Last week I wrote a letter to the editor titled, Reality, Political spin and the future, the true price of rhetoric. The rapid change in circumstances regarding the Covid 19 virus and the UPC government's response to it have made me question if there’s now a need for clarification of some of my comments.
In my article I made a correlation to the COVID-19 virus being similar to the “common cold”, that the virus is “…the immediate threat to those with a weakened immune system…” and that we were “lucky” that the lethality of the virus is so low.
These were pragmatic comments based on the facts as I know them, they were never meant to trivialize concerns, to be cold/callous or to indicate any amount of pain, death or sickness was OK. Quite the contrary, these statements were meant to remind us that panic will not help, that we can all help or hinder efforts to control this pandemic and our cooperation is needed now more than ever.
I’m infuriated by the numerous missed opportunities to ‘shut down’ this virus well before it was a pandemic and that this lack of planning and effective response will result in tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives. My comments concerning the press were heavily influenced by these missed opportunities.
It is a psychological fact that human beings will unconsciously focus on the negative aspects of a situation; this is compounded when we continually hear negative news. We have all been victims of the 24/7 coverage of this virus. The incessant and sometimes morbidly sensationalized coverage of this tragedy has left us with panic when we needed to focus on coordinated, constructive solutions. My comments were only meant to refocus us all on what can still be done and to ask for more ‘constructive’ reporting from the press.
Without exception governments have failed to put the needs of people ahead of their own perceived self-interest. The irony is that this insular response will cost their nations far in excess of what could have been avoided both in terms of economic loss and human lives!
In Alberta we now see budgets passed that have no basis in reality, winners and losers continually being chosen by this government and hypocritical backpedaling in regard to some essential services while simultaneously ignoring others. This makes me incredibly angry. I again question if this government has the capacity to see beyond their singular viewpoints and/or listen to more than their own ‘echo chamber’. I’m glad though that the UPC party is finally taking action regarding this virus.
It is important to note that my criticisms regarding the UPC government would be the same for any government in power who acted this way.
Be kind, stay safe, and keep calm everyone; we can get through this!
- Dan Cunin