by Roy Wood

Pandemic irony and other random notes

The great irony emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic is that the strong measures that were taken have worked as intended to limit the devastation of the virus, and those who said the crisis was overblown can now say, “See, we told you they were over-reacting.”

Of course, that position is piffle.

I was in Spain in January and February, just a short hop from Italy, where the health care system was overwhelmed by the virus and more than 30,000 people have died. Funeral homes were overrun. Patients died from lack of equipment. Doctors had to decide who would get a ventilator and live and who would die for lack of one.

The realities unfolding in Italy and elsewhere were part of what prompted health authorities in Canada to react. One might quibble that they didn’t act quickly enough, but once they were off the mark, things unfolded with dispatch and, more vitally, to great effect.

Closed borders, travel restrictions, 14-day quarantines, gathering bans, business closures, social distancing and other measures have worked. The curve was flattened. Our health care system hasn’t been overwhelmed. And the numbers of cases and fatalities in Canada are relatively modest.

Medical leaders like Bonnie Henry have got us this far, using science, facts and expertise. Now is not the time to say, “Thank you very much. We’ll take it from here.”

We need to keep paying attention to the experts and, as we move to re-opening, to do so slowly and carefully, knowing that the virus still lurks and remains highly communicable and deadly. The so-called second wave isn’t a fantasy, it’s a real and present danger.

A Make Canada Great Again ball cap was recently spotted atop the greying head of a retired Reform/Conservative member of parliament living in the Okanagan. 

One can imagine such a symbol being an ironic rejection of the Trumpian sentiments underlying it. But given the right-wing bone fides of the individual wearing the cap, it’s safe to assume that imitation, not irony, is at the core of the message.

Of course, some of Canada’s bygone days – when working people could buy a house; when the middle class was growing, not shrinking; when children were likely to have a better life than their parents; when the wealthy paid their share – are worth of returning to.

That’s not the message Make Canada Great Again conjures. It rings with echoes of Donald Trump and his divisive, greed-driven, Darwinian world view.

Canada’s not like the US. But, despite our relatively enlightened and progressive society, Canadians do have baser instincts that are there for exploitation.

If we want to preserve what we have, we need to be vigilant. So, if you see someone wearing one of those caps, just say, “Not here, buddy.”

Speaking of Trump, I wish he didn’t play golf. 

The sport has traditionally had an image problem as the preserve of rich white people at fancy country clubs.

But over the past few decades the game has become more accessible to lots of people. Public courses have abounded. And those of us who love golf have felt more comfortable extolling its virtues.

It is a beautiful game, full of mental and physical challenges. A lasting source of surprise and delight; disappointment and despair. It builds and reveals character as we forever seek but never attain perfection.    

Now Trump, the archetype of wealth and white privilege, is constantly caricatured playing golf at one of his exclusive country clubs when he should be attending to affairs of state. 

He has dramatically set back the progress of golf’s image rehabilitation. Why couldn’t he play polo or go fox hunting?

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13 Responses to by Roy Wood

  1. Carolyn C Tipler says:

    Where are your facts about deaths and sterilization in Africa due to vaccines Ed Machial?

    • Ed Machial says:

      Look it up like I did!

      Publisher: What is the dark web? – as one person told me there is no dark web – everything is there if you know the URL to find it… The Link. Search engines like Google do not list many sites or URL’s if they do not rank or if I can be so bold – they do not want to.

      My advice to readers of all persuasions – quote a source when making an ASSERTION – quote the scientist or reputable source. I try to on most items where I think the readers would like to know “where did he get that slice of pie?”

    • Carolyn C Tipler says:

      Obviously I have and can find no evidence other than death of children which was not caused by the vaccine but the fact that the same needle had been used for many many children. The forced sterilizations have nothing to do with vaccines.

    • Alan Ogden says:

      I looked it up also. The sterilization accusations (through vaccination)were found to be baseless.

  2. Ed Machial says:

    And another thing! Who is Bonnie Henry? 3-1/2 months ago, 99.9% of the public couldn’t have told you who she was, but now she revered as some type of god? Now she’s telling us that they’re will be no return to normal until there is a vaccine! She has no right to do that!

    What’s even more disturbing, is we have this ever increasing group of people extolling the virtues of healthy living and organics and how Round-Up is terrible, yet they are freely prepared to line up to be injected with what could quite possibly be a pesticide! We already know that vaccines have led to many deaths and sterilizations in Africa (among other places), that’s fact. That why there are class action lawsuit going on right now! So could anyone even remotely educated allow themselves to used a guinea pig!

