“Our” B.C. Pandemic

Who does “our” refer to when the Provincial Health Officer talks about Covid-19 in B.C.? It’s not me. It’s not elderly people. It’s not a huge percentage of disabled folks, of immunocompromised people. Phase 2, Phase 3, the full back to school plan… I know I’m not alone in being unable to participate in this reopening. The language appears so inclusive, “our” pandemic – that’s precisely what makes it harder to spot – how exclusive it really is, how in fact these words marginalize so many. I can’t get the news of the day about Covid-19 in our province without being reminded of how little value I have in our culture. I hold no currency. I carry no weight, except the burden of staying safe while the majority finds their new normal. Their vastly different summer vacation plans, their struggle to adjust to seeing plexiglass in their favourite restaurant. That sounds glib of me – but I’ve had enough. This is what I hear about over and over. Restaurants, bars, hotels, travelling, how to open these things up safely. No compromise. Uncomprising, fully. No accomodations, no kindness. There is no kindness in leaving so many behind. I have not heard a word of guidance about what precautions those who are vulnerable to complications of Covid should take since the end of April. Before beginning the re-opening, Phase 2, in Mid-May. At the end of April, Our Patron Saint Dr. Bonnie Henry said that such vulnerables – so very vulnerable, but my how this is testing and strengthing my mettle – may want to stay with Phase 1 precautions “for the coming days”. It’s August 8th. When are these days coming, or coming to an end? Because I don’t need to go to a bar or a beach party, but I would love to go to the grocery store and pick out my own avocados. That would truly feel like freedom.

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