What COVID-19 Has Taught Me
Updated: Apr 4, 2020
Do I Have You at Hello?
Tonight is one of those nights. We’ll call it a Jerry Maguire night. For those of you that haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it. The whole premise is that Jerry has a moment of revelation and writes what he calls a mission statement that is then disseminated to the masses at the sports agency he works for.
Shortly after, he gets fired and his perfect existence turns upside down. The mere suggestion that their agent should care about their clients more and make less money ruins his life. He wasn’t proposing they go bankrupt. No, Jerry’s idea was for each agent to have a few fewer clients so that they could give more personal attention. It didn’t matter. Even a dollar less was too much for the owners of the agency. In the end, Hollywood gives us a happy ending though. Jerry’s main client benefits from his more caring approach, he gets the girl and is happier than ever.
I foresee nothing so poetic or humbling because of this blog; in fact, I doubt many will read it. In the past few months, I’ve been using social media less and I canned my next book. The popularity Gods are not happy with me. It’s not that I’m boycotting social media or anything; I truly believe it has made the world a more accessible place, and that is a good thing. I just can’t accept all the lies anymore.
People are lying constantly; to others, to themselves, to strangers … and a lot of it is purposeful, which makes matters so much worse. How hard is it to check a source? Why must we put out content to make others envious of our lives? Keyboard heroes … they’re everywhere.
What I have learned while managing social media for some large brands is that people are so self-serving that they cannot see past their own situation in an attempt to try and understand someone else’s point of view, lifestyle needs, context, or circumstances.
Now, before I continue, I should say I haven’t been feeling well and my medication has been making me kinda loopy so I’ll probably want to proof this in the morning but the thoughts I’m about to put out there have been swimming around in my mind’s eye for years. I’ve internalized these thoughts because they are unpopular, and I believe in the light of a pre-COVID-19 world these ideas would have been seen as posturing. Perhaps in this new world of ours, these thoughts might provoke examination.
A little background. My company manages millions of comments on social media for various types of brands each year. When I worked in nightclubs, I thought I had seen people at their worst, but I was mistaken. Working in nightlife, you see people at their horniest, with liquid courage and at their weakest. But, running social media interaction you see people for who they truly are. They are charlatans, boorish, ignorant, and self-serving. Not all, but I’d say about 50%. These people aren’t drunk like those from my nightlife past, they’re just people.
They walk through a crowd with the rest of us and if given a choice, they will screw you over for $5.00. In real life, their attitudes are caught in an echo chamber of maybe 5 or 6 friends so they don’t dare act like the children they get to be online. That’s what I’ve seen lately. The other 50% are largely fantastic people, just trying not to create any victims. It’s those people I’m thankful for when the job is wearing me down.
A Whole New World
I spoke of the “new world” earlier because whether or not you want to admit it, this is a new world we are living in. EVERYTHING we previously believed or felt has been challenged by one simple reality. Are you ready for it?
Take a breath.
Close your eyes.
Picture your favourite moment before continuing.
This is just the beginning, and we have no idea what we’re doing!
I say this because it’s clear as day that humans have gotten it all wrong. Maybe if the men had just stepped aside and let women run things, we’d be in a different position today. The world could use some maternal instinct. But I’m not even sure that would solve our problems, because what I’m seeing is coming from the ugly and the art of the species. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen humanity at its worst and it is not at all what I thought it would be.
Good vs Evil … Not the Real War
Before COVID-19, I had a picture in my head of what the worst looked like. It was usually Hitler or Genghis Khan. Those were the names that went back and forth in my head. Today, I know it’s not the ruthless dictators. Sure, they were terrible humans, but their reach of power was limited. Their ideologies were locked in the extreme of our population. They thrived on the principle of good vs evil, but that’s not where the real war lies.
No, good vs evil is the construct they taught us to believe in. Today, we know better, for today we know that the real good lies in the accountable and the real evil lie in those who are unaccountable. You can’t even really call them good and evil. The accountable are more heroic and the unaccountable are more lazy than anything. Yes, the bar for heroism in 2020 is rather low these days. The dangerous quality about the unaccountable is they often don’t even know they’re hurting anybody or are so emotionally devoid that they just don’t care.
While Hitler and Khan ruled with iron fists, the unaccountable are quietly ruining the world, so quietly we almost never notice. COVID Bros, anyone?
Over the past few weeks, we have seen the unaccountable ruin the world, literally. From the top to [what they call] the bottom; somebodies, nobodies, everybody. We’ve all been put into a position of uneasy compromise because of a lack of accountability.
Think about it.
The Chinese government and their most educated experts have known for years — decades even — that their markets and eating habits were a recipe for disaster on a global scale. Still, they let the madness continue because those at the top weren’t eating like those in the markets and when the people at the top don’t experience something they can’t sympathize with it. You might think that’s ridiculous but I’ve found scaled comparisons to be true in almost 100% of cases.
I want you to picture a homeless person living in a box, scouring through garbage bins for a meal in your back lane. You feel for that person, but you’re not running out and changing anything. Sure, you might give a box of KD here and a shirt there, but very few of us are changing our lives to help those in need even just one rung below us.
