Tuesday, April 20, 2021

On Magical Thinking And Misdirection

I don't feel particularly inspired to write these days, but I am always on the lookout for aptly expressed sentiments by others. In the print edition of today's Toronto Star, there are two letters of note pertaining to the Doug Ford government's mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Ontario, or as I like to call it, Contagion Central, has never been in worse hands:

Beating the virus while staying open was magical thinking

It is easier to reject the unfathomable and proceed with our lives as we know it. Politicians have been exploiting this human response. They have nurtured our belief in magical thinking. It is about to bring us to our knees.

We can pay low taxes and still get all the services. We can keep drilling for oil and drive cars and somehow climate change can still be averted.

We can enjoy endless growth in the face of finite resources on this planet.

During the acceleration of a pandemic, we can reopen everything to give business and customers what they want, and still somehow beat COVID-19 and maintain access to hospital care if we come down with appendicitis.

Experts warned us in February that April was going to be a pandemic disaster in Ontario without stringent new measures. Instead, we opened things up.

True leadership grasps the situation and takes ownership of the task of convincing people that choosing the responsible approach to overcome the crisis is key.

Ford is a master when it comes to deflecting blame

Premier Doug Ford heard two months ago of a third wave disaster approaching, rolled the dice and lost.

We’re in a dire situation with hospital ICU beds filling up and potentially under-staffed.

With the introduction of a tougher set of rules, there was no acknowledgment that there were errors in judgment by the provincial government.

Instead, Ford is deflecting all blame from his own government by pointing the finger at the federal government for a lack of vaccines and implementing steps that give the appearance that he’s acting tough, but not taking the measures he should have to be effective.

Ford claims if more vaccines were available this third wave could have been avoided when the science always indicated that the virus would win the race against vaccines.

Ontario has only demonstrated the capacity to inject just over 100,000 vaccines per day while hundreds of thousands of vaccines are somewhere in Ontario not getting into the arms of Ontarians.

Ford gives us the appearance of taking control of the situation by implementing border controls; eliminating outdoor activities like golfing and other meaningless measures, instead of providing paid sick leave; improving the vaccine rollout plan to get more needles quicker into the arms of Ontarians in the hot spots, imposing a curfew that other jurisdictions and countries have used successfully and increasing the use of rapid testing in essential workplaces.

I can only hope that by some miracle we don’t see the frightful triage scenes we’ve seen in other countries in Ontario.

Donald Wong, Toronto


  1. Think of this as a dress rehearsal for what today amounts to our political leadership, Lorne. What could we expect from them if we're faced with some greater, more disruptive or deadlier challenge?

    1. Just as this pandemic has revealed some of our shortcomings as a species, Mound, it has clearly done the same for our political 'leadership' as well.

  2. As Groucho Marx famously said, Lorne, "Who are you going to believe? Me or your own eyes?"

    1. A most germane reference, Owen. BYW, I have been diverting myself by watching episodes of Groucho's You Bet Your Life on YouTube, an antidote for the absurdities we are living through in Ontario these days.