Finding some silver linings in the dark clouds of Covid-19
April 16, 2020, 8:48 am
With governments releasing models last week that show a dire worst-case scenario for the impact of Covid-19 on our lives, this may seem like an odd time to be looking for silver linings in the dark clouds of Covid-19, but Easter is a season of death and resurrection, and I want to look ahead to a post-Covid world where we have learned something from this experience, and where we are better and stronger for it. For all the darkness, I do see some silver linings:
Silver lining number one
In people’s personal lives, this crisis may inspire some changes for the better.
Our communities in this area have always had a strong sense of community but now it is stronger than ever. I have seen people and communities pulling together as never before.
And people are paying attention to their families’ health and nutrition like never before as people are aware how important their own immune systems, and managing any underlying health conditions, are at this time.
And people are getting outside in the sun and fresh air. While Kara and I were out getting our 10,000 steps in recently, while keeping a safe distance, half the town was out in their yards, going for a walk or bike ride, chatting with their neighbors at a distance, or firing up the barbecue. After this, they may realize that’s a better way to spend a weekend, putting neighbors, friends and family far ahead of another trip to the city.
And they’re realizing that their local businesses, their local medical professionals, their local organizations, are the ones who are there for them when the chips are down.
Silver lining number two
We are realizing in this country through this tough experience that we can’t always rely on others to meet our vital needs.
We are so fortunate in Canada.
We have the best, most innovative, most wonderful people in the world, and we have an incredibly rich store of resources under our feet and all around us.
But too often we have failed to develop industries around those resources.
Too often we have watched as our innovative companies have grown and prospered only to be bought out by foreign entities and closed down.
Now we realize that we need local manufacturing capacity, because we sure as hell can’t rely on anyone else.
We realize that we need local food processing capacity because we sure as hell can’t rely on anyone else.
Should we be manufacturing our own ventilators here in Canada, and exporting them to the rest of the world? You bet we should.
Should we be researching, developing, and manufacturing our own Covid-19 vaccines here in Canada, and exporting them to the rest of the world? You bet we should.
Should we be extracting, refining, and meeting our own domestic needs with our own oil and gas, and exporting to the rest of the world? You bet we should.
Should we be vastly expanding our manufacturing sector so we have the capacity to meet our own needs, and to export to the rest of the world? You bet we should.
Should we be better protecting our own homegrown companies so they can’t be simply bought out by foreign competitors? Of course we should.
There is so much more we can be in this country. We have seen a hollowing out of our manufacturing, our energy and our corporate sectors for far too long.
Silver lining number three
This relates back to Silver Lining number two. For far too long our politicians have moved at a glacial pace. For far too long studies and consultation have been used as excuses to do literally nothing in the face of overwhelming evidence that certain actions would be best for everyone.
But now we know better.
Now we know the government can act with lightning speed when it needs to.
We have seen more change in Saskatchewan labor legislation in the last three weeks than in the previous 40 years.
We have seen more change in the way Parliament operates in the last two weeks than in the previous century.
We have seen more change in the way the federal government allocates spending in the last three weeks than in the previous seven decades.
We the people now understand that when government has to, it can move quickly.
So when all this is over, and it’s time to rebuild our nation post-Covid-19, we know that the government can make the changes we need to rebuild our nation better than it has ever been.
We know now that our country was drifting aimlessly for too long, but that government has the power to take the rudder and steer it in the right direction.
Covid-19 may have a tremendous impact on our country. It may impact a lot of lives. But we have an opportunity when it’s all over to rebuild a better country, a stronger country, a more prosperous country for our children and our grandchildren.