Consumers of freedom

“This is the war on the virus,” our politicians tell us.

In 1939, Canada declared war on Germany. How many people have seen their husbands, their brothers, their fathers, their friends leave? How many suffered from dietary restrictions or lack of everything? How many must have spent months and months frozen in the cold defending the freedom of people they did not know? How many have received letters telling them that their loved ones will never come back, because they have fought against the unspeakable and the abominable?

This is war. The terror of receiving a bomb on the head, the constant fear and dread, the hunger that hangs on the body.

We, in our rich countries, in 2021 facing COVID, we simply have to decrease our pleasures. A very meager sacrifice. Even that word sacrifice is far too strong.

For a minority, yes, there is fear and fatigue. I tip my hat to the soldiers who fight against disease, the nurses, the doctors, the paramedics, the people who are mobilizing to vaccinate us, and those whom I forget. For another minority, there is also the fear of losing their job, of having to choose between paying their rent, food or heating. There are also those who will have to let their loved one die alone because we have to limit contact.

And there are those for whom the “war on COVID” means no longer going to the gym, sacrificing your trip to the South or going out to the bar. COVID does not know fatigue, we are told, but neither do its collaborators: it is the race for the one who will be the most imaginative to pursue his little hobbies by drawing from the common pot of solidarity. This pot that makes us have a society, that we are a society. We all know some, people who put their personal happiness before the good of the community. These people who can afford the luxury of having a party because everyone else is not doing it. Or those who refuse to be vaccinated because a large majority is vaccinated and protects them, these selfish individualists. Their freedom comes before that of others, before the health of others. Their freedom is guaranteed because all the others allow it to them without their being aware of it or even being aware of it. They are smart: they profit. Everyone should do the same, right? Eating wool on the other’s back, the trick is not to be the last.

So no, Prime Minister Legault, we are not at war against COVID, at least not only. We are at war against individualism, against the “I, me, me”. The freedom of some no longer stops where that of others begins. The freedom of some consumes that of others.

It is a good thing that these consumers of freedom are not legion.

To everyone else, let’s continue to resist and do what is difficult: do the right thing.

Watch video

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *