The coronavirus provides us with a societal mirror in which we can see our flaws. In the United States, the flaws are glaring. Bruce Arthur writes:
In the United States the country’s fundamental sicknesses have not been put aside for the pandemic, and the structural weaknesses of the superpower — the bluff of a tilted economy, for-profit health care, the failed state of the Republican Party, and the irredeemable black hole of narcissism and ignorance from its president — have not budged.
Donald Trump trumpets unproven cures, promises empty solutions, and argues with scientists on live TV to cover his failures. He is pushing the idea that the economy is more important than a health system crushed, and perhaps millions dead, as Senate Republicans fight things like paid sick leave.
In America, the mirror shows something like the days before the French Revolution, but with fewer wigs. Trust and information levels between political parties are a chasm. It is a daily tragedy.
In Canada, we've done better. But we've been slow to recognize the danger:
Several public health authorities, including Ontario, are still limiting gatherings to 50, which doesn’t make any scientific sense epidemiologically, or when the message is stay six feet apart. (Quebec has limited public gatherings to two.) Especially given the testing gaps in the system, especially in Ontario, which has us still a little blind. Several doctors who do front-line testing in Toronto are apoplectic about the public health standards for who gets a test.
We’ve been too slow. Governments have been too trusting in establishing restrictions, and Canadians have not had enough societal discipline to listen to governments or responsible media. If you played beer pong in Vancouver or anywhere this weekend, your posterior should be paddled in public by someone standing six feet away.
This is a test for our society. It will take a while before we can grade ourselves. But the mirror tells us that we can still do better.