Gratuitous musings

There are great expectations of those in elected office to choose their words wisely.

Theirs is a platform without comparison, since they are part of the system that influences direction, establishes policy and makes choices on behalf of citizens.

As tempting as it is to hit ignore on a recent meeting moment livestreamed from Guelph/Eramosa, there are occasions when ignorance cannot be left unchallenged. 

In the fullness of time, once pandemic jitters ease and the countryside snaps to its senses again, historians will ask what was that all about and why didn’t somebody say something?

Corey Woods, longtime councillor in Guelph/Eramosa felt compelled to explain his online presence at that meeting was due to testing positive for COVID-19. There is virtue in such transparency and best wishes are meant wholeheartedly for his family, who are dealing with symptoms as well.

We remain unaware of a council moment in open session where Woods has ever condemned a public health measure or questioned the severity of the pandemic since it began. 

Instead, after the worst of the tragedy (we hope) has subsided, council, staff and the pubic had to endure a moment of gratuitous musings about his unvaccinated status and brush with COVID, his strong feelings about his inability to travel, poor treatment of the unvaxxed overall and living in a country run by a “dictator.” 

It was a quintessential TikTok instant – big on hyperbole, big on hate and little of substance.

His eleventh-hour pitch on the pandemic ironically follows a tenth-hour play a few weeks back wherein Woods donated funds to the “Freedom Convoy.” One would have to expect a duly-elected politician – whether that be at home in Guelph/Eramosa, at the County of Wellington or the representatives we send to Queen’s Park and Ottawa – would respect the will of the electorate. The thing is, with democracy, you either believe in it or you don’t. 

Despite stark differences of opinion on what qualifies as a dictator, we are happy Mr. Woods did not face a tough round of the virus – a curse we wish on no one. 

However, bragging about his personal good fortune and minimal symptoms, marginalizes the pain and hardship so many families have faced. And boy, have families suffered. It has been horrible for us all.

These were not words and reactions residents needed or deserved.