Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Truths We Now Hold as More Clearly Self Evident

We're learning so much from this virus, about the world and about ourselves. Here's a list of things I hope we take away from it all. These are things we already know, but now we know with a little more certainty and more clearly.

* Life is unpredictable. Our calendars and to-do-lists make it seem like we have some predictability in life, but it's still largely a crap shoot. It always has been.

* Some politicians and governments are willing to let you die to save their stock portfolio. This isn't new, but now it's very clear, hopefully to everybody. We need this knowledge to sink in if we hope to change anything. Capitalism, particularly neo-liberal capitalism, sucks.

* We need Universal Basic Income right now. People can't be saved with one time cheques or discounts or food bank donations. We need everyone to have their basic needs met, for sure, all the time.

* Air B&B was a disaster waiting to happen. Now that everyone is cancelling their bookings, the people renting places to cash out on them are left holding an un-payable bill. It was always a scam that caused more harm than good.

* Living off of renting property to people too poor to own their own property is, in itself, a problem. Yup, Marx was right.

* Retail workers aren't paid nearly enough for dealing with the shit they have to put up with.

* Alcoholism is a huge issue that we largely ignore. The fact that liquor stores are considered an essential service in Ontario, and forced to remain open during this, speaks volumes to the concerns about people going without during the isolation.

* We all need to acknowledge the effect we have on each other more. aka Maybe people shouldn't let their dogs bark all flippin' day in their back yards!! It is possible to train dogs to stop barking.

* Imprisoning any non-violent offenders is barbaric and, in times like this, potentially lethal.

* Music, art, film, dance, books, and games keep us going. They are vital to our lives and should be acknowledged as such.

* You really can eat the same food a few days in a row. We've been trained to have a wide variety of food options at every meal, but food waste is unconscionable.

* We don't need to travel or go to all those meetings. We're figuring out what's really necessary, and, in the process, possibly saving lives in the final analysis: “the lives saved due to the pollution reductions are roughly 20x the number of lives that have been directly lost to the virus.”

* Hubris can be fatal. People who think they're tough for not being afraid to go to public places, and for refusing to let a little virus slow them down are learning some difficult lessons - hopefully learning them. Paul Rand comes to mind, for going to the gym after testing positive for the virus. W.T.F. It's not strong or courageous or cool to be flippant about taking life-saving precautions, especially if it's just your own life you're worried about. It's just plain ignorant.

* It is humbling to be reminded of the short time we have here and the lack of control we have over our lives and over the world. We like to think we're at the top of the food chain, but we're just one little part of it all.

* Everything's relative. My youngest gets out of room quarantine today - grounded for 2-weeks for going to Mexico - and it's exciting that she gets to be in ALL of the house now! And I'm happy that I no longer have to wait on her and scrub everything she touches in our shared bathroom. It could always be so much worse than we have it now.

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