By Andru McCracken
Since we last published on March 12th the world has been turned upside down.
Daily, sometimes hourly, new ordinances declare what we can and cannot do. Remarkably, we comply, even if it takes some getting used to.
For many of us, this is the biggest societal upset of our lifetime. We have everything to lose as a society if we do not get this right, as individuals we need to make hard choices in order to support community members at risk.
It is truly amazing to see people paying attention to and obeying the new rules and advice of medical health officers.
Much has been made of the few people who are not following the rules. It’s hard for me to focus on that, when so many people are.
At this point it looks like we have a good shot at slowing the spread of the disease so that hospitals will have the capacity to deal with people who become ill.
For many people in tourism, this has been a bad winter. Restaurants that were limping through the season are now cut off at the knees, for example.
While it isn’t as convenient as it once was to go out and eat (and get somebody else to do the dishes), if we value these restaurants, we need to patronize them now. Forget GoFundMe.
Just buy your family a take out meal if you can afford to. You will be feeding more than just your family, and providing desperately important cash flow for small locally-run businesses.
We need to pay close attention to the programs enacted by the federal and provincial government to ease the shock of dealing with the virus. Many of us are unable to go to work. If history is any guide, there is a good chance rural folks like us could slip through the cracks.
We may need to harness our brand new sense of collective and insist that the people in our community get a fair shake.
This massive reorganization of society is nothing if not deeply interesting. Everything appears in flux. What we thought we absolutely had to do every day, ie: go to work, is suddenly less important than keeping our neighbours well. It’s an interesting starting point for some thought experiments.