6 October, 2022

Shine with their own light, both statesmen and dictators, in the crisis of toilet paper

Oscar Vigil

Toronto, Glen. Well they say that in difficult times is when people bring out the best or worst of his being, and that was more than evident during the current pandemic of the Coronavirus, scientifically known as COVID-19, but popularly known as "The crisis of toilet paper".

A) Yes, a Canadian marriage (she is of Hispanic origin) has become infamously famous for symbolizing callousness and greed for hoarding thousands of packets of sanitizing towels and reselling them online. According to his own statements, in a few weeks they obtained more than $100.000 in profit by purchasing the packages in approximately $20.00 at Costco stores and resell them at $89.00 in Amazon.

But the good deeds of many citizens are also viral, including members of the Latin American community in Canada, those who have brought out their best in these difficult times and have shared essential products with their neighbors or have helped seniors, who are the most vulnerable to the virus, to provide themselves with food and essential items for their daily life. In the same way we have seen beer producing companies that, given the shortage of disinfectants, have rearranged their machinery to produce the coveted alcohol-based gel and sell it at low cost, among many other signs of solidarity in the country.

There is no doubt that the worst virus that can spread anywhere and at any time is fear, that feeling of insecurity that leads people to bring out their most primal instincts in order to guarantee their subsistence. And fear is always real, whether it is based on specific threats or not, because it is generated on the basis of perceptions.

That is how, in crisis situations, real or not, very serious or little serious, it is normal for people to be invaded by that feeling of insecurity. But nevertheless, it can be increased or decreased depending on the attitude taken by the rulers, who also bring out the best or worst of themselves.

In canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has shown his leadership by acting like a true statesman and not just another politician looking for votes.

First, has made its decisions based on the recommendations that the experts have been giving and not on political calculations. Obviously there have been criticisms of why a measure was taken today and not before, or if "A" was not better than "B", understandable criticism given we all have an opinion. But, contrary to ours, expert opinions are well-founded opinions, because they are the experts in their fields.

Secondly, the Prime Minister of Canada has acted, as far as possible, in consultation with the Premiers of all the country's provinces, which has allowed it to implement effective policies at the national level in the face of an epidemic that does not recognize geographic borders or political borders. It must be remembered that the health area in Canada is in the hands of each province, Therefore, the operational aspects depend on each provincial government and not on the federal government.. And each province has also based its decisions on the opinions of experts and not of bureaucrats or politicians..

In third place, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, together with his government cabinet and his advisers, is very clear about the panorama of the crisis and does not see it as a static photo, momentary, but like a movie in full swing. This explains why the application of the measures has been and continues to be gradual., in a logic of affecting the economy as little as possible and particularly the food supply chain. The Canadian government appears to be trying to ensure that the long-term costs of the epidemic are not greater than the short-term costs., because once the medical emergency is over, the country is going to face an economic emergency, and the conditions to face it must be the best possible.

Canada obviously has the advantage of having a universal health system to which all residents of the country have access., that is, it does not matter if a person has money or not, still access the best medical treatments in the world, which is essential when facing a health pandemic. In the same way, it has a solid and stable economy that allows not skimping resources both to treat the disease and also to inject funds into the economy in the form of loans to employers or subsidies to workers, something that is already happening. But it's not a perfect society either, so the effects are likely to be felt differently in the months or eventually in the years to come.

But nevertheless, although the coronavirus is the same, the challenges it produces vary substantially from country to country or society to society, Therefore, similar reactions or the same measures cannot be expected in all regions of the world..

Being of Salvadoran origin, I want to refer to the case of the president of that small country located at the waist of the American continent, n watch, who seems to be taking advantage of the crisis to campaign politically with hasty and dictatorial decisions.

My friend Manuel and his Canadian wife were flying over the Gulf of Fonseca at 4:00 p.m. (El Salvador time) Wednesday 11 of March, when President Bukele announced through a national radio and television network the prohibition of foreigners from entering the country and the quarantine of Salvadorans from abroad. A) Yes, when the Avianca AV626 plane landed at Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero Airport at 7:00 p.m., local time, Salvadoran immigration agents prevented Manuel's wife from entering the country.

Beyond having to buy emergency tickets at the same airport to return to Canada, sleeping in uncomfortable chairs in waiting rooms and losing a two-week reservation at a beach hotel on the Pacific coast, what disturbed my friend most was the hasty and dictatorial way of the measure. Similar measures have been taken by other countries, including Canada, but nevertheless, these have been announced with at least 48 hours in advance to ensure that, in this case, foreigners who are prohibited from entering do not travel to the destination country.

Perhaps worse was what the president did with the Salvadorans who arrived in the country, who were grouped indiscriminately in overcrowded rooms, without the minimum conditions of hygiene or much less decorum, bringing together those who came from a country with a high level of risk, like Italy and Spain, with those arriving from Canada or the United States, low risk countries. It was a good way to expand what I wanted to prevent.

As well, In recent days, attacks on the first person who has tested positive for COVID-19 have been viral on social networks, and that apparently came from Italy and crossed the border of El Salvador through a blind spot. Seen from outside, these seem like hate campaigns like those promoted and / or tolerated by President Bukele himself, who like US President Donald Trump is addicted to messages on Twitter to attack his adversaries, real or imaginary.

Personally, I agree with many of the measures that the Salvadoran president has taken to try to contain the epidemic, but nevertheless, I do not endorse under any circumstances the improvised and dictatorial way in which you are taking these measures. El Salvador indeed needs a new way of doing politics, But the way that President Bukele is doing it is the same as the military dictatorships decades ago and that led to a bloody civil war.

Trying to figure things out, I have no doubt that the underlying reason for this attitude of the Salvadoran president may be in the same logic by which hundreds of thousands of people in North American countries have hoarded dozens of rolls of toilet paper: in the face of fear, it is a regression to the anal stage, the second stage in Sigmund Freud's theory of psychosexual development, where the anus is the primary erogenous zone and generates pleasure due to the control of bowel movement, with which they feel safer.