What possesses a person to travel to another country for a luxury vacation only to complain it doesn’t mimic the dystopian hellscape they came from? I wouldn’t know, but perhaps Josh Freed, a writer for the Montreal Gazette, can offer some insight. That’s exactly what he did after vacationing in Florida and then returning to his home in Quebec, Canada.
The obvious COVID hysteric penned an entire piece detailing the horrors of freedom that await those traveling to the Sunshine State, and it’s one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time. There haven’t been this many quotable moments since “Napoleon Dynamite” came out.
You MUST MUST read this. A barrel full of laughs. https://t.co/GkwR92ZDwM
— David Reaboi, Late Republic Nonsense (@davereaboi) January 23, 2022
Let’s dive into some of the highlights, shall we? Here’s the opener, which is just a barrel of contradictions.
A friend told me about an available condo in Florida, my wife and I made a last-second decision to briefly escape and work remotely. But the second we landed, it felt like we’d arrived on another planet.
While Quebec is in full confinement mode, Florida is Cowboyland, where you barely know COVID is happening, despite much higher new case and hospitalization rates than ours .
It’s lunacy by Canadian standards, but an eye-opening experience. For starters, everyone’s out and about, filling bars, restaurants, movies, gyms, and jam-packed sports arenas.
Note that Freed pointedly says he had to “escape” his current situation in Quebec, which is rife with curfews and other tyrannical mitigation measures. It “felt like we’d arrived on another planet,” the writer proclaims, shocked at people doing such insane things as eating at restaurants and going to the gym.
But the wide-eyed wonder at people not being forced to seal themselves in their homes after a certain time didn’t last for long. Eventually, Freed’s article devolved into the typical, virtue-signaling trash we’ve come to expect from those who treat the pandemic as a religion.
In ever-friendly America, some customers even shake hands with their waiters before leaving, to say: “Thanks, I’ll have some germs for dessert.”
It’s easy to spot Canadians at restaurants, as we’re the ones properly masked and nervously sitting on the terrace, even in the rain.
Yes, it is easy to spot the Canadians doing completely irrational things like eating in the rain because they are so convinced that Omicron is going to kill them, despite being triple-vaxxed and masked up. Of course, from such behavior emerges the obvious question: What exactly is the point of all that mitigation, including the vaccines, if people still feel the need to glue an N95 to their face and avoid human contact?
Freed continued by being shocked that the local news outlets would dare report on anything but COVID-19.
But the first mention of COVID anywhere in the paper was exactly 18 stories down, with the headline: “Amid Omicron surge, hospitals are stretched thin. What can Florida lawmakers do?”
Ignore it, as always, I guess. Meanwhile, the 19th story was: “Florida COVID update: 71,742 new cases as hospital patients increase.”
Among the many stories played far higher up were: “Miami Marlins name managers for minor-league affiliates” and “Microbial contamination in laxative can cause a ‘life-threatening’ infection.”
The constant mention of COVID cases ignores the fact that Quebec actually has a higher death rate currently. While Florida, with 21 million residents, has a seven-day average of 86 COVID deaths. In Quebec, which only has eight million residents, they are averaging 68 deaths over that same time period.
Given that, shouldn’t Freed be tipped off to the fact that 1) case counts are irrelevant and 2) that all his precious mitigation is completely ineffective? But I digress; things only get funnier from there. At one point, he apparently interacted with some Floridians who didn’t show the requisite concern he felt they should for the pandemic.
In Florida, entire conversations happen without the C-word mentioned, unless you bring it up — which, of course, I did. I asked a group of seven 60-somethings I met at a restaurant terrace how they felt about Florida’s non-existent pandemic rules.
Every last one said they loved how Florida handles things. In the words of one woman “Our philosophy here is: I look after myself and you look after yourself. If you want to wear a mask indoors, you should. If you don’t want to go to a restaurant, you shouldn’t.”
When I asked about our collective responsibility to protect others she shrugged and said: “That’s just not how we think here.”
I mentioned Quebec’s recent curfew, but they all just laughed, dismissing it as “Canadian communism.”
I’ll have to stop the block quotes there for fair-use reasons, but rest assured, the hand-wringing just keeps going and going. Though, towards the end, Freed seems to pine for some kind of middle-ground between a draconian medical state and the horrifying amount of freedom he witnessed in Florida.
What people like him don’t seem to understand is that there can be no middle ground. If you give the government the power to enact curfews and mandates over a virus with a 99+% survival rate (and even higher for the vaccinated and those with natural immunity), they will always abuse it. That’s the lesson of Quebec, and one Freed seems blissfully unable to grasp — even as he seems to admit things have gone too far.
In the end, Americans in free states are going to continue living their lives as they always have because that’s the sane, rational thing to do. If that’s too much for Freed or anyone else to handle, they are welcome to stay within the confines of their COVID-19 obsession. The rest of us will happily live just a little extra for them.