My next-door neighbour (or neighbor as they prefer), the USA, is a huge country. With a population of some 350 million people, and rising, it is a vast land. It is strong, patriotic, and advanced. Yet it also has one of the highest per-capita rates of COVID-19 in the world.
According to Johns Hopkins University data, the USA has the world’s sixth highest rate of novel coronavirus. This is something that, as a neighbour, is hard to come to grips with. Yet the same can be said, for many reasons, about the last four years under the out-going president. Trump played to his base, those who deny scientific facts, and he foolishly and dangerously went easy on fighting the virus so as not to be seen as limiting people’s rights. No mask enforcement. No real lock-downs. Both of which contributed to the high rate of infection.
The libertarian spirit of individual freedom is all fine and dandy, until it affects others. I have the right to swing my arm until it hits your elbow
Those out in the streets and malls prancing about mask-less in open defiance of suggestions and regulations, are placing fellow citizens in danger. The libertarian spirit of individual freedom is all fine and dandy, until it affects others. I have the right to swing my arm until it hits your elbow.
Yet it’s easy to blame the Trump nutters.
Today is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in the USA. Traditionally the busiest day of the year for travel. You might assume that, under the circumstances of a worldwide pandemic, coupled with the poor handling of the virus, the number of people travelling would be almost nil. But no.
These are people I call ‘Fair Weather Virus Warriors’. They are all in favour of masks, social-distancing, self-confinement right up to the point where it really affects them
As I sit writing, CNN is providing its annual airport coverage. Delays due to weather, but mostly lines of people waiting to board flights. Not all of them can be Trump supporters, or he would have won the election!
These are people I call ‘Fair Weather Virus Warriors’. They are all in favour of masks, social-distancing, self-confinement right up to the point where it really affects them. Like when it comes to visiting at Thanksgiving. Then maybe the virus isn’t all that bad. When push comes to shove, They’ll do what they want, regardless of outcome. Scientifically minded experts are predicting a rise in COVID-19 cases in the weeks after Thanksgiving. But they’ve just got to fly to Aunt Edith’s place for turkey with the folks.
Here in Quebec, we have a similar high infection situation. The province is the second largest, yet has the most cases of COVID-19. There are many reasons, mostly seniors’ residences that were neglected for decades. But the government is trying to balance the upcoming holiday season, a time when families gather, with stemming the second wave of COVID-19.
With a bit of luck and a whole lot of common sense, we may be able to avoid, or at least reduce a post-Christmas post-Hanukkah spike in cases
To that end, bars and restaurants will remain closed until at least January of next year, During the period of December 24 – 27 people can gather at home in groups of up to ten people. But not all four days, just two. New Year’s Eve celebrations have been cancelled. Yep, no gatherings of any size for New Year. That’s it, that’s all.
Is there a mass outpouring of threats to resist, ignore these restrictions? Not really. The majority of people seem to understand that this is not going to be a normal holiday season. With a bit of luck and a whole lot of common sense, we may be able to avoid, or at least reduce a post-Christmas post-Hanukkah spike in cases.