Print this Post

Let’s stop pretending we’re all in this together

January 2021

Despite the constant pleas from our elected officials and health unit leaders that we refrain from non-essential traveling, especially out of the country, and remain in our homes as much as possible, many prominent political and health officials have been outed as having ignored such recommendations.

The latest to be outed is Halton Regional Police Chief Steve Tanner. Although I believe Tanner falls into a separate category from others, in that he’s not one of the officials telling us to quarantine in our homes, he is a leader, and thus should set an example for those under his command. He is also a law enforcement officer, responsible for a police service that enforces statutes like the Reopening Ontario Act that govern our behaviour during this pandemic.

It also looks very bad that an officer under his command, Detective Constable Michael Tidball, dies while on duty and Chief Tanner is unavailable to attend the memorial service.

I have an idea that will get everyone out of trouble in the future over this issue: let’s just officially open the borders, admit that social isolation in our homes is not necessary, and that traveling is not a threat to public health, so long as everyone who travels follows all the proper health protocols (hand-washing, distancing, masks, etc).

Widely available rapid testing would also be a great help too.

Despite land border crossings being closed to non-essential travel since 19 March 2020, air travel has remained open. Dozens of international flights land at airports every week, with no mandatory quarantine being imposed upon those arriving. Of course, they are told to self-quarantine (the are now, unlike in the beginning of the pandemic) and there have been people caught violating those quarantine orders, but there’s no way the movements of these people have been tracked 24/7. All it takes is one person to violate their quarantine order once, even for a brief period, for infection to spread.

Does anyone remember that the first groups of Canadians repatriated when the pandemic began were forcibly quarantined at the RCAF’s 8 Wing Trenton base? Why was that practice not continued for anyone who arrives at an airport, especially those on international flights?

We’ve heard the stories of snow-birds arranging for the cars to be transported across the border, while they take a chartered helicopter flight the short distance over the border, where they meet up with their car and continue on their way to the sunny south. You have to applaud the inventiveness of this tactic, which is perfectly legal, but it demonstrates that the border closure is a complete farce and unenforceable.

Now using that point, how have those who have jetted off to the sunny south really done anything wrong? The cold, hard truth is from that perspective, they really haven’t done anything wrong. It’s not illegal to cross the border in an aircraft.

However, the reality is that the political and health officials who are telling us to stay home and not travel, or those who work for such organizations that are preaching such orders, are in a separate category. They are, and must be, held to a higher standard. It sends a horrible and very hypocritical message when the people telling us not to travel, don’t follow those recommendations themselves. Is it any surprise that so many are starting to rebel against these and other rules that have been imposed upon us? It makes us lowly peasants feel like a bunch of chumps for following “the rules.”

Of course, we could actually close the border to all except essential cargo shipments, which is what would have happened long ago if it was actually essential that we do it. Since all our governments have dropped the ball on contract tracing, we’ll never know whether our infection numbers would be lower today if the borders actually were closed.

Every time I hear our leaders utter the now pathetic talking point, “We’re all in this together,” I feel like shouting back at them, “What am I, a schmuck on wheels?”

That talking point is just one of the many phrases that we should ban from use when this pandemic is behind us. We’re not really in this together, are we?

Sources: https://buffalonews.com/news/local/with-florida-beckoning-canadian-snowbirds-chopper-off-to-buffalo-to-cross-the-border/article_2475b94c-3bce-11eb-82a0-bf3ecd066259.html, https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/20/prime-minister-announces-temporary-border-agreement-united-states#:~:text=The%20Prime%20Minister%2C%20Justin%20Trudeau,take%20effect%20at%20midnight%20tonight.&text=All%20essential%20and%20business%20travel%20will%20continue%20unimpeded, https://www.kitchenertoday.com/local-news/cambridge-helicopter-transport-company-takes-canadian-snowbirds-south-for-the-winter-3136412, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-first-group-of-quarantined-canadian-evacuees-released-from-military, https://www.thespec.com/news/hamilton-region/2021/01/07/halton-police-officer-dies-after-medical-episode-during-investigation.html.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/lets-stop-pretending-were-all-in-this-together/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>