Sunday, September 19, 2021

I wish I had a flame-thrower.

Since March 2020, living in Alberta and surviving a pandemic has been, um, interesting. Of course the entire world has experienced ups and downs but our struggles have been compounded by our particular government, loathe to admit their number one job during a crisis: public service. No matter where you live, maybe you can relate? 

I need to vent. 

First Wave

  1. Fear
  2. Toilet Paper
  3. Social Distancing
  4. Our government: let's fire people.
  5. Anxiety and confusion.
  6. We told our daughter not to visit us. *heart breaks* 
  7. Visit relatives through windows.
  8. Celebrate health care heroes.
  9. Masks everywhere except on Facebook.
  10. Hunkering down & resilience.
Second Wave
  1. Government: let's keep everyone in suspense.
  2. Government: mixed messages are still messages, right? (Some MLAs resist restrictions).
  3. Government: we would prefer if more of you died. 
  4. Perseverance
  5. Tick, tick, tick...
  7. CANCEL ALL PLANS (except politicians who have to go to Hawaii, and such). 
  8. World Ending (January 6, 2021)
  9. Eat everything.
  10. Hunkering down & resilience.
  11. Celebrating health care heroes.
  12. Some churches can't remember the golden rule.
  13. Government: get vaccinated now.
  14. Government: let me be clear; Alberta will never have vaccine passports.
  15. 30% of Albertans begin doing "research."
  16. 70% of Albertans get vaccinated 12 minutes after they're eligible.
  17. Our premier takes a camera crew with him to go hug his mother. 
  18. Government: get vaccinated now but we can't tell you if we are vaccinated or not.

Third Wave:
  1. In their "spare time," doctors pick up extra jobs being activists (to fill the void in government leadership).
  2. Fatigue.
  3. Hanging on.
  5. Infections and hospitalizations dramatically decrease.
  6. Government: But, rodeos!
  7. Government: "Open for summer; open for good" & "BEST SUMMER EVER." lol, facepalm
  8. Government: here's some money to get vaccinated (suck that, vaccine passports). 
  9. Welcome relief (temporary). 
  10. As summer continues, the predominant facial expression is side-eye.
Fourth Wave:
  1. Government: our non-plans for rising case numbers are data-based; also, let's make sure kids aren't protected this Fall.
  2. Where's the data?
  3. Government: [away-from-office auto-reply]
  4. Um, hello?
  5. Hello?
  7. Doctors organize daily demonstrations begging for basic restrictions for children & other vulnerable people.
  8. Government: here's a video and see, it's not pre-recorded like the Christmas vacations ones were. 
  9. Covidiots complete their covid-19 Facebook degrees.
  10. Covidiots begin protesting at hospitals.
  11. Government: we're fiscally responsible but here's more money for anti-vaxxers (suck it, people who already got vaccinated).
  12. Government: we still can't declare our own vaccinations statuses.
  13. Reporter: "But health minister, people are dying!" 
  14. Government: "That's good feedback for us."
  15. WTF?
  16. Rage flame-throwing (aka writing yet another MLA letter).
  17. Government: here's a vaccine passport but we named it something else stupid and confusing. 
  18. Next? Perhaps the military will be deployed to help save us from our government & covidiots? 
  19. Rage wood-chipping.  
  20. Hunkering down & resilience. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Things one should outgrow:

confirmation bias.  

Like an idiot, I went on Facebook for a while. It really is a wasteland of human confirmation bias, providing a spectrum of dopamine hits, head-shaking, and outright gasps. (Cute pics, though.)

New to me is the "Barnum Effect," which I argue is another form of confirmation bias, our susceptibility to believe what feels affirming. As some credit to circus guru P.T. Barnum, "there's a sucker born every minute." Despite this, I'd still like to identify as an INFJ, which confirms the emotional power of these psychological blind spots.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

For someone else?

Yesterday, I voted.  

In my three decades of voting—both provincially and federally in CanadaI have voted across the political spectrum. Is that your experience too? Over the years, I voted based on limited information, or out of fear, or anger, sometimes in protest, sometimes in reaction to scandal, sometimes convinced by empty arguments founded in whataboutism. Sometimes, I voted with little contemplation, aligned with family and/or other groups of people, aka tribalism. 

The current political grind makes me understandably cynical about politicians who continue to devolve to be more partisan, unable to work together on anything. Can you relate? In Alberta for example, we have the worst provincial government since the province was formed a century ago. Faced with unprecedented unpopularity, daily calls for resignations, protest after protest, no one in that party is steering the ship. Their strategy? Pander to their conspiracy-theory minority base. Ignore every scandal or defend hypocrisy. Lower taxes yet download all costs to municipalities. Collaborate with no one. Stream endless bullshit. Gaslight and double down. Hence, storm after storm, we drift. 

Sigh. So does voting really matter anymore? 

Absolutely. Please vote. If we check out of politics, we will not even contemplate (let alone combat) the issues that we remain dogged by: wealth inequality, privilege, xenophobia... Right now, idiots are protesting at hospitals and harassing schools! The Trump years continue to highlight democracy's fragility and yikes, there are our climate challenges too. Despite disillusionment and cynicism, we must persist. Why? 

Time has proven that voting matters and policy change has improved our lives, drastically. I mean it's a simple example, but as a child I had never even heard of recycling. Think of our extended life expectancy and enhanced quality of life, communication and technology innovations, a more educated society, improved social justice policies, and so on. I recognize that many of these examples should be followed by "for some" in parenthesis. It took me much too long to realize that voting is only the first step; regardless of the outcome, I must remain engaged after election day. I will choose accordingly, with my wallet and with my voice.  

Yesterday, inspired by allyship, I voted for my granddaughter's future. If you are struggling for reasons to vote, perhaps there's someone's future you might vote for too? 

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