Scale that up and you now understand why the government will throw money — our money — at a problem but won’t ever really solve it. Even after all of this, China will do just enough (wildlife trade ban) to get the borders re-opened, but it is unlikely they’ll ban wet markets or take drastic steps to stop this dangerous trend in food consumption on all levels.
And then there’s Donald J. Trump. A year before he was elected I wrote a blog predicting his victory. My main reason for the prediction was that his people were far more passionate and would blindly follow him through the gates of hell. Today, that assessment has proven true. His people have followed him through those gates, but they’ve taken us with them.
Until recently, I’ve been on the fence. He’s right sometimes; the media do in fact make a big deal out of a lot of “news” that doesn’t make much sense, the ultra-lefties repeat it and then Nancy Pelosi wasted our time with that tone-deaf immunity trial (that’s what I call it). He did continue to prop up the economy after Obama saved it. That much is true.
But he’s a blank, drug-filled, absent-minded, narcissistic asshole. There was plenty of evidence for the US to make a better decision; the bankruptcies, the lawsuits, the blue-collared men and women that were screwed over by Trump. All the evidence was staring the US in the face, but yet he is the President. So, why have I hardened my position on Trump? Because he can now add murderer to his resume if it’s not on there already. POTUS mocked COVID-19 and let it take hold of the US. He played it down until he couldn’t anymore while politicizing a virus he knew nothing about but pretended to.
Now, we have absolute brain dead idiots who won’t stay home or practice social distancing because they feel great and the President said it would all blow over. Every day, people are gathering and pretending like they are Superman and Wonder Woman. They can’t get it through their thick skulls that while they might get lucky and not get sick, they could KILL their partner, parent, grandparent, or child. Would Spring Break have been worth killing your family over? Is drinking with friends worth holding the hand of a loved one as they are taken to a section of a hospital to die by themselves?
We Know What We Know
Let’s go on a journey back in time to 2019.
Remember when you couldn’t imagine something like the pandemic that is strangling our way of life? Remember when you went about your daily routine and you knew certain things would be a part of tomorrow? You had bills to pay, you knew how to do your job, how to be a parent, celebrate your anniversary … you knew your role. This pandemic has revealed the most dangerous person in modern history is Donald Trump. Not necessarily the man, but the idea and anyone like him.
While you knew what you knew, he knew what he knew. But it turns out we all knew nothing because we put the experts in the corner, instead favouring to admire a failed reality TV star. While others were already talking about how dangerous Coronavirus would be, The Donald was going on TV and telling everyone the whole thing would blow over. He said that because he knew what he knew and what he knows most of all is that he is right, so therefor can never be wrong.
Are we getting it yet?
In the 12-weeks that he CHOSE not to act, Donald Trump — POTUS — killed people. He killed his fellow countrymen and many people around the globe. Now, I’m not saying he started COVID-19 or is responsible for it, but he sure as shit is responsible for how bad it’s gotten in the US in particular.
On January 22, Trump said, “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China.” On that same day, China barred 11 million people from movement and experts in the US were alarmed. They knew something evidentially Trump didn’t; a single airplane from China to the US was all it took to kick-start the pandemic in his country. You’re thinking, he has experts all around him, why not just listen to them? Because he knows what he knows.
This is not a man that listens to experts. HE CAN’T! His whole life has been spent with a silver spoon in his mouth and yes men in his pocket. I’ve met guys like him before. They can’t even comprehend being wrong, and when they say they were mistaken, it’s because they can get something out of it. They get an idea in their head and without verification or research, that idea becomes their gospel. Trump was a known narcissist before holding the most powerful office in the world. There are hundreds of stories about him ignoring every expert in front of him from decades of doing business. Why did anyone think that his time as President would be any different? He’s the abusive douche, and the world is his compliant and scared wife.
On February 24, Trump said, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA …stock market starting to look very good to me!” That same night on the news, experts were begging for people to change our habits and mindset or they warned we were doomed to experience a terrifying viral outbreak that would change the way our world functions. Seems legit now, doesn’t it?
On March 10, Trump said, “It will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” That same day, Joe Rogan hosted one of the most important podcasts in history with Michael Osterholm. If you haven’t listened to it, you should. He is a medical detective specializing in infectious diseases and has been at the forefront of many outbreaks. His message? “It will not go away. Stay calm. But, we’re in trouble.”
Okay, enough beating up on Trump for this is not a Trump-bashing blog post. I’m simply illustrating my overwhelming point, and that is we all know what we know. Some humans are more stubborn than others, but ultimately that is the governing principle we all live by. I know marketing. My buddy Chris knows cars. My mom knows property management. My dad knows how to build something from nothing. Trump knows how to fake it until he makes it and believes he actually knows everything. Justin Trudeau knows how to bring emotion out of a situation and put it front and center. You know something too.
