The Covid Coaster & The Night Ottawa Died

Pandemic Ethics Scholar Dr. Julie Ponesse sits down with Dr. Barry Engelhardt to discuss what he saw in Ottawa during the Freedom Convoy and how things have shifted in Canada since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.


I spoke with Dr. Barry Engelhardt, a retired physician with 35 years of experience in family medicine, who is also an author and has a master’s degree in bioethics.

Barry and I discuss the COVID-coaster; the emotional roller coaster we’ve all been on over the past two years during the pandemic. We review the events that occurred in Ottawa leading up to the invocation of the Emergencies Act, which included a notable shift in tone and a heavier more threatening police presence, as well as the resistance by the prime minister and our politicians to engage in any respectful dialogue.

We look at the growing paranoia around infectious diseases, the impact of over sanitizing, and the problem of trying to get rid of all viruses to prevent the unpreventable, without there being negative repercussions to our body’s immune system and its natural symbiosis.

We discuss the unrealistic expectations towards medical professionals to be able to fix things easily similar to a technical issue with a computer or smart phone, while negating the incredible biological complexities of our bodies.

We dive deep into the concept of fear and how it suppresses inquiry and how as humans, we are programmed to fear new ideas and change. Barry points out the human tendency for tribalism and the need to be part of a group with social isolation causing the ultimate pain.

We discuss the dangers of having a closed mind and the growing inability for dialogue and public discourse, as well as the trend among people toward binary thinking.

Finally, we examine the failings of our educational system to nurture critical thinking and inquiry, and how parents can help their children move away from binary, fear-based thinking and influence them to function from a point of confidence and curiosity.

Dr. Julie Ponesse

Dr. Julie Ponesse


Dr. Julie Ponesse is the Ethics Scholar for The Democracy Fund and author of the new book: My Choice: The Ethical Case Against Covid19 Vaccine Mandates. Dr. Ponesse's focus is on educating Canadians about civil liberties.

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