Skip to content

COLUMN: Canada and COVID-19 – doing our part

"Tragically, the battle is still being sabotaged by too many self-preserving politicians. Access to vaccine types and quantities has been added to the boiling pot of nationalistic and ideological pride and prejudice."
Murdock Alan-col
Columnist Alan Murdock

In this world of ordinary people, there will be extended pauses during which we will get along with each other in a civilized manner. That’s what successful civilizations do. And when we are not in that state of grace, we descend to avoidant finger pointing, self-preserving inaction and, in the end, revolutionary violence and despair. That is the state of societal anguish that we see exploding in Myanmar and have recently witnessed in our wealthy, boisterous neighbour to the south.

It is sad really that human nature expects our political leaders to deliver on their promises – promises that they offer in response to our desires and demands. And it doesn’t matter what form of governance we accept – Chinese imperialism wrapped in Confucian philosophy or European-based universal adult suffrage with a belief in divine intervention. Even fascism and Putinism have their limits.

And now we are visited by a universal pestilence that has no political views and has infected the most advanced society on earth with ferociousness. Thankfully, scientists and physicians around the world have been sharing information and collaborating as never before in attacking this scourge. We now have vaccines that work.

Tragically, the battle is still being sabotaged by too many self-preserving politicians. Access to vaccine types and quantities has been added to the boiling pot of nationalistic and ideological pride and prejudice.

For reasons that remain speculative, we in Canada have so far pretty much escaped the worst of COVID-19 – except for our most senior citizens living in long-term care facilities. One suspects the difference between us and the USA has been socioeconomic as much as political structure and ideology.   

The present moment of rising exasperation in vaccine availability for Canadians is the due directly to a limited competence of the Prime Minister. Mister Trudeau has done the best that he can in acquiring vaccines from outside sources. Unfortunately, he continues to plan and control this critical aspect of the pandemic primarily as a political exercise. It is as if Winston Churchill had ignored people with private sector managerial and industrial expertise and ran British WWII efforts using only politicians and administrative public service staff.  Had he done so, even Lend Lease wouldn’t have saved him.       

So to the crux of what Canada should do. We can only survive and restore our economy if the USA recovers and functions effectively. The USA needs to meet its vaccination and herd immunity targets. If done so quickly, more powerful COVID-19 mutations will be avoided, vaccines will continue to work and our commercial health will improve. At this point in time, the USA needs us more than we need them. 

Let us stop whining about Trudeau’s present failure to acquire vaccines off shore as he ‘trumpeted’. Once our most vulnerable seniors and our essential workers are vaccinated – let’s pause and arrange to send our next vaccine shipments to the USA until they get their nation immunized. Let us send them Trudeau’s rapid test equipment that our provincial premiers refuse to use.

Then let us send our PM to therapy and wean him off his apological cheque-writing obsession.