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Covid-19 not the root cause of all that ails us

Posted on 10 March 2021 by Ryan Dahlman

There is no doubt Covid-19 has hurt us all all in some manner. 

For some, we have tragically lost a family member or friend and for others it has ruined livelihoods. For others, the pandemic’s affects are not like a tidal wave hitting a sandcastle, it’s more like subtle but deadline waves slowly eroding that sandcastle, with some waves hitting a lot harder than others.

The stress is caused because life is very confusing right now, everything seems to be on such polar opposites of the spectrum. 

Mortality, economy, and lifestyle are all being changed. Anyone who used to complain about living with the status quo and wanting life to be different cannot complain right now. 

If anything, some people are realizing they had it pretty good before or at the very least have had their eyes opened to what it is like to have not been privileged. 

It is quite easy to point to Covid as the sole reason for all the stress in our lives. It seems to be the catalyst in all that is, as spin doctors would say, “adversely affecting” us.   

Mortality wise, many have suffered the loss of loved ones, as of March 1, approximately 22,000 in Canada, 1,900 Alberta, and 400 in Saskatchewan.  The gutwrenchingly sad stories of all of those who have lost loved ones and have been separated from them while they have passed on have been nothing short of tragic. 

Businesses have shuttered their windows. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, “nearly eight in 10 Alberta small business owners have taken on debt due to COVID-19, with the Alberta average reaching nearly $186,000 per business. In total, small businesses in Canada now owe a collective $135 billion, over $21 billion of which is owed by Alberta small businesses.

Lifestyle, in a survey released in December 2020 by the Canadian Mental Health Association, “most people in Canada (71%) indicate they’re worried about the second wave of the virus, with 58% worried about a loved one or family member dying, and only 21% feeling hopeful. As winter approaches, 40% of Canadians say their mental health has deteriorated since March, with the decline more pronounced in those who are unemployed (61%), those with a pre-existing mental health issue (61%), younger people aged 18-24 (60%), Indigenous peoples (54%), those identify as LGBTQ2+ (54%) and those with a disability (50%). Almost half of women (45%) and a third of men (34%) say their mental health has declined.”

Those are scary numbers. 

But with sickness comes healing and the antidote. Both literally and figuratively. Will never say that this pandemic is a good thing, but it has forced us to look at ourselves and what we are doing individually and as a society.

A lot of questions are being asked during this time of turmoil and change. Answers are slowly being provided.

While this may seem simplistic that scientists were able to come up with a vaccine for something that came up from (at least to the public’s knowledge) nowhere yet cancer still is taking loved ones away.

People are now asking questions.

Those who are affluent, are complaining their rights are being infringed and that their lives have been hurt as they come back from weeks/months-long vacations in the Carabbean or Hawaii. Self indulgent politicians and professionals advocating for public restraint for wearing a mask are being found out to be not following the same spirit of the pandemic rules.

People are now asking questions. 

Small businesses who have somehow held on could soon be the benefactors of a change in mindset. The numbers are scary but consumers, while they are still using ordering systems like Amazon or the now abundant amount of food taxi services, are starting to realize they should have supported their local mom and pop ship or taken that extra 15 minutes to go to the bookstore or even realize that second hand items like clothes are actually a good thing…this taking a little pressure of landfills. 

At least people are now asking themselves questions. 

Covid has been extremely damaging and has caused immeasurable suffering, no doubt. There are so many different situations and scenarios, it would take thousands of words to address all of them. So while this may sound like one of those encouragement memes from a social media sites, we have to remember that all of us are going to endure negative things in life, we cannot control them. It is what we can control and what we do with those ugly circumstances i.e. how we respond, is what will determine each individual first and foremost. It is that collective is what shapes society.

It’s not “is there” — it will be, “there is” hope. Change is difficult and challenge, but it is apparently what we need.

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