As we ride a skeleton surfboard on the third wave to the ostensible conclusion of the coronavirus pandemic, this old man can’t help but wax nostalgic for simpler times. Things were different back in my day (Spring 2020). We would gather around the blue glow of the laptop for daily updates while munching on home baked bread. Politicians would personally visit our driveways to scream at us in their rages. Toilet paper, if we were lucky enough to have it, was a frivolous luxury. We were united in a cause against a common enemy. Nowadays you can’t mask up and stroll down the street without being harangued by someone whose ass is so plugged up with ten ply the shit’s coming out of their mouth.
Ah, I get misty eyed just thinking about it. Baking, gardening, shouting the latest hearsay about bathtub remedies to your neighbour across the street from a lawn chair with a couple of beers, a pina colada, three Bacardi Breezers, and an airplane whiskey. How else would one pass the time? There were heroes on the frontline, and heroes at home. We were a nation at war with an enemy tinier than even the smolest doge.
Back when we all agreed Covid was bad and we should get rid of it. Before the invisible handjobbers that call the shots got all purple and sticky about government money going into the pockets of people. They insisted the cost of winning the war was simply unbearable. If the government supported the businesses that needed it and paid everyone to stay home how would we be able afford a cutting edge $1.7 billion invisible pipeline?
And so, we a made a heel turn to a collaborative dictatorship a la Vichy France. We decided six months of hardship wasn’t worth a lifetime of freedom and it would be easier to put society in an indefinite state of living death, open/closed/clopen/oesed, hemorrhaging money and morale but never *quite* at a breaking point. The Premier started giving bumbling character references for Covid, saying it’s not bad, just a misunderstood flu. We began ongoing campaigns of appeasement and denial that led to an outbreak and three deaths in Albertan meat packing plants. We surrendered unconditionally, bought the virus extra hospital beds, and gave it carte blanche to roam, reproduce, and mutate lung to lung to lung. All this in exchange for indoor dining and a slice of molten chocolate lava cake.
More than a year later, as liberation by a foreign made vaccine begins, MLAs take every opportunity to belittle and delegitimize its distributors. It seems we’ll reach critical mass in a matter of months and not years, as Kenney once claimed, so he’s pivoted to making sure we thank Covid for helping us reach immunity with the >155,000 people it infected. A year from now, crowned statues of the leering virus will line our freeways.
Ah but I yearn for that intoxicating early pandemic idealism. The brief time that we believed, or at least believed we believed, that we could do the right thing even if it wasn’t easy. What happened to that? Was it just the politicians, or are we all at fault? Maybe the only thing that has trickled down in this economy is greed. Maybe it’s microwave cooking and its 1G radiowaves, slowly boiling our braincells while it heats up the molten lava cake we had to take home early after our wife got mad at us when we only tipped the server 10% because we could tell she wasn’t smiling underneath her mask and it’s like.. we’re risking our health by coming here so you think she could show some customer service and really *earn* whatever she gets from the tip out after the FOH manager skims the top to fuel his coke habit and now I have to sleep on the couch tonight. Personally, I blame the politicization of sports.
We’ve already let the army occupy our sportsball games, what’s the difference if our lives are occupied by a virus? Is it a coincidence the Atlantic provinces, which have no major league professional sports teams, are also the only ones who even bothered to fight (and win) the war? No.