‘Stay away.’ ‘Biggest petri dish in the world.’ The view from Canada, of us, isn’t so nice.


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Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  4 years ago  •  6 comments

By:   By Danny Westneat, Seattle Times columnist

‘Stay away.’ ‘Biggest petri dish in the world.’ The view from Canada, of us, isn’t so nice.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

‘Stay away.’ ‘Biggest petri dish in the world.’ The view from Canada, of us, isn’t so nice.


“Canadians may be polite but we aren’t CRAZY!” Canadians (including the one who tweeted this) demanded that the border, shown here in May at the Peace Arch crossing in Blaine, Wash., remain shut to Americans due to U.S. problems controlling the coronavirus.

Remember how people would joke about moving to Canada when things would go terribly, politically?

Like, say, after America had invaded the wrong country. People here, especially liberal Seattle people, would vow: “That’s it, I’m moving to Canada.”

Well it turns out we need a new joke. Because Canada isn’t having it anymore. They don’t want us there — at all, no laughing matter.

“We regard the United States right now as the biggest petri dish in the world,” reports George Creek, from Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Creek has been leading a group of volunteer watchdogs to monitor marine traffic, looking for  Washington state boaters who have sneaked across the border  into Canadian waters. They then report them to Canadian officials to try to keep them from docking and coming ashore. No hard feelings, he told me cheerily by phone this past week. But every American is seen as a loaded vector of disease.

“You need to get the pandemic under control. You need a rational person to take the helm of your country. Until then, all we’re saying to Americans is: Stay away. When you come against our wishes, pardon the expression, it pisses us off.”

Ouch. You know you’re becoming a pariah country when the Canadians go all “pardon the expression” on you.

Earlier this month, three local members of Congress — Democrat Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor and Republicans Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane and Dan Newhouse of Sunnyside — joined some of their colleagues in  sending a seemingly benign letter  to the Canadian government. It suggested we talk about reopening our shared 5,500-mile-long border, which remains closed to most travel due to COVID-19.

The letter was fluffed with flowery, binational niceties — such as a call to “restore the social bond that unites our two nations.” But hoo boy, not since the  1859 “pig incident,”  when we nearly went to war in the San Juan Islands over one slaughtered hog, have our friends to the north gotten quite so prickly.

“Hard pass on opening the border — we’re a healthy nation with big plans, and you’re a failed society,” one Canadian replied to the congressional letter on Twitter.

“That border stays CLOSED,” wrote another. “Canadians may be polite but we aren’t CRAZY!”

And another: “There’s no reason to believe Americans will care about the health of Canadians, given that relatively few seem to care about the health of other Americans.”

Ouch  again. On it went like this, with more than 6,000 tweeted responses to the members of Congress, in what was the social media equivalent of being battered by the wings of a flock of angry Canada geese.

Also this month, in response to news that U.S. boaters were flouting the border closure, the B.C. premier, John Horgan, joined in the stay away chorus.

“Our government fought hard to get the border closed, and it needs to remain closed until the US gets a handle on this pandemic,”  he tweeted  on July 15. “This is not the time for Americans to be here on vacation & anyone abusing the rules should be penalized accordingly.”

A recent poll of Canadians showed 89% want to keep the border with the U.S. closed through 2020, with  the pollster saying  they regard America’s mishandling of the virus as “a cautionary tale.”

Remember that election we had, in 2016, when the winner talked about closing our borders to the world? The world ended up closing its borders to us.

It isn’t just the virus. On Wednesday,  a Canadian court ruled  that a 16-year-old agreement with the U.S. governing refugees and asylum is invalid because the U.S. no longer qualifies as a “safe” place for refugees. The way we treat them is a human rights violation, the court said.

Creek, the Vancouver Island boat monitor, also said the violence in American cities has long been confounding to Canadians. But seeing the willful denial in America about the coronavirus, a known contagion, has Canadians wondering if their neighbors have lost any capacity to reason.

Canada, he said, is  averaging fewer than 500 new COVID-19 cases  and five deaths per day, in the entire country — yet is scrambling to tamp that down with contact tracing, calling it a “surge.”

“You had 71,000 new cases and more than a thousand deaths today,” he said. “American tourists are normally the most welcome, but we look at all this and we just shake our heads.”


jrDiscussion - desc
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    4 years ago

The story reminds me of my university days, when in Phys Ed class we had a health lesson about sex.  A slide was shown of an ovary and a sperm wiggling towards it.  Someone in the back row shouted "KEEP AWAY!!! KEEP AWAY!!!" and the whole place erupted in laughter.  This time the "Keep Away" isn't so funny. 

Professor Silent
1.1  SteevieGee  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    4 years ago

That's it.  We are the new illegal aliens.  I don't blame them a bit.

Professor Principal
2  Kavika     4 years ago

Lots of relatives in Canada and talking to them is most interesting, to say the least. 

The conversation goes something like this. 

Me....Aniin (hello) Aniish na (how are you)

Cousin, Aiiii blood, I'm good. Whatcha doing down there in moosh noosh (dumb ass) land?

Me, keeping my head down blood. 

Cousin, don't you start thinking like some of those moosh noosh chimooks runnin loose down there.

Me, no way shinob (what ojibwe call each other)

Cousin, you know I love you blood but don't be comin up here in Maple Leaf land. We don't want none of that virus stuff.

Me, I can't the border is closed.

Cousin, I know and that is a good thing you got a whole lot of moosh noosh running your country. Us shinob's calling you down there USDA (United States Dumb Asses). 

Cousin, later blood, I'm off to do some tipi crawling. 

Account Deleted
Freshman Silent
2.1  Account Deleted  replied to  Kavika @2    4 years ago

From my mother's side, Amish several times removed, all I can add is

"Be careful out there among them English."

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.1.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Account Deleted @2.1    4 years ago

Hah. You've watched the movie "Witness".  

Eli Lapp (Jan Rubes) to John Book (Harrison Ford): "You be careful out among the English."

The wife of Jan Rubes and I served together on the board of directors of a Theatre in Toronto.

Professor Principal
2.1.2  Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1.1    4 years ago

I love that movie.


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