Redneck thinking and Covid-19

I live in Alberta, a province that’s well known for and somewhat proud of its redneck reputation.

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This was the politest definition I could find!

I grew up on the BC coast where people tend to have a more liberal mindset. Perhaps that’s why I sometimes have a hard time understanding how Alberta people think. These are broad generalizations or stereotypes, of course, but sometimes I really do feel like a fish out of water! Don’t get me wrong. I like country music and wide open spaces and one of the best jobs I ever had was operating a combine, but I just don’t get redneck thinking.

Take COVID-19 for example. An online poll conducted April 3 to 5 indicated that 22% of Albertans think that it’s being blown out of proportion, higher than any other province in the country. That doesn’t even include the ones who believe that it’s either a hoax or a conspiracy theory of some sort! I think my blood pressure goes up every time I open Facebook and see another one of their posts. They choose the most obscure and outlandish “news” sources and when the good Lord was handing out discernment, I think they must have been in some other line.

Yes, China wants greater control worldwide and, unfortunately, western nations are making that way too easy for them, but no, they didn’t create the virus in a lab and then release it into the atmosphere! There’s lots of scientific evidence for that. No, this isn’t some nefarious government plot to take control of our lives. I don’t even know which government they’re referring to… Canadian, American (there is a difference, you know), Chinese, or maybe they’re all in cahoots with one another? And no, we’re not living in a police state just because we’ve been asked to limit our activities to protect ourselves, our communities, and especially the most vulnerable in our midst. And no, it’s not okay if they die because they’re old anyway and have had a good life!

Yes, we’re putting up with a lot of inconveniences right now, but that’s what they are. Inconveniences! Yes, toilet paper might be hard to find. It wouldn’t be if people had been smarter in the first place, but maybe just be thankful that you have a toilet. 2.3 billion people on this planet don’t! Yes, I’d like to be able to see my doctor and have an ultrasound on my thyroid, but those who need more urgent care are getting it.

When this is all over, as it surely will be someday, if the number of deaths isn’t as high as projected, there will undoubtably be rednecks who see that as evidence that they were right all along. However, there will also be those of us who’ll realize that it’s actually proof that what we’re doing right now has been successful. After all, that is the goal isn’t it? Lives saved, not government domination.