The Arrogance Behind Lockdowns

January 5, 2021 Updated: January 6, 2021

Commentary

If you’re finding the lockdown aggravating, allow me to assist. With the aggravation, I mean. By saying the capricious way the authorities keep ordering lockdowns means they think whatever we might have been doing until they stopped us wasn’t important anyway.

Of course, they pontificate about following “the science.” But it hasn’t worked very well or we wouldn’t be going back into limbo. So either there wasn’t anything they could do, or there was but they botched it.

If there wasn’t, they didn’t know or didn’t tell us, so either way they weren’t following the science. And if there was and they botched it, again, they weren’t following the science.

Unchastened by failures that would have humbled lesser beings, the Ontario government just put the whole province into lockdown instead of only hard-hit regions. And closed elementary schools for one week. What possible epidemiological justification could exist for either decision? And what pedagogical justification for teachers spending the first day in meetings to figure out how to handle the same remote learning they did from March through June, while cheerfully throwing the task of doing their job onto parents, on the principle that we weren’t busy with anything important anyway.

So don’t ask questions.

The whole “get with the program” attitude reflects a newfound mania for conformity in a society that still claims to praise dissent until it encounters it. And the related arrogance of authorities, from politicians to “experts,” smirking at us from behind their masks like the cool kids they know they are, which extends to international Christmas jaunts while we’re locked away from our families here in Shabbyville.

To rub it in, I got this school note about the schedule including the “nutrition breaks” formerly known as lunch. Thanks to “the science,” social science or pseudo-science, instead of a midday break to eat the second of three daily meals like peasants, students now get a “Nutrition Break” at 10:45 and another at 1:30.

Both are also labelled “lunch” in brackets. But who eats lunch at either time at home, let alone eats two lunches? At least it didn’t advise chewing each mouthful 100 times or something at these brave new mealtimes. But I was told that when the “Nutrition Break” comes along, “Please have a snack ready for your child.” Oh. Is that how eating works?

Then there’s Doug Ford’s “We’ll always have other Christmases,” brushing aside our family gatherings as sentimental trifles, even with elderly relatives in fading health. Although Niki Ashton jetted off to visit her sick grandmother in Greece, Rod Phillips basked in St. Barthélemy, and Alberta’s UCP caucus scattered so widely at least one is still missing. And a Liberal MP caught gallivanting off sneered: “Although the purpose of my travel is deemed essential given the circumstances, I have decided to step aside from my duties … in an effort to ensure my choices do not distract from the important work of our government to continue battling this pandemic.” Got that, you rubes too hot under the collar to appreciate the vital stuff we’re doing because you’re too dumb to do it yourselves?

Doug Ford also closed our restaurants, cinemas, and gyms. And while some are unlikely to miss the latter, my workouts are very important to me, and to the people who spent a lifetime building their fitness enterprise. But to the politicians they’re just a loud, sweaty annoyance. You can always get another physique later.

Meanwhile the vital work of the chattering classes goes on. And if not, the paycheques do. Whereas if the little shopkeeper loses his store, well, it was shabby and smelly anyway. Not a big gleaming box store or professional sports team.

Before dismissing my complaints as petty, remember that the foundation of a free society is the high and mighty don’t get to decide who or what is important. And when they do, the rest of us suffer badly.

Monday’s National Post noted delays in shipping cancer-treatment isotopes due to declining air traffic, just one knock-on effect of the general “Stop whatever silly thing you were doing until, like, whenever” approach. And while you might need that sort of cancer treatment, hospital administrators and ministers of health will always have other patients.

It might be more tolerable if we really were beating back some deadly plague. But we’re not.

Monday’s Post also said Quebec had over 7,600 new cases from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2 alone. Britain is heading into a frantic rehyperlockdown because the previous frantic hyperlockdown failed and evidently “the science” consists of doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result. And now we have mutant strains the vaccines might not prevent, from the U.K. to South Africa.

So all this sacrifice was for nothing. But also of nothing, they think.

John Robson is a documentary filmmaker, National Post columnist, contributing editor to the Dorchester Review, and executive director of the Climate Discussion Nexus. His most recent documentary is “The Environment: A True Story.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.