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Disturbing trends are afoot

Posted on September 17, 2020 by Maple Creek

Keep on keepin’ on — Stan Ashbee

In the time of COVID-19, common sense should prevail — shouldn’t it?
As a parent, especially during this whole COVID-19 pandemic experience, the stress seems to be never-ending.
Parents had to make a very tough decision over the summer — should their children go back to in-class learning or should they stay the course with online educational pursuits? It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
Not only do parents have to worry about all the logistics and safety precautions (that are hopefully adhered to) of sending their kids back to school and any possible outbreaks (that may or may not happen). Parents of those students staying at home, now have to worry about their kids coming into contact with friends and/or classmates attending classes in schools, if they hang out.
Some students have already had to don face masks or social distance when hanging out. Others simply have decided not to bother with a social life, at this time. And some, just don’t really seem to care.
It could be a trickle-down effect, especially for those with family members who have compromised immune systems. It does indeed matter who you have come in contact with and who you will be having contact with — siblings, parents, grandparents, etc. Just like any other communicable disease and/or unrelenting virus. (Note: I’m not a doctor, but I do pretend to play one on TV and I have dressed up like one on Halloween — but maybe not this year).
So, that’s just one aspect of COVID-19, as the pandemic continues to straggle on — like it or not.
It has been reported, there may be a second wave coming! What does that supposed scary proposition mean for Canadians?
Many of our most vulnerable are now gathered in schools across the province and coast-to-coast. Do you remember when outbreaks were declared in care homes for seniors across the nation? Hopefully, this former tragic statistic doesn’t transfer over to other places where vulnerable Canadians congregate in mass quantities to learn, socialize, and/or otherwise.
This is not meant to be an alarmist call, but rather, playing devil’s advocate with a scenario that seems to be brushed under the carpet with all the wrangling to get kids back to school, so quickly — when events, mass gatherings, and businesses continue to limit their people count or have been non-existent since March.
Six degrees of separation, or in this case, six-feet apart
Is shaming necessary at times? Online, it’s a shame-spiral, it would seem, depending on the dilemma or hot topic of the day. More on that, later.
There’s regulations for seatbelts, which has been proven to save lives. There are laws to deter people from not drinking and driving — which also saves lives. Helmets are for protection when on motorcycles, ATVs, bicycles, and the like. There’s also occupational health and safety regulations to keep employees safe at the workplace.
Perhaps the old adage, “No shirt, no shoes, no service” could be updated to include, “No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service.” That would be fitting during a pandemic, wouldn’t it? Again, more on this, later.
Not to mention any names or to note the event or where or when ­— safety, was definitely not first recently. And it was disturbing, to say the least.
Organizers of a recent event were worried about proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for those in attendance, but wearing a face mask was optional. No one seemed to care about face masks and social distancing was scarce. This included V.I.P. dignitaries. It was as if a global pandemic was a distant memory. Wishful thinking maybe — if you ignore it, it might go away? Out of sight, out of mind? The powers that be say its OK out there and getting better, and COVID-19 cases are low in the province. Plus precautions are supposedly in place, but people are still sick and dying (globally) — it’s not rocket science.
Our role models should be emulating good practices. Wearing masks in public (inside or out), social distancing, not shaking hands, etc. How do we expect our kids or anyone (for that matter) to follow suit if the people representing their best interests don’t seem to care or find it a nuisance to follow health recommendations from experts.
I’m sure the majority of Saskatchewan residents and those from across the country don’t want to go through another six months of house arrest. I’m positive businesses don’t want to shut down again. It would seem people want to go back to a somewhat normal life, at some point. A little discomfort now, can help alleviate a lot of pain and suffering later on.
Today is not the same as it was yesterday. We live in an uncertain place and time — collectively and unfortunately, we all need to face that fact. Normalcy and/or complacency is a thing of the past.
Should we act now and evolve or face an extinction of sorts?
Pre-COVID life was a dirty place
Could wearing a mask assist with curbing the spread of colds and flu(s) this fall? Already, reports have stated, less people are getting sick thanks to all the hand washing, better hygiene practices, wearing masks, and non-contact with each other. Doesn’t that say something about the world in which we lived, just mere months ago?
Life seems cleaner and more sanitized. Prior to COVID-19 taking centre-stage, just think of all the places we touched/came into contact with that was never cleaned or was just an afterthought (debit machines, ATMs, doors, tables, chairs, computers — you name it, it probably wasn’t cleaned, or not very often). So, that’s a win.
Who really needs the outdated and archaic handshake? It has been proven — with remote working/education — society doesn’t need to work side-by-side in cubicals and some students can function without being at an actual school (many post-secondary institutions continue to offer only online learning options, for the time being).
Just think, no in-person bullying, popularity contests, and/or squabbles for both employees and students.
Yes, some would argue employees and students need social interaction and/or learn or work better in a socialized/structural setting. But, I digress. These aforementioned topics of discussion are only the beginning, as the world continues to deal with a pandemic — a world event most of us have never lived through before.
It’s new and it’s downright scary.

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