Now, when I needed to buy a new vehicle, I went to my buddy Chris. When he needed marketing advice, he came to me. When a landlord tried to pull a fast one, I called my mom. When I need to build something, I call my dad. You do this too. You look to the experts in your life and ask them for help. When they give you a clear path to an answer, you take their advice. We do this for the small stuff in our lives but when it comes to the big moments, the big topics, the big questions … we ignore the experts, shout conspiracy theories and act like we know better because WE READ AN ARTICLE ON THE INTERNET. I’ve done it, you’ve done it. We’ve all done it.
And that’s why change must come if we will have a chance against the next COVID-19, climate change and so many other threats. Yes, the NEXT COVID-19! You didn’t think it would stop here, did you?
We need to stop pretending we know better than those that actually know better. In short, we need to stick to what we know.
Our Leaders ARE NOT Experts
Leadership cannot come in the form of a person with a committee. It must come from a committee at the top. Who in the hell would ever put any of our leaders in charge of their grade 7 science project, let alone the greatest scientific problems of a generation?
Let’s do a thought experiment.
First, think of the world as it exists today. Really think about it; the panic, the divisiveness, all that’s happening in our lives. Now, think about the leaders of the world and how they dealt with issues until now. Think about the politics of our world and all that got us here. Think about the circus that elections have become, the trash topics we focus on as we try to ruin people in the media for shits and giggles, and think about the last time you remember when political theatre wasn’t a central part of our day-to-day lives.
Now, remove Presidents, Prime Ministers, dictators; all political leaders. Replace them in the year 2000 with people like Michael Osterholm, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Wallace Broecker, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, and others. Do you believe we’d be in the same situation we are today? My hypothesis is that we would live in a much safer world and that our response to COVID-19 would have been much better.
Michael Osterholm has spent his whole life studying medicine and viral outbreaks.
Neil deGrasse Tyson has spent his whole life studying science and space.
Wallace Broecker has spent his whole life studying climate change.
Warren Buffett has spent his whole life studying and guiding the economy.
Elon Musk has spent his whole life leading us to amazing moments in history.
Donald Trump spent his whole life being handed privileges and making money on the backs of others.
Justin Trudeau spent his whole life being handed privileges and for a bit, he was a teacher.
Think about what life would be like right now if we listened to the people who know what they know because they spent their entire lives learning.
There’s a popular opinion that Bernie Sanders is too old to run for President and that old people need to stop running because they can’t understand the modern world. I think that’s a flawed perspective. Being old is not a hindrance, we just keep having to choose between the wrong old people. Bernie Sanders is the guy that holds THE GUY accountable. Give me a 70-year-old person who has studied infectious disease and viral outbreaks his entire life over Bernie any day of the week. Give me a board of Michael Osterholm’s peers over an entire cabinet any second of any day. Maybe Bernie is the glue that keeps a team together, but he is not by any means the man that should have all the power. I say this because I believe he represents the greater good, but I don’t believe he knows how to achieve it in a practical non-polarizing fashion. Having “the greater good” as oversight is certainly not a negative though and all teams need a leader to keep it together.
The Hard Questions
So where am I going with this?
Well, after COVID-19 passes (and it will) we have a lot of hard questions to answer. If we don’t focus on these areas, we’re not deserving of the gift that is life. Sadly though, I believe the vast majority of people will do what the vast majority of people have done time and time again; look at the problem, feel like it’s too big and then move onto watching Big Brother and chasing every $5 that is brandished in front of us.
Why are we not mad?
Why are we not so mad that we’re screaming out in pain?
Why are we not plotting to do something about this mess?
Why are we not plotting to unseat the current governments?
I don’t get it! Why are we accepting whatever we are told? We pay these assholes in their palaces to take care of the issues we can’t. They have the money, the power, the ability, and they squander it. The government is supposed to build up our physical and mental infrastructure, make sure they protect us from threats, negotiate for our best lives … does it feel like they’ve done their job?
You need not look any further than this crisis to understand we as a society are not prepared for anything outside of the norms of our daily lives and it starts with our broken government. You hear that term a lot — broken government — and it’s become a bit of a buzz term, which means people don’t really listen to it anymore.
In the last couple of years, we’ve seen evidence of broken government in the form of lobbyists being allowed to enter the front door of any government building, Justin Trudeau’s brown face, the US electoral college, the DNC screw job of Bernie in 2016, the screw job Bill laid down on Monica, a sponsorship scandal, and misspent funds.
Now, broken government is defined by politicians not understanding how to react, the revelation that while experts were saying this would happen, our governments fundamentally ignored them because it was financially inconvenient to worry about, hospitals filling up, doctors and nurses with mounting PTSD because they have to choose who dies today, and while we’re told to self-isolate they continue to get paid, go to “work” and receive priority treatment before us.
You know why it warms our heart that an old priest gave up his ventilator to someone younger or when a politician does something nice in the face of opposition? It’s because these acts of accountability are rare. I can’t run for politics (too many skeletons it would seem) but if I ran for Mayor of my city, I would spend more time in the troubled areas than at home. I would work the soup kitchens and talk to residents that were struggling in their living rooms. I would launch my campaign with 10 goals and if I hadn’t achieved them within my 4 years in office then I wouldn’t run again because I didn’t do what I said I would.
