There was much hope for 2021 as we lined up for vaccines to mediate the effects of COVID-19, the easing of restrictions that gave us a window to gather in larger groups i.e., arenas and to celebrate the winter holiday of Christmas with family and friends. Then the year ended battered, bruised, and with a parting gift of a highly transmissible COVID-19 variant. So, my approach to the new year was come in; get comfortable, let’s see what you have in store for us.
Well, quiet is a relative term, as the household remains mostly housebound due to cold temperatures, snow accumulations, and the rising price of fuel makes a joy ride a deferred event. Then internationally we have the build up of opposing forces at the Ukraine border, some European nations pulling the welcome mat on a number of displaced refugees from north Africa, Afghanistan, Asia, and beyond. Our neighbour is rumbling buy American, when our economies are linked so deeply, that in some manufacturing sectors the products are truly North American. The economy; now that’s a scary topic–housing to purchase is limited, prices are booming, now gas prices have reached a new high, groceries are drawing more from household budgets, and the dollar is struggling, as many commodities cost more because many items are tied to the US dollar.
Depressed? Well, it’s very adult like to ponder where life is at, frankly I don’t have a lot of faith in the political systems. Governments do tend to plan and implement on narrow timelines, their foci what outcomes can be had in 2-5 years, announce initiatives that when examined are tied to; election results, and not transferable to all constituents and communities to name a few. We’re in need of more collaborative efforts at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government, for instance today is the second day of the protest in Ottawa. The city of Ottawa has virtually closed roads, businesses have shuttered their doors, and the protestors have shown up and it’s not clear who they represent. The organizers have apparently made some conditions public; the end of public health restrictions and directives (provincial level), the MPs including the prime minister to resign and be replaced (it’s not clear what process would be used but one does not throw out the rules unless the majority agree). Protestors parked illegally, refuse to wear masks where indicated (municipal) Now I do not disagree about protests, it’s just you need to help with the processes and supports to manage a large crowd. The “GoFundMe” money could have helped to pay for the Portapotties (now that malls and public buildings are closed; where does one perform ablutions??), food trucks to feed the crowds. An agenda of who will represent the protestors and what will be spoken on? What started out as some truckers in opposition to mandatory vaccine has expanded to a myriad of issues.
My issues are desecrating our flag and the use of swastikas to mark the need for change. Does anyone care the national cenotaph is our hallowed ground of our army, navy, air force, merchant marine members who made the ultimate sacrifice. The cenotaph solemnly stands for our collective values of honour, commitment, and service above all. It’s not a urinal, it’s not for parking vehicles on, am I correct on these points? The use of swastikas is an example of contempt for our fallen comrades and the millions of Jewish, marginalized groups who died during the Nazi regime, also know this is Holocaust Week.
The desecration of the statue of Terry Fox is equally loathsome, this man’s dedication to raise funds and awareness of cancer also possessed honour, commitment, and fortitude. The individuals dancing and jumping upon the grave of the unknown soldier I hope you’re found and informed how grievous your behaviour was to Canadians.
More grievous outcomes: downtown Ottawa hospitals and long term care facilities cannot be reached for staff to show up for their shifts. A pox upon those who bullied and shouted at the soup kitchen staff demanding food and caused the shutdown of the kitchen, so the clients (homeless, poor) were denied support.
Now before we respond like the groundhog who has seen its shadow–six weeks of current condition , let’s be grateful for those essential workers in health, manufacturing, deliveries, key services (water, garbage, snow removal) and almost 90% of us who have shown up to be vaccinated. Canadian census is 38 million that means 380,000 are not fully vaccinated or have beliefs that could encompass conscientious objectors, to anti-everything, to ignorance, and a few thousand or more exist as our vulnerable members of the community. They don’t have a choice due to a pre-existing condition that a vaccine could harm them, and COVID-19 could be detrimental to them.
So, if you have shelter, food, health, and choices, you’re way beyond what many in the world could even dream about. To the protestors, January is one very cold time to gather on Parliament Hill–clarify what you’re there for, because a number of us are streaming, watching, and thinking WTF. Namaste.
Registered Nurse Storyteller, Healer, Scribe, Transformational Leader