Just to be clear, I am not speaking in literal terms of creating an actual golden calf. I am talking about the human inclination to lose faith in a proven leader when we lose patience with that leader for not delivering an anticipated result as expediently as we had hoped…or when that leader is pushing us outside of our comfort zone or that leader has somehow offended our sensibilities.
Six weeks ago, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. The following night, many schools in Québec began to close. By Friday, many citizens began self-isolating in the hopes to flatten the curve. François Legault and his team spared no time in doing anything and everything that needed to be done to flatten the curve and make sure that our medical system did not become overwhelmed.
New measures were added daily. Let’s recall that not everyone was on the bandwagon’ of self-isolation at the beginning. Facebook was abuzz accusing those who chose to do so of ‘panicking’. The government had to do a big job educating citizens as to why we needed to stay at home. Many did not agree. They didn’t care about ‘getting the flu’ and were upset with the government for shutting things down when they did. Many people were (understandably) worried about loss of income on a micro level and the economy in general at a macro level.
Until they started to see the wisdom of his ways.
And then François Legault became a ROCKSTAR. Everyone was expressing their gratitude to him for his exemplary leadership, including many people who did not believe in some of his politics prior to this pandemic.
At this point, I continue to believe that François Legault is, by any definition, a true and exemplary leader. He has been unafraid to act, unafraid to make tough decisions, and has been a calming force in the face of an unnerving situation, to put it lightly.
He addressed us all daily, together with Danielle McCann and Dr. Horacio Arruda – except on his ‘days off’ (again, leading by example that EVERYONE needs a break and ought not be ashamed to take one).
I will ‘interject’ with a word about these two team members:
Danielle McCann, our Minister of Health and Social Services is beyond professional, tells it like it is and I have tremendous respect for her continued reminders that we have to do everything in our power to keep our elderly safe….as they are the ones who built this province. . It is no secret that I feel this way. In one of my very first posts about Covid-19, I said pretty much the same thing.
Dr. Horacio Arruda, our National Director of Public Health – What can I say? He’s the ‘science guy’ but the media wants to question his science. That’s ok – it’s the media’s job to question. I happened to agree with him when he did not want to give projections…but as he said about the media ‘ You’re going to kill me if I don’t’. I remember watching and thinking to myself how right he was that these projections would not serve to improve our situation in any way and how could anyone give an accurate projection on what is to be expected of a virus that behaves differently than any virus we have ever seen? And yet, the people…and my fellow members of the media pressed him for projections. I understand that they were just doing their job. Out of curiosity, speaking of projections, why have we not seen headlines to the effect that Dr. Arruda reported that we PREVENTED 40,000 to 50,000 DEATHS by taking the measures we took? Is this not ‘newsworthy’ enough?
Let me be clear, I do not mean to suggest that François Legault is a prophet nor do I mean to put him in the same category as Moses, but I do believe that he has shepherded us through this crisis with skill, intelligence, sensitivity and even humour. He and his team made decisions that may have made many people uncomfortable but they were the good decisions. And now that people are more ‘comfortable’ in our ‘new normal’, it is understandable that there will be hesitation to ‘come out of confinement’.
But he is not flicking a switch and releasing us (or our kids) to the wolves. Not by a long shot.
He is being transparent that he and his team are working out the SAFEST and most effective scenarios to open things up.
Why is this a bad thing?? Would we rather they NOT think through all of the possible scenarios? Or would we rather they do so but not be transparent about the fact that they are looking into it? If they were too tight-lipped, we would accuse them of not being transparent…Come on…
Whenever the man breathes a word about opening up school, parents begin to panic. He is NOT opening schools tomorrow. He was quite clear that schools would only open up at a MINIMUM of TWO WEEKS following any announcement…and no such announcement has yet been made. He seems to be suggesting that sending all of kids back simultaneously may not be the safest thing….he is concerned about a second wave….BECAUSE HE WANTS TO DO THIS SAFELY and in conjunction with Public Health.
Let them figure it out.
Put yourself into his shoes for a minute. Six weeks ago, the Quebec economy was rocking with the lowest unemployment rate it had seen since 1976. Was everything perfect? No, but Quebec was on an economic ‘high’. When the pandemic hit, he did not hesitate to shut down schools and businesses FOR THE SAFETY OF CITIZENS. He did not worry about the economy – he operated in ‘safety first’ mode…not the safety of the economy, but the safety of Québec citizens.
He shut down businesses and people lost jobs. The Québec government will collect less taxes as a result and yet Legault has been spending like a parent with a child who needs a lifesaving cure. Do you really believe he will allow himself to have put our province in this situation and now risk the health and safety of our children – or any of our citizens for that matter – in order to ‘start the economy back up’ again?!?!?
Not. A. Chance.
We need to have a little faith. And patience.
We need to have faith in that the same man who has shepherded us to the point where we are today… with the curve believed to be flattened, ‘at its peak’. I find it somewhat ironic because Moses himself found himself at a different ‘peak’, at the top of Mount Sinai, when the Israelites lost patience waiting for him to come down with the the Ten Commandments and with a plan for their own ‘next steps’. We know how that ended up: They lost faith in him and turned over their jewels to build a golden calf to worship…and it cost them 40 lost years of aimless wandering in the desert. In hindsight, they ought to have maintained their faith for just a little while longer. And so should we.
Give the man a minute.
He is not sacrificing our young or using them as guinea pigs. He is working out the proper ways to come out of confinement GRADUALLY and SAFELY.
Give the man a minute to define what is meant by ‘GRADUALLY’. This whole thing hit 6 weeks ago.
Give. The Man. A Minute.
And while you give him that minute, take a moment to be grateful for the fact that the only reason that we even have the luxury of worrying about how we will reopen is because he and his team did not hesitate to act to protect us all.
Again, I am not suggesting that François Legault is Moses, but as we approach the 40th day since most schools shut down, let’s not lose faith in our proven leader.
He has led us this far and he will lead us back to where we need to be.