It’s the pandemic, dumb!

Another day, another COVID-19 infection record broken.

This time, 1,155.

There are 11 new deaths.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro, as they appeared at yesterday’s news conference.

Is it just me, or is there a whiff of panic in the cold Alberta air?

Not among the hard-core COVID deniers, including those who are United Conservative Party MLAs, of course. They’ll go to their graves before they’ll admit the pandemic is an actual thing.

Indeed, they do. South of the Medicine Line, deniers are dying in denial in droves.

Here, who knows? Not quite so many, probably. Which is why so many Albertans are nervously starting to ask, where the hell’s our government?

I mean, other than Banff-Kananaskis UCP MLA Miranda Rosin. We know where she is. Out telling her constituents that the worst of the pandemic is behind us.

Ditto Red Deer South UCP MLA Jason Stephan. He thinks Albertans worrying about COVID-19 are guilty of “excessive risk aversion and fear.”

But what about our leaders?

Talkative MLA Miranda Rosin (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Nowhere to be seen.

When Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw told the not-quite-daily-any-more COVID briefing yesterday that “our current situation is grim,” there was no sign of Premier Jason Kenney or Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

And all we heard from them was crickets.

Well, as Dr. Hinshaw said, they’re busy men. There’s only so much time in a day. Yadda-yadda.

An alternative explanation is that when the going gets tough, tough guys get going … preferably out of town. In a pandemic, though, that probably just means back to the taxpayer-subsidized condo for these tough guys.

Well, maybe they were laser-focused yesterday on making sure oil companies don’t have to pay their municipal taxes or planning ways to move on from beating up doctors to pushing nurses around.

UCP MLA Jason Stephan (Photo: Jason Stephan).

Remember, these are the guys who are determined to create a new neoliberal paradise out here in on the western edge of the Great Plains. Who knew you’d have to be dead to get in?

Speaking of which, it takes a bunch of neoliberals “moving at the speed of business” to mess up a free smartphone app that could supposedly save your life so much that no one will download the thing.

Well, why bother? As The Sprawl Calgary pointed out, the damn thing still doesn’t work. We’ll have a vaccine before that app works at the speed these people do business.

Meanwhile, a real government, the one in Ottawa that UCP types are always saying needs to be shrunk down to a size where you can drown it in a bathtub, had no trouble coming up with an app that works.

All our missing leaders come up with are excuses for why we can’t use Ottawa’s COVID Alert app in Alberta.

And, boy, they have lots. Their story seems to change every couple of weeks. The answer’s always the same, though. No, you can’t have it.

That would mean giving credit to Justin Trudeau for a job well done. Apparently that’s a goal worth letting a few Albertans die for. What the hell, the ones who will die are mostly old anyway.

How about a little thing like a mask mandate? You can forget about that for a while longer too.

Meanwhile, the Kenney Government’s new motto is: Nothing we’ve done for months has worked. Let’s do the same thing tomorrow!

We’re doubling down on failure.

Our missing leaders have forgotten the most important thing: It’s the pandemic, stupid!

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