I would work tirelessly to solve problems without taking extra perks because that’s what we’re supposed to be doing. Elected officials are supposed to be representatives of the people. Do you feel represented? Is there any point in the last few years that you have felt the government did their job well?
And things will get worse. Think about the discussions we need to have after this. A few come to mind.
Do we re-open our borders to China after we have flattened the curve? I vote no and I’m a globalist! The smart play is for the Chinese government to work with others and fix their plight with food, population and governance. Only after the entire world is satisfied with their successes, can we open the borders. All countries should look at how they can stave off disaster and then put real resources towards solving these problems. What’s our plan for this? I bet there isn’t one.
You may believe that climate change is a hoax, but everyone can see the permafrost melting. It’s easy … go look. The by-product of our shitty obsession with money which drives our slow adoption of renewable resources is that when the permafrost completely melts, there will be viruses that are exposed which make COVID-19 look like a light cough. We won’t have a Nation to shut down when this happens because we won’t know where it’s coming from or how to stop it. What’s our plan for this? I bet there isn’t one.
How do we prepare for another COVID-19? Maybe we can stop fighting over oil and religion long enough to answer this question, but I doubt it. We’re all assholes. We just pretend like we’re not living on borrowed time. If another virus hits time and time again, are we just going to do what we’ve done with terrorism? The masses will experience fatigue and just treat another COVID-19 like it can’t touch us because the last one didn’t? Should we not have an emergency protocol so succinct that it’s undeniably helpful? What’s our plan for this? I bet there isn’t one.
A very unpopular topic, but honestly, what are we going to do about the growing numbers of people in areas that can’t handle it? What’s the plan for China, parts of the US, India, etc? We can’t sustain these numbers. Do we spread out more? Do we have a one-child policy? Do we find another planet? What’s our plan for this? I bet there isn’t one.
How Governments Spend Our Money
As I mentioned earlier, the government’s sole responsibility is to take care of the big picture items while we hamsters turn the economic wheel. Globally, we pay hundreds of TRILLIONS in taxes, tariffs and fines every year! How are the roads? How are hospitals? How’s education doing? How do you feel the response to COVID-19 has been? It’s gross that we are sitting here having panic attacks over where our next few pennies will come from while we pay a large percentage of our pennies to politicians for a job they’re not doing.
To put it another way. If they were doing their jobs, the second the COVID-19 pandemic started we would have all known what to do because our government would have long relayed that plan to us … like fire drills in grade school.
What I find absolutely fucked up is how taxes are handled. As a business owner, if I receive $100, I log it. That $100 is then spent on something else that is logged. The person before and after me is likely doing the same thing. So, for the mountains of taxes we pay, why don’t we get an itemized receipt? It drives me nuts that if we even try to ask; they see us as traitors and if we refuse to pay until we see such a document giving us more information we can be arrested and have all the rest of our money taken away. Seriously, is there a single soul on this earth besides dirty politicians that agrees with this system?
How will our money be spent after COVID-19? What’s our plan for this? I bet there isn’t one.
Removing Ego From Office
If you’re honest, you know that nearly every government office in every country is corrupted by greed and power. That has gotten us here. Lobbyists are a clear sign that the government doesn’t care about us. The problem stems from hiring politicians in the first place. They’re all maniacs on an ego trip.
What do you think would happen if we forced our leaders to work in the same offices we do that lacked lavish power accents? What do you think would happen if politicians were only entitled to a single video per month stating what they’ve done and what they’re hoping to do? No media, no celebrity, no attention. What do you think would happen if we capped politicians off at the median household income for that area and stated they would be jailed if they took any more money during their time in office?
Power, lavish accents, attention, oodles of cash … this is what politics breaks down to these days. It’s also known as ego. What’s our plan for this? I bet there isn’t one.
I know what the problems are in our world; you do too. We just do nothing about them, and we need to … now! But we won’t because we just want to make a decent wage, have sex, go on a few trips, buy nice shit, eat, and watch TV. That’s what we’re chasing, and all of that sounds fine except that in our pursuit of a nice quiet life we give up all the power.
Imagine if the entire population of the world stayed home for a week and didn’t dance for the politicians. Imagine if the people refused to vote in an election because they’re all assholes anyway and of the politicians that aren’t assholes, they won’t generate enough financial backing to make you care. Imagine if we took the fight to them. We are the majority and we act like fucking slaves at the feet of shitty people who aren’t qualified to be where they are. They just had luck, money, power behind them, and a fancy way of talking.
But let’s stop talking politics for a bit and start talking about the greatest evil of all, money. We the people have become slaves to those dolla dolla bills from the top, down.
When you look at how we make our decisions, we base every single one on making or not losing money. It’s why I’ve been able to predict so many elections in the past 15 years. I know that as much as people say they care about this and that when they get into that booth, the vast majority will go with whom they feel will benefit their wallet most. Of course, you care about the war in Syria, but really … you care more about your next paycheque. It’s not your fault, they designed the system to make you feel that way.
