Lockdown The Logic

As I write this it’s currently minus 20. Toronto has a naturally built in lockdown season; it’s called January.

Ain’t no need for vapid political machinations to shut down pop culture as an attempt to look they’re doing something. Politically something is always better than nothing, right? That’s like hitting the side of a TV to make it work.

We’re going in circles like a busted bumper car. We closed cinemas, Raptors/Leafs games, music venues etc. And no surprise that didn’t make a difference: the mystical numbers still went up. (It’s weird the dominate numbers are number of sick and number of hospital beds. That’s the only…the only data we’re factoring in 2 years later?) If the numbers went up clearly entertainment experiences weren’t causing problems in the first place. Obviously.

It’s 2022: dictating another lockdown of any kind (especially one that harms creators) is now a major red flag.

(Oh! A personal tangent: this one entertainment writer Rick blocked me on Twitter…lol! It’s not high school fool. He decided with no data…like none that Spider-Man: Far From Home was a super spreader event. Based on what I asked? I was curious about the cinema data plus duh the more data we have the better we can adjust and refine existing protocols. What’s not working vs what is working right?

So I asked him: “What’s the data on people getting sick at cinemas? Highly specific metrics should be primarily dictating decisions. Otherwise it’s just conjecture.” And he shrugged; his useless unfounded narrative was set.

What? You shouldn’t lash out in your fear and panic and believe that’s justified. Why are we so concerned about “flattening the curve” but wholly comfortable spreading panic and fear and misinformation?

I countered: “There’s no data for all cinemas?? AMC, Alamo etc. Every single chain? That’s hard to believe. How else can you make decisions then? In Canada when Tenet opened that was pre-vaccine and just over 1 million folks went to the movies: nobody got cooties. Yeah! (That data was supplied by the Globe and Mail’s Entertainment writer.) Thankfully and clearly cinemas are not contributing much.” Well no surprise Rick took the coward’s way out and rather than respond to the data he shut the narrator down and blocked me. His narrative is intact. Whew…close call.

There’s always this one brief moment when you get blocked where it hurts: it’s human nature nobody enjoys being rejected.

But then you quickly realize it doesn’t really mean anything. You can still play with your kids, still go to the movies and concerts…you have a great life. Being blocked has no value or impact on my life. (On our society it does have an impact unfortunately. We choose to live in social media silos. It was easier for Rick to block me than dig, google…think. He can even justify it…my tone was rude even though there is no tone on Twitter. It’s all static text. Or he didn’t need any data for his Spider-Man movie narrative so he didn’t need any data to decide I’m being glib and selfishly want cinemas to stomp on the graves of all who died during this pandemic. Curiosity is not glib though I can see how for settled science people it can be offensive.Really this choice is a problem: my narrative is more important than your narrative. Thing is we all know it is.)

Back to Toronto and Ontario we shut down all entertainment. Did that fix it? Of course not. And worse some people who are vaccinated are still getting sick. The vaccine was only supposed to keep people outta hospitals not cure anything. So while that’s better than nothing it’s clearly not a silver bullet.

In many American cities they’re just as bad as we are in terms of numbers but they gave up months ago and just left everything open including all NBA games. I haven’t seen any talk of any other arenas doing the same as Raptors. NHL is a hot mess though it’s only the Canadian teams that went fan-less. I dunno if it that had any impact on the numbers.

(What happened to herd immunity? We dropped that narrative months ago! I would have thought NBA or even NFL with 53 players on a team playing another team of 53 players plus all the staff would achieve herd immunity. You’re consistently facing the same people on a daily basis. I don’t understand why no sports league has achieved herd immunity. Has the NBA maybe? The cases and number of players out has gone down; only about 40 players are currently in “health and safety protocols.” Games not in danger of being postponed.)

We can collectively you know…respond to the pandemic intelligently. Praise Logic! The coronavirus is most likely with us forever however the protocols we employ to deal with it must be reviewed, refined and revised constantly. And data…highly specific metrics helps.

Only a fool wants to wear a mask everyday. (Especially if you got glasses!) The mask represents science; it’s not a cool story bro talisman.

Logic dictates if what you’re doing is not effective…stop it and try something else. I don’t expect logic to prevail these days. Politically we seem committed to hitting the side of the TV.

Take cold comfort that when we see tonight’s moon it’s the end of another day.

I dunno about the lockdown’s conclusion but the Sun and Summer is destined to come.

Winter will no longer have its icy cold death grip on our modern society.


Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.

Also published on Medium.

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