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Opinion: Being wrong being optimistic

I thought our various levels of government would realize their role is not to rule us.
Prince George City Hall
Prince George City Hall. (via Hanna Petersen)

One problem with being an opinionated optimist is that I am often wrong. My friends who are into the power of positive thinking will say I just need to keep it up: “Positive thinking will eventually bring about the optimistic result I want.”

Then explain 2021.

First, I was wrong about herd immunity: I thought we would reach herd immunity at around 70 per cent vaccination. We are around 83 per cent or higher. Many additional people have contracted COVID, so our immunity should be near 100 per cent by now, but nope, this thing keeps mutating and changing.

Second, I insisted no government would mandate vaccination of anyone, because unions were organized enough to not allow it to happen. Wrong again. Now we have fired frontline workers for not getting vaccinated and our PM is openly talking about mandatory vaccination for everyone and asking if we should tolerate “these” people, and seeming to forget “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” words he infamously used to justify the return of Canadians who fight against our Canadian military overseas.

Third, (this one not about COVID), I thought City Council would finally get a zero per cent tax increase proposal from city administration. I have heard Coun. Kyle Sampson ask for it twice, but somehow it never ends up in the subsequent budget proposals.

Fourth and last one for my column this week: I thought our various levels of government would realize their role is not to rule us. I thought that governments would realize that faced with a huge challenge like COVID, their role is not to rule, but to make a way, to make it possible for people to help themselves and their neighbour. Instead, we got “We will take care of you” to which now has been added “Only if you trust us 100 per cent” and “How dare you question our constantly changing mandates, you racist, science-denying, misogynist?” and “We will reduce plowing your roads if you dare question the city budget.”

My pessimistic friends say I would be right more often if I was more pessimistic. This seems out of my reach, apparently because I always end up leaning toward optimism. My hope for 2022 is that the above things I was wrong about in 2021 will come true in 2022, somehow.

Trudy Klassen is a Prince George writer.