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#Hypocralypse now: Dispatches from the frontlines of Canada's 'Covid zero' mask meltdown
Late-stage Covid hysteria has dissolved into zealot-on-zealot infighting, rampant hypocrisy, and fun for the whole unmasked family. D-list hypochondriacs were never going to leave cleanly and quietly.
“Horror... horror has a face... and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies!” -Colonel Kurtz, Apocalypse Now (1979)
It was always going to end this way.
The public was set to tire from years of relentless propaganda and abject moralizing.
Exposure to unremarkable-to-bad experiences with the vaccine was always going to leave hundreds of millions around the world resting on 0-2 shots, happy to watch that train leave them behind on the platform, destined for an accepted number of shots that’s still unknown.
And the public health powers that be could only pretend that cloth and surgical masks worked on a population level for so long.
Nevertheless, when the usual carnival-barkers returned to their same old ‘Winter of Death’ messaging, our mandate-scarred had every right to wonder and to worry, for the needlessly dark and dystopian results of 2020 and 2021 speak for themselves.
Here we go again…
Only, this time, the overwhelming majority of Canadian politicians and medical officers of health have yet to fold under the same special-interest and legacy media-orchestrated pressure that has confounded members of the rational public for so long.
That doesn’t mean it still can’t happen. No matter how many times he’s been sent into orbit, Charlie Brown does have a long and storied history of finally believing that he’s going to make contact with that football.
But it’s a start, even if Canadians will still be asked, on some level, to continue to accept the managed decline of their quality of life and health under a crumbling public system, and a wholly-preventable cancer crisis wrought by delayed screenings and access to care.
When looked upon from that perspective, this occasion should likely be marked only as a pyrrhic victory, but when you’ve been exasperated into submission one too many times, as we all have, you learn to embrace the little moments inside the pretend-culture-war capital of the Western Hemisphere.
How fitting, though, that while the liberal establishment continues to meltdown over newer, more principled and ambitious ownership at Twitter — as well as the return of he who shall not be named (!) — that it fell to the bird app to kick off the last, graphene particle-infused breaths of the advocates who always wanted to treat Canadians and their children more like the bruised and battered citizens of Hubei province than like their friends and neighbours.
And, how amusing that such a well-worn “friendship with horror and moral terror” appears to have been lost over a game of ping-pong.
Goldman, one of a treasure trove of particularly partisan Extremely Online Ontario MDs, was not two weeks removed from face-bald book signings when he joined the push for a return to mask mandates. (And not one day before, a Globe and Mail columnist had been tripped up under similar circumstances.) To great amusement, #Pongapalooza spent the next few days trending on Twitter, and not a moment of continued mask advocacy went by where Goldman’s professionally-aggrieved colleagues weren’t reminded of such.
And then the dam really broke. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, made the well-publicized decision to attend a well-publicized party for the province’s “most influential” without a mask, despite having told parents not one week prior to consider masking their children at home (!?) if they were concerned about risk.
Bad advice then; even sillier advice now; but that’s when the #Hypocralypse really kicked into high gear. Dr. Michael Warner, a part-time financial guru and frequent media darling who once deployed patient anecdotes from his exceedingly small ICU to shutter the province’s schools and businesses to deleterious effect for all involved, was quick to chastise the CMOH for setting a dangerous example.
Only, a little birdie in the media had just told me to check the records for that very same party last year. Who had been in attendance, while also calling for additional mask mandates and potential closures at the time? Why, Michael Warner, of course.
Warner, who used to fly a ‘Covid zero’ banner on his Twitter profile, found himself immediately set upon by one-time friends and colleagues in his replies. Accusations of hypocrisy flew thick and fast; the disappointment and resentment had indeed revealed themselves to be airborne, and no ventilation improvements or Corsi-Rosenthal boxes were going to be strong enough to clear that room of toxicity and hypochondria.
This led to the University of Toronto’s David Fisman, the Gerald Butts of Canadian Covid discourse, to admonish Warner in the public square, before finally turning on the Toronto Star’s Bruce Arthur, the other Gerald Butts of Canadian Covid discourse.
Their public break-up a stunning tragedy — lest we forget, it was Arthur who provided the principal platform for many of those early Fisman trial balloons, and models to nowhere — yours truly was settling in for a few more jokes at their expense, when suddenly, another little birdie dropped something in the DMs.
Bruce Arthur, maskless in Qatar while covering the World Cup, who, on Monday (!), in his latest wholly imagined midnight ride, told the entire province to mask up.
By the time the final shots were fired, Fisman had taken leave from Twitter (again), and for those of us who are oft-visited by the sound of flapping wings at our windows, all word of mask mandate chatter inside Ontario’s halls of political power was said to have ceased. They hadn’t the renewed appetite to mask the public to begin with, but now #Pongapalooza and the #Hypocralypse had put any lingering doubts to rest; particularly the actions of the CMOH, who, as the whispers suggested, had nary an appetite to place the ill-fitting, booger-infused Peppa Pig masks back on the kids.
Back in the real world and the bleak mid-November, the burden must now fall on the living to leave the casualties of that bloodless war behind. If an olive branch should be offered to certain unwitting members of ‘Team Apocalypse,’ the same should not be said for the last of the dying breed of ‘Covid zero,’ and the hobbyist and journalist generals who follow so closely behind.
Neither #Pongapalooza nor the #Hypocralypse may have been televised, but they did illuminate the screens of millions all the same. And when these kinds of acts become ‘gotchas,’ we should be left with but one conclusory thought.
When it ends this badly for so many of these sad, sordid, conflict-of-interest-riddled characters, who can no longer pass even their own purity tests, it’s clear that no one should have listened to them in the first place.
And they never should again.
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