“When will everything go back to normal?”
“Oh my god, I can’t even breathe in this mask?”
“Wait, what? We are going into another lockdown?”
“This COVID thing is not even real. Like it is just another kind of flu.”
In 2020, the world changed. From the initial lockdowns in Wuhan, China, to lockdowns across every nation on earth, the pandemic changed the current state of world affairs. Every major world issue, like the existential threat that the climate crisis, was exacerbated by the pandemic. The human cost of the pandemic was devastating. We have lost almost four million lives to this virus. Before 2020, 1916 was the last time in human history that a pandemic ravaged the world.
As humanity adjusted to the “new normal,” I watched the world fall apart from my bedroom. As a Canadian, we were in the first Ontarian lockdown from March 2020 until June 2020. Only 17 and filled with teenage angst and a new dosage of disillusionment with the crumbling world around me. My family was lucky enough to live and make ends meet with my parent’s savings and government savings. For many Canadians, the lockdown did not mark months where they stayed at home, but months they went without one. Without paid sick leave, many people went to work still infected with COVID-19, not being able to afford to take time off. Thousands of Canadians were laid off from their jobs, because of the economic shutdown. The true effects the pandemic and consequent lockdowns had on the Canadian and global economy will not be truly known until a few more years into the future, where the ripple effects will come to light. The aforementioned tragedies above aside, there was tremendous death. As the Fall and Winter months came, there were countless deaths and COVID-19 cases because of improper government regulation, propaganda, and misinformation.
Canadian doctors made it clear that listening to what the experts had to say and taking their advice is key in ensuring that there are significantly less COVID-19 related deaths. Additionally, increased restrictions at once and the restrictions gradually eased over time. Doctors made this clear to government officials, “We’re here because of a provincial government that refused to implement the timely, evidence-based measures the experts have been screaming for. This disaster lies right at their feet.” “If the government would just do the right thing and protect people, protect the people who are actually being hurt by this, the people that the premier never talks about in his press conferences… and I’m tired of it and so are my colleagues, and unless that changes, this four weeks (shutdown) is going to be a complete waste, because we will not have gone after the root cause, which is transmission in essential workplaces.”
Unparalleled was the conspiracy theorists and pure propaganda made by the so-called anti-lockdown protestors and advocates. These protestors were amplified by right-wing political leaders and thinkers. Many individuals across the globe did not understand how the virus came about, some speculate that it was artificially made. Virtually everywhere, there were protests against lockdowns and the legitimacy of COVID-19. However, the key failure of this argument is that despite COVID-19 is “real,” from an animal, or from a lab, COVID-19 is here to stay. It is very much real, killing and injuring people, and devastating economies and societies. But it’s not real, right?
Fast forward to Summer 2021. Canada is the most vaccinated country in the world in terms of first doses. Despite this, some Canadians still refuse to get the vaccine. Many speculate that the COVID-19 vaccine was created by Bill Gates to “microchip” humanity. Yes, that Bill Gates. Think what you want about Bill Gates and Billionaires, but he does not need a vaccine to microchip us, track us, learn everything about us, and consequently control us. For those people I say, have you ever heard of smartphones? Like the one you are holding now to read this article?
Not getting your COVID-19 vaccine because of misinformation is deadly. Get vaccinated. Save lives.