There’s only been one election that I didn’t predict correctly in the last decade or so, and that was the first time we elected Justin Trudeau Prime Minister. I didn’t count on Stephen Harper being a bumbling idiot 2 weeks before the election, but I also didn’t count on the people seeing the financial benefits of legalizing marijuana. Here, and with this case only, the people surprised me, but again … it came down to money.
The entire construct of money rules our every move. If you have it, you live well. Don’t have it? You don’t. Bills and coins are the only direct correlation between a great life and a life of struggle.
Many will say money can’t buy happiness but I can tell you whenever I’ve had it I’ve had the most stress-free days and freedom as a whole. Sure, other problems develop but think about the people in quarantine right now. Think about the haves and the have nots.
Those with money aren’t worrying about car payments, rent, utilities, or how their kids will get through this. No, they’re swimming in their pools before drinking their $65 veggie and fruit shake, before getting into their total body therapeutic steam shower, before sitting on their $10,000 couch, while watching whatever they want on their gigantic TV. They can go on and on like this for as long as they need to.
Those without money are budgeting, rationing, worrying, getting sick over where the next $500 will come from.
This whole crisis has revealed that money really buys happiness, and that’s just not right. Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who has some money. I’m not rich, but I have a bit and I’m still stressed because 13-weeks from now I’m not sure if I’ll be able to continue to pay my staff while sustaining a shadow of my former lifestyle. I’m not giving up, but the opportunities are getting more narrow. Even in the middle of all this, the banks have figured out how to make money off of mortgage deferrals. That should be illegal, but it’s not because our world is not designed for success, it’s designed for short-term tunnel vision gains.
Why in the middle of a massive crisis that not one person has any choice in does the government not just hit a pause button? No money in, no money out. Everyone, just go home, stay home and survive. If you think about it, right now the only cost should be food and even then, if the government had a plan in place I’m sure they could have figured out how to make free food work for cheaper than what they’re paying now to prop up the economy.
Responding to the Response
We need to have these conversations as soon as the COVID-19 threat has subsided. How do we build a world where when the worst happens we don’t have people dying in hallways because there aren’t enough ventilators? That’s the big question.
The emergency response from every single country to this pandemic has been reactive instead of proactive and the driving force behind it is all people (politicians and us) don’t want to stop the economy because of the possibility that people might get sick. That’s what it all comes down to. Think about all the coverage of COVID-19. How much has been about the economic impact rather than the wellbeing of us … the people?
It shouldn’t be this hard to deal with the problem. The economy and money are both man-made, meaning we control both. So, why couldn’t Justin Trudeau have shut down Canada for one month when the pandemic started? Borders closed, banks closed, everything closed. A siren in the streets signals 48 hours to do what you’ve gotta do before you hunker down at home. The government freezes all payments in and out. Those in the health care field go home-to-home in full hazmat suits, checking on the condition of everyone. Then for 3 months following, borders remain closed so we can get back to our normal way of life.
I’ll tell you why PM Trudeau can’t make that happen (besides not having come up with a plan). He can’t because he’s not guaranteed the rest of the world will do it and he doesn’t want Canada’s economy to fall behind.
The West knew the pandemic was coming for us. Open borders with China made it a certainty. Long before it came, we knew it was coming. Any expert that gave this any kind of focus knew. So now here we are putting band-aids on bullet holes, and that’s not only because of money. It has to do with nationalism and patriotism … 2 of the most dangerous words in the English language.
Nationalism vs Globalism
It’s time we settled whether the world’s nations will follow the fundamentals of nationalism or globalism. This is one of the most important questions of our time and I truly believe we need to have the first global vote on the issue.
If we’re nationalists, then let’s be real nationalists! We can’t be fair-weather nationalists. No, no! We go all the way. Borders need to be shut down, imports and exports need to stop. Travelling outside of those borders needs to change. You can’t tell the rest of the world you’re better than other nations and expect everyone to sing Kumbaya. When has this mindset worked on a personal level? Hey Bob, fuck you. I don’t like you, I know I’m better than you and I’m going to make sure everyone knows it, but give me some of your lunch because I’m hungry. Say what? Bob would take his lunch, turn it sideways and stick it …
But this approach is exactly what we’re utilizing, and it’s the reason we’re fighting needless wars and can’t progress past our differences.
If we’re globalists, we need to stop electing people like Trump into office. I’m a globalist, not because I’m a fascist or an anarchist. I’m a globalist because it’s the most rational type of way to live. We have one earth, one life, one chance to get it right and not completely screw it up for future generations.
Globalism has been tied to the NWO and mass conspiracies but it’s all about how we get there. The Rockefellers don’t need to be involved. The currency manipulation situation is controllable. The worst of our imaginations don’t need to come true.
Globalism means shared accountability, shared resources, and a shared understanding that what we do affects the entire planet.
