Saturday, May 21, 2022

It Feels Like The World Has Gone Crazy

If you’ve been feeling like the entire world has gone crazy, you are not alone.

Protests on Parliament Hill, a potential war brewing on the Russia-Ukraine border, continued friction over pandemic protocols, volcanoes erupting, outrage over the latest statements by celebrities or politicians, everywhere we turn there seems to be chaos, confusion, and frustration.

Perhaps what we are seeing is extreme pandemic fatigue setting in, from the average Joe on the street to our most elite world leaders. A long term variant of ‘cabin fever’ perhaps.

Often, we here in cozy Canada are able to compartmentalize the world’s chaos and continue living our quiet, safe, enjoyable Canadian lives, but this pandemic has united the world in its chaos, dragging us into a world of friction and controversy of a magnitude that we have perhaps not seen before.

Many of us are on edge, often without realizing why. In a world where everyone seems to be waiting for something to argue about, even offering a simple ‘hello’ can be a gamble.

Two years of our daily lives being largely controlled by a virus that none of us can see but we know can be deadly has worn us down. It has frayed our nerves, and the uncertainty of when or if it will all be over has for some resulted in a loss of hope, while for others it has created a hefty mistrust in governments, in health agencies, in everything and everyone.

Friendships have been strained, even families have been torn over differing views of how this pandemic should have been handled, about whether masks are helpful, and whether people should be ‘forced’ to receive a vaccine.

Each morning we awake to a fresh day of craziness, little can surprise us any more. Compounding the issue of course is that in 2022 we are so closely connected to the rest of the world. The ole worldwide web sees information passed from around the globe in seconds, and so instead of enduring the past two years from largely a Canadian perspective, we have been bombarded with news and chaos from all corners of the planet, as though we all lived on the same street. And when the entirety of the world’s problems can be packed into a tiny device that we interact with all day long, small problems can seem enormous, and rumours and misinformation can spread like wildfire.

Given our modern global connectivity, it is perhaps not so surprising that the past two years have seen a ramping up of chaos to a level we haven’t experienced before. The problems and frustrations of someone in Mumbai become our own problems and frustrations, whether real or imagined.

I do find it interesting that, despite knowing full well that most everywhere else in the world is experiencing many of the same frustrations, disputes, debates, not to mention results, we here in Canada still point to our own government leaders and suggest that they have failed us in some way. If our federal and provincial governments have failed us, they are not alone, and we see evidence every day in our relentless social media bombardment. Everywhere on this planet governments of all political stripes have struggled with this pandemic and how best to approach it. Every corner of this beautiful blue ball floating in darkness has seen similar public debates, protests, and at times anarchy.

I begrudge nobody the right to protest, even if I disagree with the focus of a protest. To be able to round up hundreds of truckers to drive together for four days straight with a destination of the seat of our federal government on Parliament Hill in order to protest our government is the ultimate in ‘freedom’, yet one of the primary messages of this big protest is that we have lost our freedoms – poppycock. Try organizing hundreds of truckers to drive across China in order to create chaos and express opposition to the government and its actions. Try it in Russia, or North Korea, and you will truly learn what a lack of freedom is like.

The fact that thousands of people can march on Parliament Hill to express displeasure with our government actually makes me proud (though I don’t support the campaign at all). Proud because it is the ultimate evidence of freedom, and I like living in a nation where the citizenry is free to call out our government leaders without fear of imprisonment or worse, even if I personally disagree with them.

Yes, it feels like the whole world has gone crazy, and even our little haven here in Canada has seen two years of our own craziness, but to suggest that we have lost our freedom, or that our government has turned tyrannical is nonsense. Here in Canada we have it better than 95 percent of the world, and in addition to an outstanding quality of life by any standard, we have our freedom to express ourselves, the freedom to protest our governments, and the freedom to accuse government leaders of stripping us of our freedoms – it does seem a little crazy, doesn’t it?

Be kind everyone. This dastardly ordeal might be dragging on, but looking long term, we will all still be neighbours when this is finally over, and hopefully we will also still be friends.

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