Covid-19 Victims part two: irreplaceable reputational damage for “gougers”

di Joe Volpe del 30 March 2020

TORONTO - Canada’s Provincial and Federal governments pepper the airwaves with press conferences with an ongoing stream of more or less relevant information re Covid-19. Their “talking points” about what a great job they’re doing and how their measures are designed to save our jobs in an economic downturn.

The questions every viewer, listener or reader are asking in fact can be summarized as follows: will I survive? How did we get here in the first place? Will there be any pieces to pick up after this is done?

Our medical scientific system will sooner rather than later come up with guarantee for the first question, although it is not confidence building to hear Chief Medical officers provide response that suggest there is a shortage of reliable information provided by local authorities. Moreover, so the argument goes, Canada’s provinces may reflecting only 25% of what is actually happening on the ground.

This Covid-19 will cause us all to reassess our priorities and the status of health care in our country. Italy, for example, which has the first or second best health care system in the world is finding it difficult to cope with the concentrated challenges of the virus.

The USA which ranks first in “preparedness” for shock requests on its health care system is beginning to realize that it is not immune from silent killers. Canada … well, we’ll get there.

No one has figured anything out, yet. I’m glad I’m have no political responsibilities. The stress would be tough on anyone. We do know that “we are all in this together”, or so the saying goes, and we should help one another.

A younger woman, a dental assistant, went to her care to provide me with a couple of face masks, on hearing the pharmacist assistant advise me with regret that there were none available.

Hoarders had cleaned out their inventory.

To that lady, I say thank you on behalf of everyone who still feels we should do something.

I wondered what definition of altruism runs through the mindset of the entrepreneurial types at Pusateri’s grocery store. They marked up Disenfectant wipes to $29.99 a package, to take advantage of the business opportunity presented by shortage.

There are regretfully, many who practice the dubious tactic of profiteering.

Pusateri has become the “useful idiot” for Premier Ford’s need to show he can punch ’’a sawdust bag” as well as anyone. Pusateri, already accustomed charging its toney customers exorbitant prices for product available virtually anywhere, probably doesn’t even understand that it has become the laughing- stock of any organization in which they are a part.

Their Crisis management team is not returning calls, but a media strategist with ties to that team offered that Pusateri had to go to a secondary supplier – who marked up the cost. Regardless, they have become a great distraction for anyone wanting to beat up on gougers.

It’s a list not limited to politicians. The president of the Liberty Group, an upscale caterer and restaurateur, took to Facebook to condemn those who gouge in this time of need, offering to provide shut-ins with a package of three bottles of wine at his cost of $99 all in. Normally, his accompanying advertisement says, the price is $400.00. A healthy margin – gouging – to charge the toney crowd who cannot go to the LCBO.

It’s not all bad. Magnotta Winery, a Canadian based producer, is making available alcohol-based sanitizers from its production facilities free to anyone who makes a $2 donation (debit/credit card), all proceeds go to a local food bank.

Thanks, Rosanna Magnotta, for heading us towards a light, no matter how dim. Maybe you can offer a free clinic on good corporate citizenship to your colleagues.


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