Twist and shout

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There are times when I despair of people. Not all people, of course, though that may have to be further analysed. No, there are many people who seem to really enjoy embracing the most outlandish theories and aren’t happy unless they have something to proclaim about on social media, or, in some cases, outside Queen’s Park.

Does anyone see the irony of people shouting that covid-19 is a media or government conspiracy, while wearing a protective face mask? Those people demanding “freedom” and crying out that “the cure is wosre than the cause” (that is how one sign spelled “worse”), seem to think that 811 people dead in Ontario from this “hoax”, are all part of a huge conspiracy to take away our freedom. Some people brought their children to the rally, carrying signs like: “Save our children No more poisen” (their spelling of poison, not mine).

It may not be an irrelevant thing to point out that at least one of the protesters was wearing a Make America Great Again hat. Was this just a case of Canadians wishing they were Americans? Wishing that the great orange idiot who recommends injecting disinfectant into your body was in charge here too? One sign in Toronto said: “The US is, has opening! Why haven’t we?” People were yelling at CBC personnel: “CBC lies!” In yet another sad copycat idea, the protesters were blaming the media, one sign stating clearly; “The media are lying to you”.

When I mentioned a few weeks ago that Trump had called covid-19 “a hoax”, I got a comment that could have been straight from Trump’s Twitter feed, saying, among other things: “You are FAKE NEWS!”. A chip off the old blockhead. I sent him the link to the video clip where Trump says it is a hoax, but I haven’t heard back from him since. He, like so many other Trump supporters here and in the U.S. probably thinks I, per- sonally, doctored the video to make it seem that Trump made the stupid statement.

Darn, now I put that thought out there, some of the gullible would run with it and take it as an admission of guilt.

Then there is the theory that covid-19 is caused by electromagnetic waves from 5G towers, something which has absolutely no grounds in science, other than science fiction. As a direct result of these conspiracy postings on social media, more than fifty 5G towers have been set on fire in the United Kingdom alone, thereby interfering with health workers in nearby hospitals.

Others say it is because we vaccinate against other diseases, like measles or mumps. Believe it or not – and what’s not to believe anymore? – people are already saying that, should an anti-covid-19 vaccine be produced, they would refuse to take it. Fair enough: that is their choice in a free society. But don’t make that decision on the word of people like Alex Jones, the alt-right radio host who tells people that “This is the plan, folks. They plan – if they’ve fluoridated you and vaccinated you and stunned you and mesmerized you with the TV and put you in a trance – on killing you.” This is the same man who declared that the murder of twenty children at Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012 was a hoax, and that the grieving parents were actors, paid by the anti-gun lobby and government deep state.

The sad fact is that conspiracies propagate even faster than a virus at times like this, or even in regular times. It was the same in the past, whenever there was a pandemic, or even a local epidemic: people would appear claiming all kinds of dark plots and suggesting various kinds of deadly or harmless “cures”. There have been conspiracies about how the world was actually being run by a secret cabal, whether Illuminati or Ma- sons, or a small group of the super-rich. There have always been the other, “they”, as in the Alex Jones quote above, “they” are trying to kill you, “they” are inventing covid-19 to keep you home and destroy the economy. Why? Who are they?

When Trump was elected, quite a few Canadians thought he was the best thing to ever happen in politics, and wished we could have one of our own. I had hoped that, once he was given time to expose himself as the major moron and idiot he is, his support here would disappear. The protests at Queen’s Park show I was mistaken. But as long as he is influencing Canadians this way, putting our lives in jeopardy, we need to watch the way he and others twist the facts and shout out the lies. Fact: more than 50,000 Americans dead. Fact: almost 2,500 Canadians dead. Fact: more than 200,000 deaths worldwide. Is that a hoax, or a conspiracy to trample on our rights? A quarter of the deaths are Americans. That is no example for copycats in Canada.

Our numbers in the United Counties are low, and that is because we keep to guidelines on physical distancing and staying at home. Yes, it can get boring. Cabin fever is a real thing, and children and all living things need fresh air and exercise. Be wise, be careful, be strong. This is our time to rise to the challenge.

But this, too, will pass. We shall overcome.

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