Chapter 12 “lessons learnt from the COVIDs: the cult of the front-line worker”
There are the medical professionals and politicians who form the top of the pyramid in the COVID narrative but there are also grocers, gas station attendants, bus and taxi drivers and a whole host of people in “essential businesses” that remained open throughout the COVIDs.
Hey I was one of those front-line workers as a cardiologist at a major Toronto hospital so I am the last one to express an uncaring thought or word about front-line workers. Indeed I’ll even go along with the politico propaganda campaign that called them heroes because given the poor planning and hospital cuts of the politicos for most countries in the world that had a decent healthcare system there simply were not enough front-line workers and a lack pf personal protective equipment (PPE) to fight the battle. Budget cuts or “rationalizations” if you prefer
However these medical front-line workers were manufactured into a cult by the media and the propaganda. Again back to my travels in the 1970s in the Iron Curtain countries where socialist realism art played a predominant role in the “education” of the proletariat. Brave factory workers with the hammer and sickle flag in one hand and a hammer in the other striving to meet the objectives of the Central Committee’s 10-year plan.
The media had a field day showcasing the brave front-line medical workers with sappy music and dialogue and special 3-minute specials like “Our Heroes”. I can tell you we were all simply doing our job under difficult conditions and for the non-physicians for substandard pay, no life insurance of short- or long-term disability plans. Although many jurisdictions did come through with some increases for medical staff battling the COVIDs. What good is a few extra dollars for your family when you die when you have no life insurance or are disabled without disability plans?
My thoughts on this was that the front-line workers were used as a propaganda tool for morale purposes for the politicos and for touching and emotional stories by the media. And as people are amoebas, they lapped it up.
What was disturbing was the militarism developing in terms of the vocabulary used for COVID such as “battle”, “war”, “skirmish” “front-line” and like the Americans in Vietnam we had daily kill and wounded counts. And then the inane flights of the American Blue Angels and Canadian snowbirds to “boost the morale” of the population or should we say troops. Speaking of war were the budget cutting politicos traitors? Some countries might call the politicos who had whistle-blowers and critics of government management of COVID disappear or fall out of windows murderers. Don’t get me wrong front-line workers are heroes as anyone with a brain realizes that. What bothered many of us these heroes were an agent of political control and shamefully used as propaganda.