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  • Writer's pictureDana Webster

I'm in a Mood

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

On the cusp of another lock down, Paul and I loaded up on a few essentials in town. At one store, a customer was sharing his opinion that the pandemic is a hoax. Helpfully, he let us know that we are being lied to by trusted sources like our governments, our Department of Health and the CBC. He further stated that 93% of the reported deaths related to COVID are false. He finished up by warning the captive cashier that there are nefarious secret cabals that are behind it all and that Trump is helping to expose the lies ... Or something like that. I sort of stopped listening.

(This is me taking a deep breath)

Let's imagine for a moment

...that what this fellow believes is true. What if this whole thing is made up? Or, best case scenario, not as dangerous as it's been made out to be. What if wearing masks and washing our hands and "bubbling" have been for naught?

Well, for one thing, the one million seniors and immune-compromised world citizens who've died in the last seven months are basically negated. Just life and death as usual. The doctors, nurses, and other front-line workers are, what?, whiners and complainers? Can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen?

I will be the first to admit that the last seven months have made me cranky as (insert your favourite impactful expletive here). Not the least of which I hate wearing a mask because they fog up my glasses (am I right??). I miss my children. I lost my mother. I live in yoga/sweat pants and wear my hair in a ponytail most of the time 'cause we never go anywhere. The neighbour's dogs continue to bark day and night, adding an excruciating layer of frustration to the extended stay at home. I long for the physical presence of actual human beings.

Is it possible the entire world has been duped?

I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person. I have a healthy sense of skepticism about systems and authority. I ask questions; I stay informed. Being a Libra, I examine all sides of an issue, giving equal weight to each which, in itself, is a maddeningly inefficient way to come to a conclusion. I listen to my own inner voice and to the opinions of respected, wise and thoughtful persons. And, in my humble opinion, I have come to believe that COVID-19 is real.

Fake News - that trope

Speaking of that which is real. It's hard to tell any more, isn't it? On the one hand, we have traditional, generally trustworthy, media sources telling us this, that, and the other. On the other hand, we have the Wild West - a free-for-all of paranoid "journalism", and half-baked "facts" devoid of common sense let alone science. We call this place The Internet or, more specifically, the ironically named "social" media - that storehouse of all things ridiculous and obfuscating. (Except for baby goats romping around the barnyard in pajamas; I can't get enough of those videos.)

We are trying, rather unsuccessfully, to navigate both worlds which increasingly seem diametrically opposed. There was a time, not that long ago, when we all lived in one world, in one reality (not to be confused with one experience of this reality). This would be the one in which our physical body resides. The other world, the internet, is not real. It is a virtual realm that doesn't actually exist. There are no rules, no built-in protections, and zero civic responsibility. And yet we vociferously defend its existence and relevance, and we allow ourselves to be swept up in the drama of contrarian opinions and vitriol.

To Each Their Own?

Do you know that despite the mounds of physical, anecdotal, and scientific evidence to the contrary, some people still believe that:

To each their own, I guess, except for when those beliefs cause harm to others. Some, like the Flat Earth theory, appear quaintly benign. But when you steadfastly deny the occurrence of genocide (or a pandemic), you've really lost touch with reality, actual reality.

Silver Lining

There is no doubt that we are living through a significant period in human history. What it all means is yet to be seen. But one thing I have observed is the millions of people around the world, regardless of race, class, religion, education or gender, who have been willing to sacrifice their own individual comforts in order to ensure the least amount of risk to others. This pandemic has reminded us of our commonalities. It has shone a light in the shadows where systemic racism, misogyny, and destruction of the planet, our shared home, have resided unabated for decades. It has reminded us that we are capable of caring for one another in times of hardship.

And therein lies the silver lining. It is a beautiful thing to witness and to be a part of.

And, so are baby goats. You're welcome!

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