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Mira Aleta

Strange Days

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Good morning all,

I don't know if this belongs here.  I trust it will get moved where it best belongs.  I have been absent for awhile, but am glad to be back with the following pondering, which come as a result of my own life experiences, mixing with the current Covid-19 situation.  This combination has me re-listening to Matt's song, "Strange Days", watching the video and re-reading the lyrics, over the last 10 days, or so, as our society sees a tremendous shift from apparently bustling, to virtual standstill.  What follows are my thoughts.

Initially, as our Canadian context started to shift, I found myself humming "Strange Days" as the title drew me in; a response to the changes I was seeing around me.  I have been feeling like a bystander, much the way the character Matt plays in the "Strange Days" video appears;  standing apart,  yet intrinsically linked to the occurrences depicted therein.  I have been watching news about Covid-19 since its existence was announced by China, and have seen it move from one country to the next, waiting for its arrival in Canada.  I have long since seen the writing on the wall (as have many others, I'm sure), so there has been little shock in my world.  I am not as well prepared as I would like to be, but I am as prepared as I possibly can be given the variety of factors which exist in my life.  I have, therefore, not felt panic in any firsthand way; quite the opposite, in fact. 

I try to be quite aware of what is going on politically, socially, economically and any other "-ly" way that I can be as I walk through life, and, as a result, tend to walk around with a low grade existential understanding of how close most of us live to the edge.  I live with anger at the fact that this reality has been consciously produced by the powers that be in our society:  those that hold the means of production and power; the 1%.  I understand that this production of grave imbalance has been accepted by those of us not in that small oligarchy:  that we are all complicit in its maintenance (myself included), in some way or another.  As a result, Covid-19 times are producing in me a calm which I haven't experienced in memory; as though my body is relieved that the ridiculousness of this world is now on full display.  

In this context, as our world shifts around us, I see a juxtaposition between crashing stock markets, and families interacting joyfully on the street; political tensions rising as a result of a global war on oil prices, and the essential personnel required to be out and about, nodding and smiling at each other genuinely; governments announcing bail-outs for banks, the oil industry and homeowners, and the news articles that are encouraging discussion of the impact on renters, employees of the gig economy and Universal Basic Income.  Within these contrasting experiences, my soul relaxes, for this space is a far more honest space for us to be.  Within this space, I dare to hope. 

I dare to dream that in this window of self-isolation, we can find collective hope, as opposed to societal immolation:  after all, "Strange Days" was not written about the current Covid-19 world in which we live.  It was written about the insanity of the world in which we usually live:  a world in which it is ok to scream at a child, to hit a child, to see a child begging on the street.  This is our normal world, not a fantastical world in which we are all holding our breath to see if the crisis we are currently in, becomes a disaster.  It is a world in which we are accepting of the insanity we see around us each day:  it is a world very much like Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World", in which the horror of the dystopia is the pat acceptance of life, as is, no matter the injustices that it produces.  These days are the "Strange Days" that I see within the lyrics, and video as presented by the Matthew Good Band. 

The current Covid-19 crisis is challenging us to see things differently, to consider how close to the edge our economic and political system is, and to question whether or not we want more of the same, or re-imagine our world collectively.  This is the hope that I feel, and I'm not going to lie: it is tenuous.  We have a bit of breathing space in which to consider how we want to move:  forward, or backward.  

In closing, I would like to recognise those who are particularly vulnerable in this crisis:  our elders, our youth, those with health concerns that increase their susceptibility,  those who live on Indigenous reserves (and those who don't feel comfortable going back to their home reserves for fear of bringing Covid-19 with them), those who rent, who live in or near poverty, our homeless, those living with active addiction, and those in recovery for substance use disorders, mental health concerns and concurrent disorders for whom community and routine are particularly important.  My heart goes out to each of you.  I wish you well in your journey through this.  

I invite thoughts:  how are you managing in these Covid-19 days?  What are you seeing that makes you hope (if anything)?  What kind of route forward do you think we should take?  

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I would love to see the masses rally and decide to no longer pay for mortgages, keep the house and refuse to pay give the whole system a shake  

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11 hours ago, RickDalton said:

I would love to see the masses rally and decide to no longer pay for mortgages, keep the house and refuse to pay give the whole system a shake  

I don't think making the banking system collapse would be good for the economy.  See 2008 in USA.  The gov would bail them out.

Better solution is pass legislation deferring mortgage payments without extra interest, then have the gov loan banks money so they don't fold.  Banks want people to stay in their homes so they get those payments eventually, but they also need the money they're rightfully owed.

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On 3/24/2020 at 11:14 PM, Moonlight_Graham said:

I don't think making the banking system collapse would be good for the economy.  See 2008 in USA.  The gov would bail them out.

Better solution is pass legislation deferring mortgage payments without extra interest, then have the gov loan banks money so they don't fold.  Banks want people to stay in their homes so they get those payments eventually, but they also need the money they're rightfully owed.

What would you do for renters?

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18 hours ago, Mira Aleta said:

What would you do for renters?

If rents aren't paid, people with investment property etc. cant pay their mortgages.  Rents should be paid.

At this point people who were working and making money need to have income to pay their bills.  The gov can't process millions of EI claims manually, it's impossible.  They need to just give out EI money to people by automatically approving them and take their word for it.  If people turn out not eligible they can always claw back the money later, that would take years to go through all these EI claims and overpayments.  Business owners impacted also need income protection.

This is much more serious than the 2008 housing crisis.  Shit is going to hit the fan after the 1st of April once people aren't being able to pay rents, mortgages, and bills.

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