A Pandemic Amnesty?

I’ve spent that last week pondering whether to comment on this article. Before writing anything ‘long-form’, I ask myself A- do you have anything of value to add here, and B- do you HAVE to say something? After witnessing the various responses to Emily Oster’s piece, I’ve decided to chime in.

I agree with much of what Emily has written here. As a strong opponent of lockdowns & coercive public health tactics, that may surprise you. But if you were negatively affected by pandemic mismanagement- whether you lost your business, have a child with a psychological disorder, or made a medical decision you regret- you must ask yourself what you genuinely want for the future. Do you want revenge? Do you want some form of admission of guilt from friends and family members? Or do you want leading decision-makers held accountable for the mess we’re in?

Politicians, public health representatives, and private business influencers who forced the public into fear and compliance must answer for their actions. Everyone else (assuming they didn’t do anything particularly nasty to you) deserves some slack. Anger and resentment aren’t going to get us anywhere. In fact, negative attitudes towards friends and neighbours will only push them deeper into their justifications. Now is the time to be the bigger person and get over your desire for retribution. This is coming from a small business owner who spoke out early against Lockdowns in one of the most Locked-Down places in North America. The business that I spent over a decade building was decimated. My children were in and out of school for reasons that had nothing to do with their protection. Instead, unions forced children out of educational institutions at their ideological whim. When my kids WERE in school, public health, under pressure from such associations, forced them to wear masks while playing outside, which is on a level of anti-science only outmatched by shutting down playgrounds. What did I get for standing my ground and speaking up? Hatred, insult, and attempts at shaming me both publicly and privately.

I forgive them all. Why?

First, holding resentment won’t harm anyone other than me, and I’m too resilient to give people the satisfaction of an emotional deficit. Second, I’m more interested in people successfully coming around on their terms than believing I can force a person into an alternative viewpoint. One path leaves the door open, and the other slams it shut. Lastly, when I see someone driving alone in a car or cutting their grass while wearing an N95, I don’t form an opinion of that person. It is a reminder of how global leaders drove people into fear, anxiety, and irrational thinking. The media, public health, politicians, public figures, and profiting private industry colluded to move citizens in a specific direction, and they did so flawlessly. I don’t hold the intended result against the people. Rather, I feel bad for them. I prefer to focus my energy at the top of the food chain.

If someone actively tried to harm you because you disagreed with the general top-down actions from the groups mentioned above, that’s another story. You could still lead with forgiveness, but perhaps that’s a bridge too far. But for friends or neighbours who distanced themselves from you because they vaccinated their kids and you didn’t, you have to move on. They made decisions based on information they received from sources they were presumed to be able to trust. Who do you want to take the brunt of that violation, your relative or the head of Public Health? A personal apology from someone closest to you may feel satisfying, but their head is not the one that should roll.

We should demand a complete assessment of the actions that have left us with a laundry list of long-term hardships. Our medical system is beyond repair. The damage includes deaths from delayed diagnosis, postponed treatment, and 20+ hour emergency wait times. We are in the worst economic position, as individuals and as a nation, in 50 years, and the worst is yet to come. Our children’s learning and cognitive function are in severe decline. Policies that drove broken supply chains caused starvation in less stable nations. Who is responsible for the state of our Nation and World? Who continues to pat themselves on the back for ‘saving lives’ to shield themselves from the backlash that should be inevitable?

It’s time to punch up and punch up hard. Elite decision-makers are working overtime to let this pass without reproach. Use your voice as publicly as possible to demand accountability from those in charge. While you take action, save the vendetta you crave for those in your community. Many will silently join the charge if you let them but dig their heels in harder if you offer spite. Isn’t a critical mass that forces responsibility for those in positions of power what you want? If so, you’ll need your friends, family, and neighbours to get there, and they are only joining the fight if you offer a barrier-free path to redemption.

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