I once read a court transcript about a corporation working with a government that were dumping massive waste in the ocean. The CEO of the corporation was quoted as saying something to the effect of, “So what? It’s their problem now”. He was referring to whatever country would end up with the waste washing up on their shores. This company monitored ocean currents and climate patterns so they could pass their waste onto another country. That’s some Bond villain level evil that again comes back to accountability. That idiot CEO couldn’t see that it’s not their shores … it’s the shores of the planet we all share.
With COVID-19, China has deeply impacted the rest of the world in a negative and detrimental way. The reason we’re in this situation is because the food standards which apply to many of the world’s most populous countries do not apply to China. The reason we’re in trouble with the climate is because 56% of CO2 comes from 3 countries while the rest of the world make up under half of the pollution. The reason we’re fighting a lot of our wars is because we can’t figure out how to share oil.
These — our largest issues — sound like global problems to me. How’s nationalism treating you right now? America First, right? So now that China is on the other side of this thing, should they even give any resources to the US? It’s a country they’ve been fighting with intensely for the last 4 years minimum. Trump has beef and has not been quiet about bashing the country, their leaders and their way of life. Right now, they’re asking themselves why they should care about the US. To be clear, I’m not saying Trump is necessarily wrong about China but nationalism means. we can’t get along.
Look, it’s not like the Chinese wanted to do this. It just happened because of the way they live. Their people don’t know better, and on most days it works for them. But today it’s caused the entire world to crash. Tell me how nationalism solves that, outside of being a closed nation.
Nationalism is a stupid idea, and worse … it’s a dangerous one. Out of nationalism comes the ever so productive mentality of us before or versus them, and all the usual bullshit tribal rhetoric that has been spewed since the days of cavemen.
This entire situation could be avoided if we just had global food standards and enforcement. If we were a global community, the areas deeply affected by the virus could be given resources from everywhere else to deal with the problem in a more acute fashion. Transfer of goods and services would be faster, communication between nations would be better and we wouldn’t see anyone as “those people over there” but as one people. Okay, I’m sounding like a hippie, but that’s okay, because we could all use a little more hippie in us right now.
In fact, I’m confident that the vast majority of problems we face today would be minimal if we had global standards. Think about the Middle East. If global standards brought them clean water, food abundance like in the Western world, education and other things we take for granted, how many could be radicalized? I bet we’d see more peace in the Middle East than ever before. Instead of taking up arms against those with more, the people in areas that are currently torn apart by war would fight their oppressors. You need only look at history to know this is a certainty. Of course, that’s a very simplistic viewpoint and meant more as an illustration. Because of how we’ve done things so far, the problem is far more complex.
Canada Got Lucky
It’s hard to determine whether a province like mine that hasn’t been hit all that hard is because of luck or action. But if it is action, it’s not just that of the government. It’s the citizens that choose to be accountable. We’re worried and quarantined, wondering what the world will look like 6 months from now. Well, most of us. There are a bunch of donkeys running around pretending this isn’t all that serious. Natural selection will have its day.
So, to prevent worry, the government is spending trillions of dollars to prop up the economy, while spending billions to fight COVID-19, while spending billions to educate everyone regarding what to do. It just so happens that in this case Justin Trudeau is the right guy for the job. Every time I utter his name I say the same thing, I am no fan of his, however, having a level-headed, emotionally in tune while being fairly stoic leader who will consult experts in the highest office is certainly not a bad thing. Not at all. Who knows where we’d be if someone in that office was driven purely by economic development. I suspect our numbers would be similar to those of the US.
But even PM Trudeau’s response has been problematic, and it’s not because he’s doing anything wrong right now. It’s because of all the wrongs before this. There was no real plan, no real money spent, no real path to victory. Our war plan against a viral outbreak is less thought out than the plan of a kid playing COD. He’s doing a decent job, trying to figure out how to shut down our country completely (I suspect) but with no real plan in place, that’s more challenging than I think many people will allow themselves to admit.
Think about it this way. We have doctors, nurses and other medical staff fighting while getting sick themselves. Why? Well, it’s because we lacked a plan. There should be stockpiles of hazmat suits, tools, N-95 masks, and anything else our medical professionals might need in a time of emergency. Instead, we ask that they get by on scraps while the government turns to private enterprise for solutions. No, you silly fucks! We voted for you so you would handle these issues. You didn’t. Government has spent trillions on absolute bullshit. That money should have gone into this. In fact, we shouldn’t be allowed to have nice things until we take care of the essentials.
After this is all over we should fire every politician seated in office right now. It doesn’t matter if you’re red or blue, green or orange … all of the parties did this and they all deserve to be held accountable.
An Uncertain Future
Climate change will re-introduce old viruses that have mutated in permafrost.
Anti-vaxxing parents are making everyone sick and creating a worldwide medical crisis to come. What will they do when the COVID-19 vaccine is offered, I wonder?
Conspiracy theorists believe stupid shit like COVID-19 vaccines will include nanotech that will turn us into walking bombs, or that Michelle Obama is actually a man.
Countries that aren’t afforded the ability to live like we do … well, they will spread viruses time and time again.
These are just some problems that must be dealt with immediately on top of others I’ve mentioned above.
