Thursday, August 6, 2020

Meditations at Home During the Pandemic #7

This is the seventh in a series of reflections while I am at home during the COVID-19 pandemic

Hello to readers from around the world.  Greetings and well wishes from Toronto, Canada.  It is August now and the pandemic rages on, especially in the United States.  This has been the strangest summer of my life.  I will always remember it as the COVID summer.  I haven't been going out much except for shopping, drives and picnics in secluded areas.  I have also attended small, socially distanced gatherings in my sister's backyard.

I try to avoid stores as much as possible, especially the ones that are not properly supervised.  Many people don't bother read signs or simply ignore them.  In a store in my neighbourhood, there is a sign instructing people to wait for someone to exit before entering.  I stood and watched people just enter the store without waiting for someone to leave.  PEOPLE, PLEASE READ SIGNS, FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR A MASK!

Frankly, I do not enjoy wearing a mask.  Marks are uncomfortable and they make breathing difficult after a time.  However, I would rather where a mask then end up on a ventilator with COVID-19.  I also do not want to infect others.  As I've written before, freedom does not mean I have the right to endanger others.

Movie theatres and restaurants are opening up here in the Greater Toronto Area, but i still don't feel comfortable inside.  I have dined in an outdoor patio, spaced 2 metres (6 feet) apart from other patrons.

I wear a mask to protect myself and others.  I will continue to wear one until this horrible pandemic subsides.  Yes, masks are uncomfortable.  Yes, I wish I didn't have to wear one.  However, I'd rather wear a mask than contract COVID-19 or infect someone else.  It's a pain, but it's necessary.  I also know that if there is a second wave of the virus, we may face a strict lockdown again.

What's happening in the United States of America is truly a tragedy.  COVID-19 is clearly out of comtrol in America and its president has no plan as to how to deal with it.  Words can't describe how much I abhor the policies of Donald Trump.  His values are not mine.  I've been counting the days until November 3rd, when I hope the American people overwhelmingly vote him out of office.  

As of today, the COVID-19 death toll n the United States has surpassed 160,000.  That's a staggering number.  Think about it.  Over 160,000 human lives have been lost to this deadly virus in the U.S., which has a population of more than 328.2 million.  So, what did the great American leader say about this tragedy?  When questioned about the death toll, Trump said, "it is what it is."  It is what it is?  People are suffering and dying and all Trump has to say is "It is what it is."  The man lacks empathy and compassion  Have you ever heard him say that he is heartsick about the COVID deaths?  Have you ever heard him offer his condolences to their families?

Here in Canada, there have been about 9,000 COVID deaths, out of a population of over 37.6 million.  The majority of the deaths have been confined to the two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec.

I urge people to heed the advice of scientists and medical experts.  Above all, don't listen to Donald Trump.  Faeebook and Twitter, to their credit, have restricted Trump's accounts due to "harmful" claims.  He has been posting misleading information about COVID-19.  

I agree with the people who say that once this pandemic has run its course, we can't just go back to normal.  We have to move ahead to better than normal, or as Joe Biden puts it, "Build back better."  We must tackle climate change.  It hasn't just disappeared because of the pandemic.  We also have to work toward a fairer society and lower the gap between the wealthy and lower income earners.  There is so much to do, but we must do it.  New leadership in the United States will definitely help as we move forward.  

Donald Trump is running the United States government as if it's a reality show.  The American electorate should cancel his show due to low ratings.  It's been on the air far too long.

Wherever you are in the world, take care and stay safe.  A vaccine is on its way, by as Dr. Anthony Fauci, we still have a long road ahead.  However, he predicts that there will be 18 vaccines by the end of 2021.  I pray that next year will be a better year for the human race, beginning with Joe Biden's inauguration at high noon on January 20th

This pandemic has not only taken a physical toll on people.  It has taken a terrible toll on our mental outlook; but as the song goes, It's been extremely difficult, but we can't give in to apathy and despair.  "We shall overcome."  We have to.

Note: This will be the final installment of my COVID reflections until late September or early October.

- Joanne

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