When Will COVID End?

FUCK YOU COVID.

There, I said it. I know we are all thinking it. We want the mask mandates and the health protocols and the need for vaccine passports to fuck off. We want to be able to travel and visit our family and essentially do whatever the fuck we want without someone dictating what we can and cannot do. We want this whole debacle to fuck off so that when we turn on the news, or even just our favourite show, we do not have to talk about God damn COVID. We want to be able to shake hands, give someone a hug or just be able to actually see someone smile again. We want all of this to fuck off, regardless of who we are, and yet we also are spending an absolute disgusting amount of time arguing over it as well. Who is and isn’t vaccinated? Who will and will not wear a mask? Who is or is not following health protocols? Who does or does not agree with what our health professionals or politicians are doing? Who thinks what, when and how we should all handle COVID? And, I will fully admit, I have been having lots of those discussions myself.

However, I also think it is important that regardless of your opinion on the rules surrounding COVID, there are a lot of things to consider. The following post is my own version of what I am finding the most challenging and infuriating about COVID. It is not stating that you are not entitled to your own assessment of all of this, whether you agree with me or not, but rather just some things I have noticed that I think some people should consider before they judge, shame or question the decisions of other humans you are interacting with.

Now, before I start spouting my own opinions, I fully understand that for a lot of individuals, COVID is more than just an annoyance for them. For some people, it was a scary and risky illness that they contracted, overcame and are now most likely going to live with the effects for the rest of their lives. For some people, they have died. Their families are grieving over their loved one during a pandemic that has done nothing but create chaos, debates and an opinion by everyone. I will fully admit that the rest of this post is going to be my opinion on COVID. However, before I do that, I think it is important to acknowledge those individuals who have lost their lives due to COVID. At the time I write this post, 28, 698 Canadians have passed away. That is a lot of families impacted and I think it is important not to forget the life long and heartbreaking ripple effect of those individuals.

Don’t Forget that.

Regardless of your opinion of COVID, people are dead. Mothers, Fathers, Siblings, Friends, Co-Workers, or neighbours are no longer part of someone’s life and we need to remember that.

Now, the other thing, which is the main issue I am having when it comes to COVID is that everyone who lives in this current climate is still a human. People are going to make mistakes. People do not know what the hell they are doing. And people are going to sometimes put others at risk. I would like to hope unintentionally on that one. Now, it is important to remember that you do not know everyone’s story. You do not know mine and I do not know yours. So, in saying that, you do not, and should not, be judging someone for a decision they have made when it comes to their own medical choices and safety. If someone chooses to not get vaccinated, regardless of the reason, that is THEIR CHOICE. Just like it was my choice to get it.

Now, that “choice” seems to be a very slippery slope that has made me uncomfortable in recent days. Since the beginning of COVID, the professionals trying to keep us all safe has stated that they will not make the vaccines mandatory. They say they still haven’t, but yet you “need” it in order to access social events or restaurants. On November 15th, if you work with the public, you “need” it to have a job. You “need” it to travel to a different province or attend your loved one’s wedding, or FUNERAL. A funeral? Really? I need a vaccine to go see my dead relative. That seems fucked to me. And as the rhetoric in the news says, it is voluntary but your “duty” to do so. The language surrounding this mentality is quite problematic. I have seen it create an unnecessary divide amongst those who have not gotten their vaccine with those that have. It has created random employees the right to ask you your personal medical information. It has created an attitude towards those individuals who do not want to get a vaccine that is new, generally untested and in recent weeks shown to be less effective than originally thought.

This divide, and the negative perceptions that are shared by the media, feels very ominous from other medical divides that have happened in the past. To me, it is quite in tune with the way we treated gay men during the AIDS pandemic. Gay men who continued to engage in sex were labelled as dangerous, or inconsiderate, or not taking things seriously. They were told to stay home and not socialize so they wouldn’t “spread” the disease. They were told they were the problem and that although other individuals who were not gay men became infected with AIDS, it was so “minuscule” that it was never discussed. This all sounds very similar to those choosing not to get vaccinated. They are told to stay home, and not socialize as they are the ones “spreading” the disease. They are told that they are the problem, that although people who are fully vaccinated are still catching (and spreading) COVID, it is so “minuscule” that it is not being discussed. 40% off all the positive cases one day last week was in fully vaccinated individuals, but all that was said is that boosters are available soon. It is not as simple as they would have you believe.

Most Canadians, and up until recently myself included, were getting all their information from your local new sources or national news updates. I think we all need to question that information and what they are not telling us. We are told that if everyone got vaccinated, we would be good to go. Yet, they fail to discuss how people are getting infected. If the majority of people get the vaccine, like they did in Israel, how are there still cases occurring? Now, I will fully admit that those who are unvaccinated are taking up more beds in the hospital and “overrunning” our medical system but in my province, if 50 people is overrunning your hospital, maybe you need to re-evaluate the system not the people choosing not to get vaccinated. Maybe consider looking at the recoveries or that on average lately it has only been 6% of all COVID cases that end up hospitalized. Maybe look at the efficiency of the vaccine and realize it is not solving everything. Instead, maybe consider a few other things.

People have the right to chose in their medical decisions. People have a right to choose not to share that decision publicly to eat in a restaurant or go to the gym. People have to have ID in order to use those vaccine passports, and for those who cannot afford, or are unable to get proper ID, they just can’t go? You need a phone, and money, and the ability to take multiple steps in order to access and complete the vaccine process, or the process to travel, or even to get your vaccine proof in those locations making it a QR code. What if you are homeless? Disabled? Living in a rural area? What if you are just straight up afraid? Afraid of going places where you can catch covid? Afraid of the risks of taking a vaccine? Scared of getting too close to someone or forgetting your mask and being chastised for it? Things are not as simple as vaccinated or unvaccinated. It is so much more than that.

So, instead of all being assholes who are fighting over the difference of opinions, maybe we should try something different. Maybe question the information you are receiving and how statistics are being presented to you. Maybe make a choice to not go places that require you to share your personal information, medical or otherwise. Maybe we should just be fucking kinder. Kinder to each other and kinder to ourselves. Be kind to the medical professionals and politicians who are trying to navigate how to handle a worldwide pandemic with no road map. Be kind to those people who work in retail, medical professions, shelters, taxi drivers, truckers and those employees who have to ask for your vaccine proof. Like you, they are just doing their job and having to find themselves at higher risk in order for us to maintain our privileged needs. Be kind and channel the loved one in your life who told you..

“If you do not have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. “

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