My brain hurts from overload. Some days it feels broken. Between a few flights, I’m back on the ocean, full of emotion. Taking to the skies early last week I landed in winter.
From +10 on the west coast to -20 in the Canadian praires… brrrr. I was hiding in a hotel from snow and bitter cold winds. I was in a kid bubble. It was a good place to be.
Flying into Winnipeg, Manitoba and driving to my family in Brandon took me on a two hour stretch of highway through the flat white prairies. The four lane #1 Highway was full of big semi trucks and rigs delivering the goods that keep this country going.
I thanked them silently, knowing there’s good people behind the wheel working hard every day. Keeping going, mile after many miles through blustery blizzards and frozen nights, stopping long enough to grab a hot meal or a shower, far away from their families and the comforts most of us enjoy after a long day of work. These are the reliable truckers I am proud of. I respect and admire their fortitude through the last two years more than ever.
Getting back to the trenches in Vancouver for a few days of brain drain, I’m working in community mental health. The world feels topsy tirvy, on one hand we feel the lightening of restrictions and the return to normalcy in our communities. On the other hand we watch in shock as the city of Ottawa struggles to deal with “Freedom Protests” and the assault on our collective common sense. The additional stress on top of the last two years is the final straw for some folks.
The question I can’t stop thinking about is “WHY NOW?” Why in the middle of a long, cold winter? Why now, after two long years, when numbers of hospitalizations and deaths are trending down, and restrictions are lifting? Why now, when we are getting closer and closer to endemic? What changed that all hell breaks loose with these unvaccinated thousands protesting the mandates that have brought us this close?
The question is unanswered. It’s Friday and I’m back to the sky and the soothing sunset. Landing in Maple Bay on Vancouver Island, the smell of salt air mixed with the cedar forest is intoxicating. Relaxing from a demanding job and the travelling I’m tucked into a cozy spot by the soothing ocean. It gives me time to reflect…
We all want to get to freedom, free from the pandemic and free from covid restrictions. Our rates of infection and death are much lower than many countries, especially our close neighbors to the south. Here is why according to an article from the BBC:
Canada has a universal, decentralised and publicly funded healthcare system administered by its 13 provinces and territories.
“That means that people, regardless of their socioeconomic status, have access to healthcare,” said Dr Donald Vinh, an infectious disease specialist at McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. “What makes that an important factor is that, regardless of where you are in your phase of illness, you will still be able to get healthcare.”
The last two + years we have learned how to look after each other and how to cope with the isolation, physical distancing in all venues, loss of income, health challenges, losing loved ones, and “managing expectations.”
Home… our true north strong and free. We’ve had an assault on our common senses. The “Freedom Truck Convoy” has spread a new virus of distrust in our communities, the pandemic of disinformation has resulted in a movement that has led to the disturbing disruption of progress in our great peaceful country.
How this affects us as a society is shocking. The shear power and noise of unhappy people behind the wheels of huge machinery has paralysed our capitol city, has gotten into our communities and in our face. Our drive into sleepy small town Duncan was totally plugged by huge trucks with flags flying, heading to Victoria to surround the Parliament Building, and disrupt another city. How do we manage our expectations around the force of roughly 10-15% of our population having the entire focus of our country and our government tied up to manage this ridiculous uproar?
All I know is this:
Victims of the Covid disease deserve much more. Our citizens who have been stricken with illness and loss of loved ones deserve so much more. The medical community, businesses that have lost income, people who have lost work, or worked all day in a mask all day, every day deserve more. Teachers and students in our education systems that have dealt with adjusting and readjusting constantly, to keep each other safe deserve more, much more. Our seniors who have faced horrendous illness, death and isolation deserve so much more.
According to MacLeans:
“They Were Loved”
“The magnitude of COVID-19’s impact on Canadians’ lives is difficult to fathom. Canada has already lost more than 20,000 people to the pandemic, with the number ticking steadily upwards; each of those losses has cascaded through families and communities, leaving many more thousands bereaved. Public health guidance around social distancing has resulted in restrictions around traditional mourning customs and rituals—heart-wrenchingly, many were unable even to say goodbye.” (https://www.macleans.ca/they-were-loved/)
NOTE: Feb, 2022 – Total number of deaths exceed 36,000.
I can’t help but think of my Medical Professional Colleagues on a daily basis. The front line nurses who have endured this horrible pandemic, some of whom have been overcome by the fight. The job is the most difficult it has ever been.
The crass behavior of those who brazenly demand their way of ending mandates while doing nothing to help end this pandemic, adds insult to injury. Medical staff have been warned in my city of Vancouver to refrain from wearing our scrubs to work, or to show our hospital ID while out on the street trying to get to work.
It’s absurd, and unfathomable. I understand the frustration with having to comply with medical protocols in order to work. I’ve had to do that for 30 years in order to keep my job as a nurse, I get flu shots every year, or wear a mask. It’s my choice.
Just as it is our choice to be vaccinated or not, in the interest of the public health to make us all safe, we choose, we work, or we lose our jobs.
These mobsters are not that special, anarchists have existed throughout history. They deserve what has now complicated their lives. We do not deserve how they have complicated other’s lives. It all comes down to simply making choices. Part of being a responsible citizen is taking responsibility for the choices we make, paying taxes, insuring homes and vehicles, abiding by the rules of the road, and using our voice at the voting polls. That’s who Canadians are. We wait and we watch, peacefully but horrified by the bad behavior of a very small minority.
We stand together for “OH CANADA, THE TRUE NORTH STRONG AND FREE.” I am a nurse. I proudly fly this flag.