A Pandemic Rant

I get it.

You’re sick and tire of vascillating on-again, off-again restrictions. You’re sick and tired of being barred from bars, from restaurants, from your friends’ backyards. From malls and rock concerts and churches. You’re sick and tired of this whole COVID thing and you just wish you could get back to normal.

Well, guess what? So are a lot of other people around the world who are enduring, or have endured, much worse. For example:

Syrians have lived through 10 years of bombing and displacement. You think they’re not sick and tired of that?

The people of the so-called Democratic Republic of Congo who have lived through how many years of civil war?

How about the millions of Rohingya who fled persecution from the Burmese military and now find themselves squatting just inside the Bangladesh border, no decent shelter, no sanitation, no schools, no hope of ever going back home, and not wanted by either country?

Or the Uyghurs herded into “re-education” camps where they can be “re-educated?”

Or the millions of parents who watch their children starve to death and who themselves face a bleak future, if any future at all.

What about the people of Afghanistan who have endured at least 40 years of various countries invading their country (all with good intentions, or so they claim), who (especially women) have endured repressive prohibitions concerning dress and schooling all in the name of some perverted extremist horribly-gone-wrong version of Islam.

And closer to home, what about the thousands of First Nations who live on reserves with boil-water advisories since as long as anyone can remember?

You think all those people are not sick and tired of what they are enduring? Would you rather change places with them? I’m sure they would be only too glad to change places with you.

What I don’t get is this: Why is it we always choose to compare ourselves with those who have more, or against some half-remembered supposedly idyllic time of yore? Why can we not count our blessings and be thankful for what we have, here and now?

We are not being bombed. We are not being driven from our homes. We are not living in refugee camps. We, okay, most of us, can drink the tapwater. Women aren’t required to cover themselves from head to toe in order to go to the grocery store. We can go to the grocery store without fear of being blown up by an IED. We don’t have tanks running up and down the streets. Our children aren’t being co-opted as child soldiers. We don’t have to worry about becoming “disappeared.”

We have so much compared with so many people in the world who have so little. We have government support programs to help us through the worst. We have food banks. We have vaccines. We have “peace, order and good government,” regardless of what you think of our current government.

Maybe right now we can’t come and go exactly as we wish but there’s a reason for that – a pandemic is raging. And those pesky restrictions – there’s a reason for them, too. Wearing masks, social distancing, going only where and when it is absolutely necessary and getting vaccinated are the only ways we will beat this pandemic.

So, stop whining, stop protesting and get on with being responsible citizens who show care and respect for each other. That’s the only way we will beat this pandemic. That’s the only way we will once again live restriction-free.

#PandemicRant #PandemicRestrictions #LessFortunateOthers #PandemicProtests #BeingThankful #MargaretGHanna