Emperor's Clothes

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Covid doublethink: Is being “safe” the same as being “healthy”?


By Randy Hillier

Independent Conservative MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston.


Since the great wave of COVID uncertainty in March of 2020 crashed fear upon our society, we can now see with clarity the victims: critical thinking, followed by the death of genuine compassion and empathy. Democracy along with individual freedom and responsibility are also not expected to survive. While the virus is real, our response to it has been surreal.

While COVID has shown to be a danger for the elderly, the ill, and those with pre-existing conditions, for the vast majority of society it is no more dangerous than the seasonal flu. The evidence on this is resounding, and as the death rate continues to drop from COVID while positive cases increase, it appears it may not have even been as dangerous as a regular flu for most people.

Unseen by many during the pandemonium has been a conflation and warping of what some words actually mean; we are partaking in a practice warned by Orwell, doublethink. Like in the book 1984: war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength; now we embrace ‘safety’ as meaning ‘healthy’.

This conflation is most evident in the realm of our public health agencies and the laws and edicts they pronounce.

First, one must accept that to be healthy or to improve one’s own health often requires physical activity which exposes themselves to some level of risk to their personal safety. Whether you swim and dive in a pool, go running on a trail, drive to the gym, play hockey, or go skiing, all bring a risk, albeit small and acceptable for most prior to COVID. These activities were once promoted as essential for people to be healthy, however they are all either prohibited or severely restricted as “unsafe”; who are making these restrictions? None other than the same institutions who are mandated to promote public health, but who now only promote public safety, to the detriment of health.

Although all the data demonstrates children are largely unaffected, face inconsequential risk, and are not vectors of transmission, playgrounds are “off limits”, and team and organized sports along with schools and daycare are also too dangerous and unsafe. A young mother was recently arrested and jailed in Coburg, Ontario for violating health unit orders. The crime committed was strolling alone along the shore of lake Ontario; walking can be too dangerous and risky.

The wearing of masks is the latest in this long litany of edicts that diminish individual health on the justification it improves public safety. It is without question masks restrict oxygen intake of the wearer; for a healthy, fit individual, this is of little concern; however for the elderly and those with medical conditions this can be critical, and have severe consequences. The very people who are most at risk from COVID are now mandated to do things that not only diminish their health but are a detriment, putting them in ever greater danger. Somehow this is “safe”. It is a bizarre world when we mandate safety as being more important than healthy.

The COVID contradictions and irrational edicts are many; while it’s lawful not to wear a mask while drinking at a bar with friends, we must be masked while alone in a washroom.
Individual freedom is unsafe, personal responsibility too dangerous, evidence unreal, and being fearful is virtuous.

However our governments continue to demand that we reject the evidence of our eyes and ears; it is their most essential command to us all. There can be no “Winstons” in our society, our COVID orthodoxy means unthinking and blind unconsciousness as both our past and future are being altered with the conflation of words.

Under our new doublespeak, I fear the future isn’t what it used to be.

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