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A Paradigm Shift in the Battle to Defeat COVID

December 18th, 2021 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, how will history judge our actions in the battle to defeat COVID?

Omicron: Here we go again.

My apologies if that sounds like whining or bitching. It is a statement of fact albeit with emotional baggage attached. We thought that we were in the home stretch. Then the reset button was hit and we are right back where we started. It is like viewing a lengthy online training program, which we begrudge having to endure, and having it crash forcing us to restart at the beginning.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has been quoted as saying that Canadians have reached the outer limit of what further public health restrictions they are willing to accept. Many would agree.

But I do not want to get bogged down up to the axle in the mud of the “Is it really all necessary?” debate. I want to take a step back and talk about the paradigm shift that has occurred. If you are not familiar with the term, a paradigm shift is a fundamental change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way.

The paradigm shift I want to talk about is the evolution in the way we as a society (the royal we which always has a dissenting segment) chose to respond to a threat to our health and safety.

In times past (defined in this case as my lifetime), when a new illness arrived on the scene, we evaluated the threat objectively, took reasonable and necessary precautions and carried on with our lives. We trusted that our bodies are equipped to protect us from illness and augmented that ability with a vaccine on a voluntary basis.

We were more concerned with the continuity of life and the quality of it than with daily case counts.

Now the paradigm shift that took place when COVID arrived on the scene. We evaluated it nervously and built worst-case scenario models, attempted to erect a brick wall of precautions and put a large part of life on hold. We broke faith with our body’s ability to protect us and attempted to supplant that ability with a new vaccine with sanctions for those who opted out.

We became less concerned with the continuity of life and the quality of it than with number crunching and wrestling with the stubborn daily case counts.

Paradigm shifts in and of themselves are neither positive nor negative. They are simply the evidence of a significant change. The decisions and motivations behind them, including the relative values assigned to individual rights and the greater good, are subject to judgment. But I will leave you to draw your own conclusions on that front.

My job is to translate the paradigm shift into a metaphor. So here it is. We shifted from strategically defending our borders to a declaration of war accepting the casualties that come with it as necessary collateral damage.

In the end, it is history that will judge us (the royal us).

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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