Living With Less

Canada isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly showing some nice colors during this mess.  For a long while we even had cooperation between the opposing political parties, pushing to get things through.  Then, as politicians are naturally invested in taking credit and shifting blame, one in particular started taking a combative approach.  It’s interesting since that party at the national level was getting good cred for making politics work, so this is a weird turn.  Even in Ontario, our premier seems to have learned that lesson.  Despised to an insane level, COVID appears to have broken his shell and make him actually appear human.

The problems for each are similar, and they’ve all had to take really hard decisions these past weeks.  There’s no perfect answer, and a lot of people are negatively impacted.  There are a couple good programs at the federal level – CERB gives $500 a week to individuals, and CEBA gives businesses loans and covers salary payments.

(The US in comparison is giving $1200 total to individuals, and their business bail-out… well if people actually understood it, that’s what they’d be protesting.)

I don’t want to sugar coat all the bad stuff up here.  The nursing homes are really badly hit.  The oil industry has pretty much been hit it’s death blow.  Many businesses based on physical presence (tourism for many) are never going to be able to make up lost time.  A lot of people who invested for their retirement…they’ve seen a lot of it go away.

But in all there is some silver lining.  Through hardships, people reconsider their priorities.  A lot of folks are in their house 24/7 with people they barely saw prior.  The “need” to work crazy hours is being critiqued.  Discovering the joys of home cooking rather than eating out every day.  Talking to your wife and kids and realizing how cool they are.  Being able to survive, even thrive, without all the daily incidentals we were growing used to.

COVID isn’t gone, it’s that social distancing is dramatically reducing the number of people catching it.  Getting back to “normal” is something that will take a very long time so as not to cause additional flare ups.  Mass gatherings of people are going to be highly scrutinized – sporting events, cruise ships, buffets, things of that sort.  The question really becomes – are people going to miss those things enough to want to go through the hassle of attending them?  Some for sure, yet dollars to donuts that this crisis is going to have much larger social implications.

And hopefully everyone comes out of this with a new found respect for health care workers and our teachers.  There are plenty of other folks that help make society run, but these two rarely get any recognition.

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