Tim Louis: How to counter a dangerous trend

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      I was astonished to learn that on May 11 about 50 people congregated outside of St. Paul’s Hospital to denounce COVID-19 as a hoax and urge the lifting of restrictions. They allege that doctors and scientists are lying, and hospitals are empty. This is about the fourth hoaxer march in Vancouver.

      I don’t know what my reaction is—disbelief, sadness or outrage.

      Is it my imagination or are the tinfoil-hat people growing in number lately? (Tinfoil-hat people is what my smart attendant, Cory Wilson, calls those who believe in conspiracy theories and other bunk, such as tinfoil hats will protect your brain from radiation.)

      South of the border, people armed with semi-automatic weapons have stormed many state capital buildings demanding a lifting of distancing restrictions and a reopening of the economy. For them, personal freedom is more important than saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

      In many circles, fact-based science has become something to be disregarded and discarded, and higher education is a mark against you.

      Racism is afoot, too. Recently, a federal Conservative leadership candidates who’s also a first-time Ontario MP, Derek Sloan, made such ridiculous and despicable remarks about Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, that there’s a move afoot by some Conservative caucus members to have him expelled. This after another Conservative leadership candidate was punted out for his racism.

      Now Bryan Adams is in the news, not for his music, but because of racist comments he made about the source of the new coronavirus. He has since apologized, but the damage has been done.

      All of these examples make up a dangerous trend. They display human behaviour at its darkest, and they refute knowledge, civility, and the best of what we’ve built in our societies over centuries.

      We can’t turn a blind eye to this kind of behaviour. All of us need to call it out for what it is—and counter it with truth and logic.


      Daily atmospheric CO2 [Courtesy of CO2.Earth]

      Latest daily total (May 12, 2020): 416.71 ppm

      One year ago (May 12, 2019): 415.27 ppm

      Tim Louis is a Vancouver lawyer and former city councillor and park commissioner. This article first appeared on his blog, which lists the daily carbon dioxide count in parts per million in the atmosphere at the end of every post. The Georgia Straight publishes opinions like this from the community to encourage constructive debate on important issues.