Last weekend there was a civil liberties protest downtown with several hundred participants. They were protesting wearing masks, telling businesses to open their doors. As you can tell it was about the regulations imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19. The good news about this protest is that there were no unseemly incidents. The police were there to monitor the event. And, believe it or not, some protesters actually thanked the police for how they monitored the situation.
Here's my issue with this protest. First, let me say that we are blessed to be living in a country that gives us the right to peacefully protest. We have the right to free speech, to express our thoughts, ideas, beliefs. This works especially when we do no harm.
We have been asked to wear a mask, socially distance and wash our hands as the best means to contain the corona virus until a vaccine is developed. To me this is a very small ask considering the magnitude of the current situation.
There is no doubt that staying home, having businesses closed, limiting our contact with family and friends has been very difficult and has taken it’s toll physically, financially, emotionally, mentally. However, I believe another perspective might be considered. That perspective comes from looking through the lens of gratitude.
Would those who are mask shaming and so concerned about their civil liberties prefer to be living in a dictatorship or 3rd world country without access to good health care, electricity, running water or sufficient food?
I was speaking with a gentleman the other day who immigrated here from east Africa some years ago. He talked about the wars that were going on in Ethiopia and how they couldn’t leave their home for fear of getting shot. Food was not available. He said you were lucky to find nuts or water to consume.
I have to ask, how can we not be grateful for all of our blessings that come with living in our 1st world country. For those who believe Covid is not real or a hoax, how do you account for the 1,000,000 plus deaths around the world? Does anybody want to be responsible for adding to those numbers? Again, something so simple as wearing a mask (unless there’s a medical reason not to) and distancing has proven to save lives. One of those lives saved might just be your own or the life of a loved one. FYI. Since January Japan has had approximately 1,500 deaths from corona. How come so few? Masks hand washing, distancing.
If we can find it in our hearts to be grateful for the blessings we have rather than believing we are put upon, we just might get through these unprecedented times. NO doubt the longer this virus wages on, the more difficult it is to maintain masking, distancing. It weighs heavily on all of us. We need to find it within us to stay the course, be resilient, resourceful and hopeful. Helping and supporting each other when the going gets tough is key. It will improve the well being of both the supporter and the supportee.