The Coronavirus Pandemic

So much has been said and written about the Coronavirus Pandemic and certainly much more is to come. But here’s my two cents: coronavirus has been a big lens on what’s working and not working, at the micro and macro level and everywhere in between.

The Macro Level

Who has been a great leader during this pandemic? Who’s taken charge? Who is hiding? Dawdling? Getting priorities wrong? Or fudging their numbers? Who is focused on keeping people safe and who is weighing their reelection or post-leader career odds at the back of their mind? I don’t follow international politics enough to comment widely, but as a Canadian I don’t trust my PM, Justin Trudeau. I suspect his post PM career, probably with the UN, must be preserved at all costs and weighs in the balance when making decisions. Rex Murphy of the National Post wrote a thought provoking editorial on government priorities, national self-sufficiency and misplaced priorities.

As I was editing this, another news story broke: our PM, after having exhorted Canadians to stay home Easter weekend, to forgo family gatherings, to not go to their cottages or even go out unless necessary, left his residence to drive to his country home to be with his family. Yes, a full motorcade, including bodyguards, traveled from one province to the next. Judging from Sophie Trudeau’s Instagram, they all had a great time and if your Easter was a wash, have no fear, you can look at her photos of their Easter Egg Hunt. English and French media both picked it up, and if you understand French, Sophie Durocher’s article is worth the read.

But enough of that. Let me end the political comment but saying our provincial PM, Francois Legault, has been extraordinary during the coronavirus pandemic, and, decently, preaches by example. Félicitations, Monsieur Legault.

On the Planetary Level

The late George Carlin said, “The planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas”. Interesting how well Earth is doing without us. No traveling, the economy almost at a standstill and meanwhile, Earth is thriving. Yes, the planet will keep on going even when we’re not. Maybe the best way to save it would be to leave.

And while we’re on that, isn’t it great we’ve realized that so much can be done online? A lot more than just skimming social media. We can meet up there. No more transportation: pollute less, save time, no more coordinating schedules, checking the weather. Even for casual get togethers. For example, I have a good friend an hour away and meeting up is complicated. In the winter, weather is unpredictable, I have to factor in the drive time. We weren’t free on the same days. I’d try to find a whole day to set aside to make it worthwhile. Our next meet will be online, and we can do that as often as we want, for however long we want.

The ‘Experts’

Have you grown suspicious of ‘experts’? You should. “Believe the scientists.” Which ones? The one’s telling us they have no new cases in their country? Or none at all (cue North Korea here)? Whose payroll are they on? Can you tell which type of experts are experts on viruses (or is that viri you might wonder, as I did, but no, virus is one of the few Latin nouns that has no plural)? And which experts are in an unrelated field but because it sounds biological you think they know infectious diseases? Personally, I’m at a loss.

I’m wary of mainstream media. I filter what I let into my mind, a consideration stemming from my meditation practice.  More than ever now, I limit the onslaught of information and question hidden motives. I don’t think that’s a bad thing or that it makes me a conspiracy theorist. It is interesting and even important to listen to other opinions, such as David Icke on London Real. His last interview on was banned, according to their Twitter. It’s been thought provoking, although I don’t agree with everything he says.

The Micro Level

How about on a personal level? What’s working and not? Were you prepared for this in any way? Did you have your emergency supply kit? American list here.  Canadian list here.  Do you have a nest egg or did you discover, the hard way, that living paycheck to paycheck has its drawbacks?

What light has this put on your relationships? Are you happy at home or is lockdown finding you stuck in a place you usually try to avoid? Do you miss your job or just the money? Are you dependent on other people to pass the time? Are all your activities social? Or are you, as my mother often said, your own best company?

The Lessons
A pylon destroyed by the weight of the ice. (photo: The Ottawa Citizen)

Most importantly, is to figure out what worked and what didn’t and be ready for next time. What? Yes, something else will come along. Trust me. I’m old enough to remember the Ice Storm of 1998. No electricity for three weeks, in January. A friend and I took out all our cash at an ATM we found that was still functional. I couldn’t live at home, there was no heat and I worried about looting or damage from the ice.  I slept on a camping cot at the house of people I barely knew who were friends of a friend. Trust me, there’s always something else. Take notes, don’t forget, be ready. Above all, stay safe.


Photo: Photo by Agence Olloweb on Unsplash