The endless, pointless, unwinnable war in Afghanistan only ended because the endless, pointless, unwinnable war on COVID had begun.
I’m very glad that the US troops have been withdrawn from Afghanistan. It was the right thing to do and long overdue.
But it was done in the most inept, pathetic way imaginable. Like everything that this administration does.
But at least, they are not Justin Trudeau and whatever the Australian bastard’s name is. So that’s a consolation of sorts.
Only a month ago, Canada repatriated an ISIS fighter who’s a citizen. Whenever a civil war breaks out, countries start trying to get their citizens out. Irrespective of whether the citizens filed a correct form in triplicate before the indicated date. The concept of citizenship used to mean something but that’s all gone.
This isn’t about health. We are talking about a respiratory virus. Testing negative 72 hours ago means nothing to whether you picked up the virus between getting tested and getting the results. You could pick it up while you stand in line for 4 hours to show the paper with your test results.
But forget about that. Let’s say it is about health. We don’t want sick citizens any more? We don’t want infectious citizens? What if they have HIV? What if they are terminal patients and are a drain on the healthcare system? They are going to die anyway, so who needs them? If people need to provide proof they aren’t infected with a highly treatable disease with a very low IFR to get access to their rights of citizenship, why stop there? Why stop at physical illness? Who needs some unstable bastard who might go shoot up a school, right? Can you prove you aren’t the unstable bastard? Have you taken a psych test within the last 72 hours proving that you pose no danger to yourself and others?
I could say more but for now I have to go prepare a room for my sister who is not an ISIS fighter but still unwanted by her country. Ironically, the only reason she got vaccinated was to be able to enter her country after this trip.
In order to come back to their country of Canada, my sister and her small son have to present a negative COVID test that’s less than 72 hours old at the border.
They are citizens. Yet they cannot enter their own country on the strength of a passport. Citizens aren’t allowed into their own country. What meaning does the word “country” have anymore?
My sister is fully vaccinated and the kid is 5, so it’s not about that. There’s absolutely nothing they could have done to avoid what follows.
So this is what unfolded. My sister makes her travel plans, gets tested, and. . . the test comes in inconclusive. This means her travel plans are in the toilet, the airplane ticket is lost, she’ll have to get re-tested, all of the plans for the week have to be remade. And she has no idea when she’ll be home.
None of this is a big deal for people of leisure and a lot of money. But for people with jobs and no servants, travel becomes untenable. If you have no idea how long a trip will last, how much it will cost, and when you’ll get back, it becomes easier not to travel.
An additional problem is that if you are going to Canada and have a connecting flight, you will lose it. Customs takes hours. Many hours. It just goes on and on because, apparently, it’s very good for public health to keep all of the people you subjected to the rigorous COVID testing confined in a small crowded space for hours.
The only solution is to get a private jet.
Zygmunt Bauman wrote this sentence 20 years ago that I could never understand. I’m quoting from memory but it goes something like this: the government’s role is no longer to look out for the well-being of the citizens but, instead, to keep global travel pathways free for the unimpeded, fast travel of the supranational elite. The part about travel was what I couldn’t figure out.
Now I get it.