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Posted: April 11, 2021

No matter the causes, we’re a sick society

“Perceptions,” by Gerry Warner

Op-Ed Commentary

A “shit show!”

There, I’ve said it and I’m not going to take it back. COVID-19 is bringing modern civilization to its knees and most of it could have been so easily avoided if all of us – especially all the politicians – had just got off their lazy feet and taken the pandemic seriously right from the start.

But no, we didn’t and the result is we’re now in the third – or is it the fourth wave – of this catastrophic calamity that has killed almost three million people world-wide and could kill millions more especially if the COVID variants go on the rampage. And those toxic little demons are going to do just that if so many of us keep refusing to wear masks, socially space and follow the basic protocols to hold the COVID monster at bay.

Not to mention the head-in-the-sand anti-vaxxers whose denial of modern medical science is only fanning the flames.

Perhaps all the aforementioned should jump aboard one of Elon Musk’s rockets and fly to germ-free Mars. No COVID there. And not much of anything else either.

Surely the most ironic aspect of this man/woman-made disaster is that the country where it allegedly started is relatively COVID -free. I’m speaking of China, of course, which according to the Johns Hopkins University meter has had 4,584 deaths since the beginning of the plague compared to 572,849 in the US, 342,097 in Brazil, 126,927 in the UK, 101,480 in Russia and 23,173 in Canada to April 8, 2021. (The numbers change daily if you’re checking.)

What did China do that most other countries didn’t? They doubled down on COVID isolation measures right from the beginning as did Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Vietnam. Most of us in the West were too proud to do that and now we’re paying the price.

The price, of course, is relying on vaccines to do the job and for the most part they will, but distributing vaccines is another matter and some countries like Canada have failed miserably at that and now many of us are greatly concerned whether the original vaccines will be effective against the new COVID variants which are springing out every month or less.

Wouldn’t it have been so much easier and effective if we’d just sacrificed some of our precious freedoms for a month right from the start. Precious freedoms like going for a beer, a coffee, a restaurant meal, a movie, a hockey game or a haircut just for one little month.

That’s all it took in China and if we’d done the same, we wouldn’t be agonizing now over whether our schools and churches should be closed, whether we should work at home or in the office, what tropical paradise we could escape to unnoticed or which mask we should wear or vaccine we should take.

No, the sad fact of the matter is that in the Internet Age and the “Smart” Phone Society we’ve lost all our sense of patience. We can’t bear to be away from our toys and diversions for a minute. We won’t sacrifice anything to the altar of instant gratification. No lockdowns for us. We’re “free” and we’re sick! But we’ll try to ignore the fact.

How sick? Well, let me give you some insight. In writing this column, I did a little research and got some information from the BC Coroner’s Service and I found out that from March 2020 when the pandemic started to April 8, 2021 more British Columbians died from opioid overdose deaths, or “Illegal Drug Toxicity” as it’s referred to, than died from COVID -19 by a margin of 2,053 (drug overdoses) to 1,493 deaths from COVID-19.

You don’t think we’re a sick society? Well, you better think again.

Do the math.

– Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and a rather disillusioned one at that.

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