amongst books

amongst books

Friday, April 24, 2020

Ottawa, Friday, April 24, 2020 - the oblivious, the Ogre and the insensitive


It’s Friday so I had to go to Massine’s to pick up groceries again. It’s still stressful to go there during this time. For the most part people give each other a wide berth on the street and in the store, but not everyone does. Some folks seem oblivious, and can get upset if you remind them. I accidentally touched the handle of a cart that hadn’t been disinfected yet, and the kind cleaner shouted a warning. It was unsettling. I know in my head that I’m going to wash my hands the moment I get home, but I still find it alarming and anxiety-making.

I find it irritating and insensitive when folks describe this time as if it’s some kind of relaxing holiday. I can’t imagine how they don’t soak up the tension in the air, how the reports don’t seem to cause them anxiety or empathy. And most upsetting to me are those who talk about this time as if it’s a good thing. There’s nothing good about it.

People are dead or dying or extremely ill. Friends and families of loved ones are grieving. The Ogre in the House of White is dangerous, stupid and intent on making trouble and causing more problems, ones that could get more people killed.

I understand some people are able to look on the bright side of things and I admire that, but not now. Not at this time. I’m just trying to cope. I’m grateful that my husband, so far is healthy and I am too. I worry for friends who’ve gotten the virus and I’m concerned for other friends who are disabled and immune-compromised, who have mental health issues and feeling worse at this time. I am grieving for all those who have died. 

What we are seeing is how lip service has been given to the poor, to low-income workers, to the elderly and the disabled for a long time. When we see the deaths in long term care homes, and hear that these homes haven’t been given enough funding to hire enough staff or to comply with necessary hygiene and safety measures, this isn’t news. This has been a reality for a long time. The death of the forgotten and neglected is not something to celebrate. Will there be changes? I wish that were the case, but I am not hopeful.

So yes, today is a dark day. As is every day that the virus is still active and we don’t have a vaccine. And it angers me when anyone points to benefits of the consequences of the virus.

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