This may sound crass, but we’re lucky we ended up with COVID-19. It’s horrible what’s happening but things could be much worse and if we’re not proactive things WILL be much worse. Maybe not next time or the time after that or even the time after that, but eventually it will not be a flu we’re worrying about. It’ll be something that kills everyone in 48 hours while we bleed from our eyes and our insides cook.
Doesn’t that sound insane? It might even sound out of the realm of possibility. Do you want to know what sounded insane a few months ago? A few Chinese people eating weird animals bringing the world to its knees! Tell me, when you were gearing up for 2020, did that seem like a remote possibility?
Just think about what the Black Plague would look like today with our modern modes of transportation and communication coupled with close quarters and open borders. Maybe now is a time to suggest anyone travelling must submit a full physical at the border, proving they are healthy, or at if they’re sick, they are not contagious?
With COVID-19, we are running out of essential medical equipment and personnel. In Italy, doctors report that they had to decide who lives and who dies because of this problem. Remember the massive PTSD from 9/11? That was nothing compared to what our medical professionals will face once this is over.
I know it sounds dramatic and you’re rolling your eyes, but that doesn’t make it any less true. The chances of us getting into this situation again but worse are very good. In fact, if you’re a betting man, you should bet on it.
Let’s be clear.
This isn’t over. Even when it is, it’s not. If we continue to allow ourselves to act the way we have to this point, an uncertain future is the only future we’ll have.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Okay, Doomsdayer, what are your answers, or is this all just hyperbole?”
Truth be told, I don’t have answers. I mean, I might, but I’m not sure. I have theories, hypotheses, and an educated opinion so that’ll have to do, ending off this ridiculously long blog. No one will like the ideas I have rattling around in my head, but I’ll say them anyway because it’s my forum for thought and that’s that.
Let’s say for a moment that whatever entity created all of this revealed itself and anointed me the ruler of the earth. If that entity forced everyone to do what I say, and I had carte blanche, these are a few of the steps I would take. I only went with 5 because this blog is way too long already. In reality, I have hundreds of ideas taking up valuable real estate in my mind. I’m sure you do, as well.
1. A Unified World Government
I dislike the government as much as the next guy. In fact, after more than a decade in politics, I can say I probably have more distaste for the system than most. However, some form of government is required to maintain order.
We need to look at a singular form of government which benefits the people of the world and does not upset our balance with nature. That government would not have a singular leader presiding over ten’s of millions of people based on invisible lines someone drew on a map one day.
This unified government would have a council for every one million people, with each member overseeing their area of expertise.
Areas of expertise would include, but not be limited to:
Each area of science
Border control and travel
Leadership and team-building
I’m sure there are more, but that’s what comes to mind right now. Notice I didn’t mention religion? That’s because I firmly believe religion is about a person’s relationship with whatever God they’ve chosen to pray to. Religion has no business in politics with the progress we’ve made in science and evolution. Worship if it makes you happy but personal choices have no business in policy just like we shouldn’t be telling 2 members of the same sex that they can’t be together.
Think about the way the government works now. The leader has a few goals and he pursues those, trying to game the different people he requires to pass his legislation. Why can’t we have the people who actually know what they’re talking about lead the conversations, getting more done in a shorter time?
Each council could not make any decision that negatively impacted another council. There would then be a higher council for each landmass split by the need to travel by plane or boat that oversaw the cooperation of each council below them, helping to guide the process of governance. In the council’s constitution, the first line would dictate the pace of all decisions going forward, “This council shall make decisions based on expert evidence, rational thought and public communication.”
Lastly, council business could not be held without video recording.
As much of a pain in the ass as the internet can be, it’s truly a remarkable invention. Unfortunately, it’s turned into a biased circle jerk. I know many people don’t like the idea of the internet being regulated, but it’s time (at least where politics and world issues are concerned). There’s too much misinformation available. Now, imagine if all corners of the world were connected, and that connectivity was a right instead of a privilege. Global issues could be discussed openly on sites and forums that distribute proper information. One source for topics, contributed to by the global community with ideas proven through science to be accurate rising to the top.
Ideals could be challenged and truth could shine through. Instead of having Fox vs CNN and all the millions of websites those viewpoints generate, we’d have one central place where the ideas go, are vetted, and discussed. One COVID-19 page by the council members who specialize in the subject who only need to say something once because there are no pressers or other subjective mind games to get in the way. A world connected and given a real shot at understanding with free internet for all.
3. Social Infrastructure Rebuilt
We’d look at our entire social infrastructure and what we place our priorities on. No more government subsidies for any private entity; level the playing field. Is it right a major sports team gets government money for celebrations and programs and a hockey player hits the ice for $14m a year while medical professionals do their best to stay out of debt while trying to save lives with limited resources?
We should offer anyone that puts themselves in harm’s way for others the most money. How many kids would want to be more than just someone that puts a ball in a hole if our superstars were the real heroes in our day-to-day lives? The number of kids in medical school, studying to be cadets and working through programs to become firefighters or paramedics would be staggering.