    • Sam Tibbitt says:

      Indeed, who is Dr. Bonnie Henry?? Well here ya go…

      Dr. Bonnie Henry was appointed as provincial health officer for the Province of BC effective February 1, 2018.

      Dr. Henry was the deputy provincial health officer for three years starting in August of 2014 and prior to that served as the interim provincial executive medical director of the BC Centre for Disease Control from December 2013 until August 2014.

      She was also the medical director of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control and Public Health Emergency Management with the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and medical director for the provincial emerging and vector-borne diseases program as well as a provincial program for surveillance and control of healthcare associated infections; a position she started in February of 2005.

      She joined Toronto Public Health in September 2001 as associate medical officer of health where she was responsible for the Emergency Services Unit and the Communicable Disease Liaison Unit. In 2003, she was the operational lead in the response to the SARS outbreak in Toronto. She was a member of the executive team of the Ontario SARS Scientific Advisory Committee.

      She is a specialist in public health and preventive medicine and is board certified in preventive medicine in the U.S. She graduated from Dalhousie Medical School and completed a Masters in Public Health in San Diego, residency training in preventive medicine at University of California, San Diego and in community medicine at University of Toronto.

      Dr. Henry has worked internationally including with the WHO/UNICEF polio eradication program in Pakistan and with the World Health Organization to control the Ebola outbreak in Uganda.

      Dr. Henry is an associate professor at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine. She is the past chair of Immunize Canada and a member of the Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunization and the National Infection Control Guidelines Steering Committee. She chaired the Canadian Public Health Measures Task Group and was a member of the Infection Control Expert Group and the Canadian Pandemic Coordinating Committee responding to pandemic H1N1 (2009) influenza.

      She has been involved with planning, surveillance and response to mass gatherings in Canada and internationally, including with the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games. She is the author of “Soap and Water and Common Sense” a guide to staying healthy in a microbe filled world.

      That’s who Dr. Bonnie Henry is.

      Publisher: Glad I did not ask the question. Now get back to your rubber gloves and pull some pork!

    • Ed Machial says:

      Thanks! Lots of info here that helps fill in missing pieces of the puzzle!

    • Brian Dunn says:

      Well said Sam

  3. Ed Machial says:

    Make that 3 out of 5! Mike, you have nailed it, it’s just to bad so many people have yet to figure it out! Again the truth and the facts are out there, you just have to look in the right places. Sadly, the truth is scary and most people suffer from ostrich syndrome. They would rather bury there head in the sand!

  4. Steve Staresina says:

    Nice to see an intelligent point of view Roy Wood. Also nice to see several other people in the comments section agree with your point of view.
    Three out of four comments positives, plus the publisher is pretty good.

    Publisher: Pretty good!! – Oh Steve – sharpen the blade. Sometimes I like to rest and let others carry the load.

  5. Robin Hopkins says:

    “Science based” policy is the way to go as it is based on fact, not ideology. 2 thumbs up for Dr Henry and the BC govt for acknowledging her primacy through this COVID adventure. We actually need Trump as a poster boy to exemplify what is wrong in this world. People wearing the baseball caps are just showing the world that they are ignorant of what it truly means and are possibly incapable of empathy somewhat akin to those who fly the Confederate flag. Being across the border from the US of A is certainly a double edged sword. We can do a lot better than just being better than the low bar set by the States. Being civilized is more than being technologically advanced. We should strive to be more civilized, and the envy of the world.

  6. Sam Tibbitt says:

    Thanks for your comments Roy, couldn’t agree more. I put my trust in Dr. Bonnie Henry and her colleagues here in BC and elsewhere in the medical community around the world.

    And a continued thank you to the nurses, doctors and all hospital staff working hard under difficult and unsure conditions. Thank goodness we have not had to endure what other countries have been through.

    Take care and be safe everyone!

  7. Mike Monaghan says:

    Hey Roy, who made you King of what hat we can and cannot wear? I suppose you will be helping hold me down while they give me my government-mandated vaccinations in the near future. You know, the vaccinations that will destroy my DNA and immune system making me reliant on Big Pharma or worse. And NO, I am NOT a Tump fan, neither am I a Trudeau fan. or a fan of any of the other elites that are in the process of taking over our freedoms. And no, I would never wear such a hat as you describe, it is far too late for hats. You do know the media WANT YOU to focus on Trump, (even though you are Canadian) so you miss the point of what is going on in your own country.


    Publisher: Just to prove a point I think all the golfers wearing their Titleist hats and standard “out on the greens” uniform is elitist. But that is just my opinion. The hat I would like to wear is the baseball hat that says make Canada ‘different’.

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