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The inconsistent truth

June 25, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

So, what is truth? I was able to go to the dentist yesterday.

One day, it is all about liberation, unlocking the shackles, opening the doors to the fresh air. Go ahead – get your hair done. Buy a shirt.

One day, it’s a story about the ineffectiveness of wearing a mask – the next day, masks are so mandatory, there’s a big fine if the people in your shops are not wearing them.

One day, we’re ready to let restaurants serve a few folk on their patios. Just enough business to wish they could make money, like a tease: tantalizingly staying open but with never quite enough permission to serve enough customers to make it worth while.

As one restaurateur said to me, “I guess treading water is not drowning.”

One day, the farmers’ markets are open, the next day, the Santa Claus Parade in Orangeville, meant to take place in November, is cancelled. That day, many social events for the Christmas season are also on hold.

So, what are authorities not telling us? Or, what is this knee-jerk policy of random opening now and cancelling events months from now?

If you really don’t know what you’re doing, you should admit it and throw yourself on the mercy of the people whose lives you are seriously affecting, months in advance, without a firm understanding of why you’re doing it.

The whole summer of festivals was cancelled in April. Bravely, and thrashing about on the internet, organizers are planning to hold bits of festivals on line. Bringing the entertainments along as You Tube or live stream events – “dancers you’ve never seen before!”

They are offering retailers the chance to sell their wares on virtual festival marketplaces.

The only businesses getting rich are the Google family giants, Amazon, whose profits have quadrupled, and Facebook. Online servers are getting rich – the virtual, not real businesses providing a virtual, not real life – are flourishing…

Real touch-and-feel businesses are hanging on for dear life.

In the streets, which (justified but outside the rules) filled with protests recently but the Santa Claus Parade in November is cancelled. This is a symbolic as a well as a real red flag and I keep mentioning it because it is an indication of the dangers ahead. A year in the life of society cancelled. 

Thank you, Mr. Trudeau, very much, for the assistance to the whole nation with your extraordinary benefits and aids (CERB, etc) but, if too few of us are working or our businesses are limping along – if too many of us are headed for permanent closure or bankruptcy – your aids cannot last forever and, maybe for not much longer. 

Then, if even our lives in November are being cancelled in June, how is the good ship Canada going to weather the monetary storm? If too many of the nation’s people can’t earn their honest, actual, living, what are the alternatives?

It may be time to start lobbying our leaders for the truth – as far as they understand it – of where they think this Coronavirus is taking us. Why is the rest of the year, all the months to come stopped or suspended, at best?

A bright and beautiful friend of mine told me the other day, when we mentioned to each other about the cancellation of the Highland Games, in which we have participated for many years, and she said, ever so cheerfully, with a bounce in her step, “It’s all happening online!”

Hear me: this a future of the darkest science fiction. The internet certainly has it uses, can definitely be of benefit for communication and convenience but every so-called experience on line is a dream, a shadow of reality and it cannot replace reality without changing the fundamentals of who we are.

If our social intercourse is primarily in little squares of faces on a screen … well, I sure hope that doesn’t become the preferred way of meeting, even after the necessity for it has passed.

“Man, I don’t have to get dressed – or drive – be on time – fight the traffic – let’s just meet the new-fashioned way…”

Meetings; parties? Fund raising functions? Casual dinner parties, as we’re doing it now? “So much less to clean up – so much easier to say good night and bring the evening to a close.”

But: what will we lose, without even realizing it?

Time to start lobbying for the truth. Coronavirus has confined us like none other. Never in history, dealing with pandemics before, has the world agreed to shut itself down and stay way from each other – but it has gone too long and is threaten to go on much too longer – if I may put it like that. Now, here’s the call for real answers from people that actually do know what they’re talking about.

Please. 

And bring back the Santa Claus Parade.



         

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