Politicians will lose the public with COVID double standard

And just like that the pandemic was over, or at least the rules against mass gatherings and social distancing.

This weekend’s rallies against racism, endorsed and in some cases attended by the very political leaders who have been telling the rest of us that we cannot have groups of more than five, that we need to continue with social or physical distancing, that we can’t go back to normal just undermined the entire message they have been selling us for months.

This isn’t a statement on the validity of the protests. Nor is it a call for the protesters to be charged or ticketed. It’s worth pointing out that neither the mass gathering in Toronto’s Trinity-Bellwoods Park nor the weekly anti-lockdown protests Queen’s Park have resulted in charges or tickets.

In those cases though, there were political leaders warning against participation. Doug Ford called the anti-vaccine/5G/end the lockdown crowd a bunch of yahoos. The people in the park were called COVIDIOTS by myself and many others.

The people at the rallies and marches had Justin Trudeau join them.

Undermining your own authority

How do you continue to tell people that they can’t go see a loved one who is ill or dying? How do you stop families from funeral gatherings?

Those have all been stopped, people have been deprived of saying goodbye to a dear relative because they were following the rules on COVID-19. People have cancelled weddings, lost their jobs and businesses for following the rules.

Then in one fell swoop we have the PM joining in protests that did not follow the rules – gatherings of greater than five banned, not everyone was social distancing.

You can’t have rules that the majority of the population has to follow and then not apply them equally. When politicians do that, or Dr. Tam giving instructions on how to protest without yelling, you lose the support of the public.

Racism is a horrible thing, something I don’t understand because I was not taught to hate people based on who they are. It is something that exists and must be dealt with in our society.

I’m not arguing against any of that.

Simply put though, how does any politician think they can continue to support what remaining aspects of the lock down that exist while supporting the protests over the weekend?

They can’t and more of the public will now ignore the rules these same politicians have put in place or advocated for.

This is more damaging to support for public health measures than Justin Trudeau or Doug Ford going to their cottages or John Tory hosting a parade or going into that park without social distancing.

Expect to see a change in public attitudes.