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Pandemic has made us re-evaluate ourselves; will Kenney?

Posted on April 28, 2020 by Sunny South News

For many of us, pondering life and rethinking priorities and attitudes has been a reassuring theme during this pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a lot of flaws in our belief system regarding a lot of facets including what is important and what isn’t in our lives. Many of those important factors lead to one common denominator… without good health, we have nothing. Prior to the pandemic, remember the last time someone said to you after you complained about something negative in your life, “well, at least you have your health.”

Did you roll your eyes or scoff at the old-fashioned notion? Being healthy seemed like a general forgone conclusion for most.

Now, our values have changed.

Whereas Bianca Andreescu and Connor McDavid were heroes before, they are now being replaced by those who work in essential services like grocery stores and health and continuing care workers.

It is too bad it takes something like COVID-19 to make us all reevaluate but there it is.

You have to wonder how Jason Kenney can go back to his initial plans after all of this? He will look like the largest hypocrite when this COVID-19 pandemic is over if he goes back to his original plan of all the cuts to the education and especially health sectors.

It is scary to ponder how the Government of Alberta will react to all of this.

Ironic how things we have taken for granted are all of a sudden important.

Remember all of those months where truck drivers were universally scrutinized following the devastating Humboldt Broncos bus crash a few years ago. Now, they are considered an essential service. Society had to take a step back and were told by those in the medical and food industry the importance of getting supplies shipped. As an industry, we all had to learn and then understood and appreciated the transportation industry far more than we had.

One wonders if Premier Jason Kenney will have the same epiphany when this is all over.

Remember when teachers were criticized for making too much money, with stress free employment.

Remember the cuts to education promised by Kenney. For many who are trying to teach at home, appreciate the education system a little more now.

Remember the dismantling and the cuts promised to the health care system which as about to be streamlined. The number of nurses were going to be cut, the amount of money earned by doctors was about to be decreased. Numerous positions were going eliminated or privatized. The call for more attention for seniors and the importance of continuing care facilities is evident with the highest percentage of COVID-19 deaths in Alberta were seniors (60 and over). As of April 14, 51 had lost their lives, 32 of which were over 80.

What kind of premier will Kenney be post-Covid- 19? Still early but despite doing some good things accomplished such as the high level of COVID19 testing most in Canada, putting money towards mental health going back to for example massive cuts to the health care system may not be what the doctor ordered.

He is trying so hard to show that he a compassionate and empathetic leader, a contributing member to Canada (i.e. contributing equipment to the rest of Canada); and (politely) fearless for challenging Canada’s Chief medical Officer of Health regarding the initial national response.

However, one wonders what lessons will be learned to someone who is not overly trying to walk the fine line between letting the experts do their jobs and showing that he is in control of the situation.

Chief Medical Health officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw has become a beloved and trusted figure with her public pandemic updates. Watching her and enthusiastic sign language interpreter Randy Dziwenka on newscasts or social media has become staple viewing.

Kenney has been criticized for not only trying to steal her spotlight by generally speaking first with a self serving agenda during these news conferences and in one memorable case trying to explain health protocol to Albertans. He is posting all over social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Kenney is trying to show that he’s in control of a situation, but to some he is overstepping his bounds and stepping on toes thus leading credence to his critics that his ego generally makes him unmoved in his thinking.

When this is over, he will have to prove to Albertans cutting health care workers, for example, is prudent.

After all, what’s the most important aspect of life? A government deficit or ….

This editorial originated in the Prairie Post.

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