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We’re Better Than This

I wish the heartache and disbelief escaped me as easily as the words sometimes do.

There used to be a time I wouldn’t believe something sounding like a dystopian novel excerpt could’ve actually happened in real life, even if you told me. Sad as it is, the entire sense of what’s believable has been completely turned on its ear in this so called new-normal. This pandemic has brought to light a shocking denial of medically and scientifically proven facts, and subsequently after vaccines became available, solutions. That’s bad enough on a good day, but if only it had stopped there.

Instead, we’ve managed to outdo ourselves in the worst way possible. Here in Canada, hospitals across the country have faced backlash from anti-vax protesters trespassing outside their buildings, while verbally assaulting and harassing the medical personnel who’ve been breaking their backs non-stop the last 18 months. I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the irony that these same workers are trying to save the lives of those same anti-vaxxers as they inundate ICUs right now. Science has clearly spoken with a resounding voice, but even the most vocal experts or concrete messages can be swiftly defeated by wanton ignorance.

Ignorance that began with chants of ”lock them up, lock them up!”, as apparently it’s a crime to administer a life-saving vaccine to patients. Once again, if only it had stopped there. Clearly the escalation was inevitable, as reported by this facepalm-inducing article from CNN:

Police are looking for a man in Canada they say punched a nurse in the face multiple times, knocking her to the ground after she administered a Covid-19 vaccine to his wife without his permission.

And this:

“Right at the beginning, the suspect was very angry, very aggressive, he asked the nurse why she vaccinated his wife without approval, without his consent,” Carrier said. “And he punched her right in the face multiple times so the nurse didn’t have the time to defend or explain herself … and she fell to the ground and the suspect left running out of the drugstore.”

This is truly appalling, and I’m equal parts saddened and disgusted to read this. Is this seriously the level things have devolved to? Is this the embarrassing, shitty fucking legacy with which we want to be associated, let alone remembered? Is this the message we want to send to children who are watching all of this unfold, and seeing how adults — and far too large a chunk of humanity in general, frankly — are behaving toward one another? I hope they find this asshole and throw the book at him. I have no sympathy or patience left for this intolerant lack of human decency.

And to this poor nurse who got assaulted for doing her job, and to all the brave frontline health workers who’ve worked tirelessly this whole time: thank you with all my heart to every last one of you. You’re all heroes without capes, and deserve nothing but respect, gratitude, and admiration. Please don’t let this goddamn selfish behaviour make you forget the countless lives you’ve already saved, every single day of this seemingly endless battle.

Behaviour that makes me weep for our collective future. In times of need and suffering, the willingness of people to attack others instead of leaning on them for support is both baffling, and heartbreaking.

Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatred.

Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

We’re better than this, so it’s time we start showing it.

Posted in #SeptemberScrawls - Day 27

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