A week ago I was in Argentina. I could go outside, sit on a park bench, run, go to the gym, have a pint at my local pub, eat inside a restaurant. No one I associated with during that time has COVID. I do not have COVID. I am currently in quarantine, but everyone in Ontario is.
For a month now I’ve thought about why Canada differs in their approach to COVID than most South American countries. Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay are not under lockdown. There are restrictions, but they are humane restrictions that allow citizens freedom.
Remember how important freedom was to our mental health?
In March last year Argentina was, like Canada, in lockdown. Citizens were not permitted to travel outside their province. Quickly, the people revolted. The government understood that citizens were suffering, that businesses were shuttering. They decided to reverse course and open the economy.
For a decade I have spent considerable time in South America and have been impressed with their healthier attitudes in comparison to Canada on many issues. The first being how they support each other during tough times, where as Canadians attempt to shame one another into conforming.
True, Canada is a more rule obedient society than most. But we go further. We enjoy getting people into trouble. We love toxic gossip, take pleasure in the misfortunes of others. We pretend to be a compassionate people, but rarely are. COVID has demonstrated this well.
Canadians tend to be an emotionless, passive aggressive, indirect, back stabbing, passionless, apathetic, indifferent people. They believe that caring strongly about something is uncool. I’ve never understood why Canadians believe that they are an authority on what’s cool. I can assure, they are not cool people.
Canadians love to finger wag. They love to tell others how to live and how to be. They love conformity. Shame and embarrass those who stand up to sit back down. They love nothing more than publicly shaming anyone who deviates from what the public considers acceptable.
The people currently forcing Ontarians into house arrest were born into wealthy families. Our Premier, our Prime Minister, the Toronto mayor and Toronto’s top health officer were all born into wealth, privilege and opportunity.
Unlike voters, they still travel throughout the province, maintain their high salaries and have no true understanding of what it is like to be working class, or to be a small business owner. Yet they are in positions to limit and restrict the freedoms, and livelihoods of the people they know nothing about.
This is a very Canadian trait. To judge people they have deemed contemptable. And those people are always working class. White trash they call them. Not worthy of the compassion and empathy Canadians claim to be the champions of.
That is why these lockdown measures go over so well in Canada. Canadians not only love to follow rules, they love to shame and ridicule those who don’t, even if dissent is justified. This is what Canadians are like, with exceptions, clearly. It is a grey place to live.
It is a homogeneous society that never thinks big, never reaches for the stars. Their ability to shame those who do, the collective bullying of anyone who says, “You know, I think there might be another way” never ceases to disturb me. The unearned arrogance is mind blowing.
Anti-Americanism is prevalent throughout Canada. Canadian identity is that they are not American. Yet, everything they enjoy was invented or created by Americans. Their cars. Their phones. Their entertainment: movies, music, television. Their clothing. Their medicine.
What I love about Americans is that they emote. Unapologetically. You know where you stand with them. Not Canadians, who developed much of their characteristics from the British. Canadians tend to be much more sneaky. What you see is never what you get.
Also, Canada lacks any real culture.
Yet the educated elites in Canada love to publicly shame anyone who appropriates non-white cultures, even though, the entire country is ‘guilty’ of it. Canada is a strange place that believes it has some grasp on normalcy.
So if COVID lockdowns continue, I won’t be surprised.
Citizens are struggling. They are selling their homes because they can’t afford their mortgages. They can’t cover the costs of living. But Canadians, unlike Argentines, don’t know a good protest. Canadians who protest are usually the types who want to appear a certain way to others.
Most Canadians believe it is impolite to protest and again, we’re a culture that shames those who do.
The picture I’ve included in this post occurred while I was at Antares in the Palermo Chico barrio of Buenos Aires. The nurses at the nearby hospital would come here after their shifts.
What you will see is that they are not ‘socially distancing’ nor are they wearing masks. This highlights how Canada and Argentina differ culturally.
In Canada, we need public recognition for doing the jobs we chose to do during difficult times like COVID. Canadian nurses would preach and lecture against socializing during this time. They may post videos of their teams dancing during their allegedly busy shifts. Or they may post seflies of the marks on their faces after 12 hour wearing their masks.
In Argentina, they are more humble. They behave with humility. They appreciate life, and enjoy their off-time. They don’t need to show-off in the same way as Canadians.
I much appreciate the Argentine approach. More laid back, more down-to-earth. Healthier.
Here we go.