[Note for non-Alberta readers: I don’t usually write place-specific posts, but this one is necessary, bear with me. We’ve been in a fairly strict lockdown over Christmas—pretty much everything’s shut down (except malls and churches) and no indoor or outdoor social gatherings between households are allowed. That’s right. Most of us couldn’t see our family and friends over Christmas. Meanwhile, a bunch of our politicians went on vacations. We the voters… are unimpressed.]
I had an incredibly vivid dream last night that I was having an illegal COVID-19 lockdown party. It started just with me and you in my living, and then you asked if he could join us, and he brought a friend, and the friend brought a kid—who brought my kid—and before I had blinked my eyes twice, there were six or seven people in my living room and on the patio. And then, an AHS health officer with a Foothills Hospital ER ID (vivid, did I mention) around his neck, and then two cops writing everyone $1000 tickets for violating the public health order, at which point—in my dream—I list my shit and announced that I would only pay these if the motherfuckers who went on “essential because it’s a family tradition” Christmas trips be fired, maybe drawn and quartered too.
I woke up—alone—and really pissed and there’s just one thing I need to scream. Two, actually. First, if you’re a private person, Joe Blow, and you went to Hawaii, Las Vegas, Saskatchewan or Eastern Canada for Christmas during the Alberta lockdown despite the Canada-wide advisory against non-essential travel… whatever. Your call, your judgement, your risk, your life—I can’t be 100 per cent sure I wouldn’t do the same if I had the money and if I didn’t have children.
But if you’re my elected government representative and your government has just ruined my Christmas tradition, and maybe, in the process, put me out of business—no. No. You don’t get to go to Hawaii for Christmas. Yes, I am holding you to a higher standard than Joe Blow. You work for me, you told me to grit my teeth and suffer, and then you fucking went to the beach with your extended family.
Second, and this had much worse results for public health in Alberta… The key consequence of Hawaii-gate is that I’m much less inclined to follow the lockdown rules. Was that the plan, Jason, Tracy? Mission accomplished. Before, I was resenting them but mostly complying. Now, to be honest, I feel there is no point. Why should I deny myself and suffer while my leaders… well, lead by example?
(Bet they all went Boxing Day deal shopping too.)
Stay home, my ass.
Do whatever you like, and screw the consequences—that’s what Alberta’s political elite (what a joke) have told us to do this with their behaviour holiday season.
Packing for Hawaii right now—in my dreams—licking airport washroom door handles—in my nightmares—wondering if politicians will ever NOT disappoint me.
Remember this come the next election, people.
PS Everyone who does communications / strategic consulting work for the UCP needs to be fired as well. I mean. Seriously. As a communications professional… I just pretty much can’t. I will be teaching the UCP’s handling of COVID-19 as a textbook “Here is how not to do this” for years.