Right now we have kids dreaming of storming a court or taking to the ice. I love sports, but why are athletes our role models? It makes no sense. And yes, I know that some athletes do great things with their money, but these are not the jobs people should aspire to. Think about this very moment; how vital are our athletes?
These are jobs that people should want to do if their aptitude says that’s the route they should go. There’s nothing wrong with being an athlete, but should that really be the central goal for any kid?
4. Goodbye Money
As if you couldn’t tell already, I think money is absolutely the worst social experiment of all time. We need an entire rebuild of the rewards system. Get rid of money altogether!
I know that sounds … WHOA!
I’m losing you, right? You love money; you crave it and if you have it you feel superior. I get it, but that’s the problem.
I know people that go on trips and take more photos of designer name brand stores than scenery. In my personal circle, I have friends that feel it is necessary to have the biggest TV in their home they can barely afford because it’s a symbol that says “respect me”. I once counted cash for a till at the end of a busy bar night while the bartender next to me accidentally drooled over the piles of cash. We laughed it off. But what disgusting behaviour.
Instead of money, I believe we should go with a contribution-based system.
Birth would entitle you to a roof over your head, food in the fridge, and all the other necessities that are required to survive. No, a brand new Tesla isn’t a necessity, but a bus pass sure feels like it is. Then, the more positive you contribute to the world, the more you get. Contribute negatively and get less.
When you become an expert in your field, you are eligible for the council. This makes the government a high honour instead of a mud-slinging world of disgusting behaviour.
If we were guaranteed the basics, what would we do with our lives? Maybe some would be lazy and that’s okay. They’d “cost” less than if they were homeless. Those amongst us without the drive to do something remarkable would just watch as those that make something of themselves get past level one.
This also guarantees that those with limitations won’t be left without. Imagine a world where those with mental and physical issues don’t live with a stigma but are given what they need, and cherished for who they are. Money stops us from truly making this a reality. A system not based on monetary gain would free those limitations.
5. Emergency Procedures
Admittedly, this is a recent thought and addition to the list of the many things I would do if I ruled the world. COVID-19 exposed our greatest flaw. We ain’t ready for shit. Remember, social distancing is a privilege that the poor don’t have. Think about all the questions that flood Facebook and Twitter after a government announcement. Look at all the testing shortages and how Italy has had to literally kill citizens to make room for other COVID-19 patients.
To top it off, here is just some of the dumb shit our governments are doing right now:
Trump is talking about militarizing the border with Canada.
Sweden had decided to go about business as usual (we’ll see how that goes).
Elected officials are saying they don’t have a lot of COVID-19 cases because they don’t have a lot of Asians.
Trudeau still hasn’t shut down Canada.
Americans begging for free health services after just a short time ago calling Bernie Sanders and his supporters insane for wanting to give US citizens free health services.
Trump is in denial about the gravity of the situation.
Billion-dollar bank and enterprise bailouts AGAIN while we wait to see if EI benefits will pay the rent and try out best to pay bills to the very banks and enterprises that are being propped up by corrupt politicians.
Many governments have fumbled testing.
So, the councils (based on evidence) would have to agree on what the largest threats are to our way of life and put emergency procedures in place to deal with the issues if they arise. It would be incumbent upon us as humans to learn these procedures in school and understand what we all do in the event of an outbreak, a climatic shift, a hurricane, or other crisis. With real plans in place long before required, we can continually craft our ideas and mould them to the times.
That way, when a pandemic breaks out we know our role as citizens, the uncertainty is gone, our heroes are protected as they fight to save us, and the way out is down a clearly marked hallway instead of poorly lit caves with a thousand different egress points and no map.
In Closing …
Look, this is simply my long-winded way of saying the world is messier than it has to be. We’ve been led astray by those we depend on to take care of the bigger picture. 2020 has been an insane rollercoaster ride:
A basketball God died out of the blue and some people took that more seriously than COVID-19.
People are blaming all of our problems on 5G service when the science is sound behind it
Your neighbours probably had to build furniture out of toilet paper since they hoarded Walmart’s supply for some strange reason.
Let’s just call a spade, a spade. People are literally dying all around us of a new virus, our economy is crashing, we have no idea what our world will look like, and this all happened because we refuse to listen to those that know what they know based on a lifetime of learning. Instead, we listen to talking heads in $5,000 suits who know what they know, and it’s not all that much.
Are you awake yet?
I ask that because you or your loved ones could be next to die while gasping for air. You or your loved ones could be out on the street any moment once you can’t afford rent. You or your loved ones could be a statistic on the news because names would humanize you.
The world is a scary place, but it needn’t be. We, the people need to learn that we’re not invincible, neither is our planet, and it’s time we work as one before we really screw up this thing called life.
I can’t believe I’m about to say this given that I’ve never been a kids guy, but I’ve met some pretty cool kids in the last couple of years and I am ashamed of the world we’re leaving them. You should be too. I don’t know what it’s going to take but we need to fix these problems or they may not have a chance to grow old.
Look at the kids in your life and let that sink in.