Well it’s been almost a year since this whole thing “started” for many of us… hard to believe. At the same time it feels like the longest year of our lives, but honestly how has it already been like 10 months dealing with COVID-19? Tomorrow actually marks a year since the first case was reported here in our region.
I think a common theme we can all relate to is: exhausted.
For many people, especially when the pandemic started it was a bit of a break- you had some time off or could work from home. But as we’ve transitioned to this “new” way of life, people are fed up. No longer able or willing to think about the collective greater good. I know there are so many layers to things and many people have made sacrifices because of this thing. But it’s also because of all these sacrificed that it is so important that people actually follow the rules and have some human decency to protect our communities and each other, or it will all be for nothing.
Many of you know that I took a new role in the fall this year as a clinical educator for the NICU (and am loving it but more on that in another post). I am not delusional in that I know my risk is lower than the people who are working at the bedside right now doing the direct patient care. But I still do spend a fair bit of time in the unit, I’m still going to the hospital most days to go to work. And for all those people who are working doing patient care- for them, I worry. One of our sister units (which houses moms of our babies) has been on lockdown due to some exposures recently, and as you can imagine this has posed some unprecedented challenges. For those moms, for those families, for those babies- this is why following the rules is important. For the people dying alone in our province in our ICUs – this is why following the rules is important. The actions we make matter.
For all the people who feel that it is okay to be taking vacations, going to parties, and hanging out with friends – my question to you is: will you come and hold the hands of the people dying alone? Will you come and tell the moms and dads of these babies why they can’t see them for 14 days, but your socializing and vacation-taking is more important? Why is your life more important than theirs?
I’m going to be real straight up & honest here- I have lost friends or distanced myself from people based on how they have chosen to handle themselves during this pandemic. I have removed people from my feeds and my life. If you are the kind of person who wants to post or argue about why this is bs and is impeding your freedoms – buh bye! I definitely don’t need you in my life and you certainly do not uphold the values of anyone I want in my circle. While I am not one to share all the details of my personal life I think it is important for you to all know, think about, and understand- some of these people I have cut out of my life are people I cared a lot about and respected once upon a time. One of the guys I had been talking to for many months since just before COVID hit who decided that “this is all bs”. Who told me when I asked him about myself & my colleagues going to work putting themselves at risk back when we had little to no PPE and risking our own lives and the lives of our families – “nah its all bs”. Let’s be really clear.. that’s not going to fly. And if you don’t respect that, how can you respect me?
To my family members who lashed out at me for respectfully asking them to follow the rules and keep the people who we love at highest risk safe – to model the right behaviours. To the friend who disliked me holding them accountable and instead of acknowledging that we all make mistakes and making better decisions in the future told me they didn’t have time for my “narcissistic rants”. Yeah- sometimes doing the right thing isn’t easy. But man, does it suck when people turn out not to be the people you thought they were. It’s a whole other level of disappointment and let down. That sucks.
But in a way I’m happy this pandemic has been very telling- we’ve learned a lot about peoples’ true colours and their values. And I’ve realized that you know what- those are probably not the people I want in my life anyways (cue post on removing toxic people from your life sometime soon). I think what I was most disappointed was when I brought up these things and that I felt disrespected, the common theme with all these individuals was that they said ” sorry you feel that way” which was an even bigger slap in the face… basically “sorry you’re being ridiculous” not “hey sorry you know what we screwed up, thanks for calling us on it so we can do better as a collective”. I acknowledge that it is never easy to admit when you’re wrong, but it is also human for us to make mistakes. Especially when we’re all trying to navigate the craziness of this pandemic and life. But what I don’t appreciate is the toxic negativity and aggression towards anyone who calls you out when you’re wrong. There is no need to be defensiveness- admit it, learn, and move on. Honestly, all you can do is have the conversation and if someone isn’t willing to acknowledge inappropriate behaviour or that they have room to grow, what can you do? And Guess what people? We wouldn’t BE in lockdown if people followed the damn rules. We need to hold each other accountable.
I’m going to tell you right now- nobody is more exhausted than your healthcare workers. Remember all those “heroes” you applauded, and banged pots & pans for every night? We’re exhausted too. Many of them have children and families who are exhausted. They’re balancing their lives with getting their children online each day to do online learning. They’re isolated. I know for one, I feel that way. I’m hitting that point in the pandemic where I am just done with it all. Not only all the extra work and time and effort that everything takes these days, but also with peoples stupidity and selfishness.
It’s a real slap in the face when the people who are supposed to be our leaders are taking liberties and have no respect for the work that actual people are doing. I spent Christmas totally alone and I haven’t seen my family since September. So I have a really hard time listening to people whine & complain and justify why they feel they are above the rules. The actions you take matter- and when our ICUs are over capacity very soon, us as healthcare workers will rise up and care for all of the general public regardless if their actions put our lives in jeopardy.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be back in the thick of things and work at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic here. Honestly, with the rest of the drama going on in life this was a really nice refreshing weekend. It was busy, but it felt good to be surrounded by some positivity. I feel like lately all I’ve been inundated with is negativity, and conflict, and disappointing displays of selfishness. So it was really lovely to see some old friends from the high risk areas (mostly ED and ICU) coming through for their first poke on our way back to some “normalcy”. And to feel like we are making some sort of dent in all this for the first time in a long time.
To finish off this week, I’m going to leave you with some uplifting humour because I think we’re all in need of that right now. Remember to appreciate those small moments we so often take for granted because we need to hold on to any small bit of positivity that comes our way at this time. And for all you peeps that have been missing my sarcasm… well this one should home nicely for you!