I had hoped, after all that heroic work by our frontline medical workers, and all that isolation misery, that we would be further ahead in our battle to tame COVID-19.
But sadly we're not. We're falling back in many places in Canada.
People are fighting over whether or not they should be wearing masks.
And the virus is surging.
So much so that even the unflappable Dr Theresa Tam is warning that the pandemic could spiral out of control.
“With continued circulation of the virus, the situation could change quickly and we could lose the ability to keep COVID-19 cases at manageable levels.”
In Quebec and Ontario police will now be able to impose heavy fines on those who refuse to social distance or wear a mask.
And that should scare away anti-maskers like these who like to hold all night raves at Cherry Beach in Toronto...
Video from last night's "Freedom To Dance" at Cherry Beach. The event was run Mothers Against Distancing from 8 PM to 6 AM. Organizer Chris Sky has held several protests that defy #COVID19 safety measures. It's believed hundreds of people attended, and police kept watch. #Toronto pic.twitter.com/ggUMEyw1oV— Jeremy Cohn (@JeremyCohnTV) September 6, 2020
But while those kind of covidiots can easily be controlled or dismissed, what a lot of people don't seem to realize is that the anti-mask/anti-lockdown movement is now bigger than most people imagine.
And has a disturbing alien dimension.
To understand that, first watch this video of a recent march in Montreal...
And listen to what they were chanting...
Can you believe it? USA, USA, USA!!!
A chant I have never ever heard at any demonstration anywhere in Canada before.
But this helps explain what's happening...
They may be Canadians, but Trump is their leader, their Godzilla, their Messiah.
The Cons are their party.
And as you can see their rabid anti-mask supporters have turned the mask issue into a gaping partisan divide.
During the first several months of the pandemic, supporters of the Conservative Party of Canada were relatively indistinguishable from other Canadians in terms of their mask usage, suggesting a cross-partisan consensus on masks early on in the pandemic.
But by early June we observe a clear divide between Conservative voters and other Canadians in relation to mask usage — a divide that appears to be widening over time.
With many Cons choosing to listen to their real leader Donald Trump, and reject masks like he does.
Even if by so doing they are endangering the lives of elderly and vulnerable Canadians.
Not only by helping to spread the coronavirus, but also by spreading deranged conspiracy theories.
Nearly half of Conservative party voters (42 percent) believe that coronavirus escaped from a Wuhan lab, compared to 13 percent of Liberal voters and 10 percent of New Democratic Party voters. A very large number of Conservatives also believe that the Chinese government developed the coronavirus in a lab (34 percent) and that Bill Gates is using the coronavirus to push a vaccine with a microchip capable of tracking people (18 percent). For comparison, only 5 percent of NDP voters, and 4 percent of Liberals believe the Bill Gates conspiracy.
Which can further damage efforts to control COVID-19.
These are not just harmless, fringe beliefs. They have consequences for how individuals respond to the pandemic. These individual behaviours, in turn, have consequences for the larger population. Unsafe individual behaviours promote the spread of coronavirus with devastating consequences for public health and the economy. These conspiracies might deter believers from becoming vaccinated if/when a safe COVID-19 vaccine is developed. This may prevent vaccine coverage from reaching the level necessary to protect the larger population.
And the most tragic result of those diseased Con games, is that it could all contribute to a deadly fall...
As a second wave and the influenza virus combine to wreak havoc, and overwhelm our heroic but exhausted frontline workers.
Thousands could die who might have lived.
And for that those responsible must never be forgiven...