t go as far as stating COVID would be eradicated by now (that would be too ambitious), but it would’ve been mitigated.

 

How can I be so certain?

While taking high school biology, I learned how viruses spread and therefore adjusted my actions accordingly. Since I’ve been practicing the above-mentioned COVID safety protocols, I haven’t had a cold or the flu. You may have had the same experience. I can’t recall a December, January, or February when I wasn’t literally knocked down by a bad cold. This year nothing!

Government policies deeming what businesses are essential and can be open and which businesses must be closed don’t spread viruses. People choosing to ignore COVID safety protocols, going to malls, gathering socially, and not wearing a facemask are how COVID is spreading.

Just because the government allows you to do something doesn’t mean you should. Still, for many, the prevailing logic is: If the government allows me to do it, then it must be okay.

A sense of entitlement has many not thinking in terms of what’s right, but in terms of “what’s allowed.”

Because using the government as a scapegoat absolves the individual from being responsible for their actions, this logic isn’t uncommon. Do these same people say the government allowing the sale of foods that are high in trans fat is the cause of so many people being obese? They logically know people choosing to eat such foods is what creates obesity. The same goes with the selling of cigarettes—choosing to smoke is the cause of lung cancer, not the freedom to buy cigarettes.

You don’t need the government to tell you to do what you know is right, but I could be wrong on this assumption. Maybe the government does need to be our nanny and impose draconian measures. Should martial law, restricting movements and imposing curfews, as was done in Quebec (9:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. across the province) back in January, have been done in late-March 2020?

Obviously, educating how to be COVID safe and expecting people to make choices in their best health interest and those around them hasn’t worked. The foundation for maturity is understanding your actions have consequences to you and those around you. However small they may be, our actions have far-reaching ripple effects, which we often don’t see. The rapid spread of COVID over a country as vast as Canada shows how interconnected we are and part of a community that extends well beyond our respective geography.

Instead of coming together to fight a common enemy, COVID, many are spinning this pandemic into narratives to further their political or social agenda. Counterproductive division exists between those who are either COVID deniers, who simply don’t care about the risks or who’ve turned wearing a mask and social distancing into a freedom issue versus those who are doing their best to mitigate the spreading of the virus, which thankfully is the majority.

Then there are those who evangelize the narrative that lockdowns and the COVID safety protocols I mentioned don’t work. As proof, they point out, the number of COVID cases is increasing, not decreasing.

Previous lockdowns haven’t worked because there hasn’t been 100% compliance. This 3rd lockdown won’t work without 100% compliance! Not following the government’s lockdown guidelines and then claiming lockdowns don’t work is the equivalent to saying a person not wearing a seatbelt who dies in a car accident proves seatbelts don’t work. Of course, lockdowns don’t work if you don’t follow basic COVID safety protocols.

I’d go as far as stating if Ontarians had followed the 1st lockdown restrictions, Ontario probably wouldn’t need a 3rd lockdown. Blaming the government while not taking personal accountability—how’s that working out so far?

Not everything is the government’s fault. The government isn’t preventing anyone from diligently practicing COVID safety protocols or forcing anyone to go out for non-essential items. At some point, we’ll need to acknowledge our individual behaviour, and those of family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues is what’s prolonging this pandemic. The sooner we acknowledge this fact and adjust our respective lifestyle accordingly, the sooner this pandemic will become part of our history.

Undeniably, government leaders could’ve been much more proactive when COVID first reached our shores. No nonsense lockdowns should have been implemented at the start. In today’s world, where supply chain management is an exact science, there’s no excuse for the stop-and-go vaccine rollout. However, our political leaders didn’t fail us; they’re navigating uncharted waters with a demanding public constantly snapping at them. The failure comes from everyone who refuses to do what they know is right for the common good, which ultimately the government has no control over.

____________________________________________________

 

Nick Kossovan, a self-described connoisseur of human psychology, writes what’s on his mind from Toronto. Follow @NKossovan on Instagram and Twitter.

 

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Canada Energy Regulator allows resumption of Trans Mountain oil project

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The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) has issued a notice https://bit.ly/35Sm87H allowing Trans Mountain Corp to resume work on its Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) oil pipeline project.

The company was ordered in April to halt work on a section of the project in Burnaby, British Columbia, for four months to protect hummingbird nests.

The C$12.6 billion ($10.17 billion) TMX project will nearly triple capacity of the pipeline, which runs from Edmonton in Alberta to the coast of British Columbia, to ship 890,000 barrels per day of crude and refined products when completed late 2022.

(Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman)

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Senate vote opens way for single event betting

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Canada’s Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that will open the way to legalize betting on single games or sporting events, which is currently illegal except for on horse racing.

The vote sent gambling shares higher as it is seen helping them win back customers from offshore websites and U.S. casinos.

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Trudeau nominates first judge of colour to sit on Supreme Court

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday made history by nominating the first judge of color to sit on the country’s Supreme Court, which has only ever had white justices in its 146-year existence.

Mahmud Jamal, who has been a judge on Ontario‘s court of appeal since 2019, trained as a lawyer and appeared before the Supreme Court in 35 appeals addressing a range of civil, constitutional, criminal and regulatory issues.

“He’ll be a valuable asset to the Supreme Court – and that’s why, today, I’m announcing his historic nomination to our country’s highest court,” Trudeau said on Twitter.

Trudeau has frequently said there is a need to address systemic racism in Canada.

Jamal, born in Nairobi in 1967, emigrated with his family to Britain in 1969 where he said he was “taunted and harassed because of my name, religion, or the color of my skin.”

In 1981 the family moved to Canada, where his “experiences exposed me to some of the challenges and aspirations of immigrants, religious minorities, and racialized persons,” he said in a document submitted to support his candidacy.

Canada is a multicultural country, with more than 22% of the population comprised of minorities and another 5% aboriginal, according to the latest census.

“We know people are facing systemic discrimination, unconscious bias and anti-black racism every single day,” Trudeau said last year.

Jamal will replace Justice Rosalie Abella, who is due to retire from the nine-person court on July 1.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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