On The Spectrum
The world is so frustrating these days. Whenever I go outside I see people unwilling to properly mask up. On social media, there’s all kinds of folks denying racism, the terrible effects of late stage capitalism and claiming that COVID-19 is some sort of conspiracy.
The worst thing is that these people are only hurting themselves. The same people who say wearing a mask infringes on their freedoms are perfectly willing to accept paramilitary forces illegally detaining citizens. It seems worse in the US but it’s creeping into Canada too. We praise the essential workers but then cut back their salaries even though the pandemic is far from over. And then there are those who decry CERB as a handout even though it’s funded by taxes that we all pay into. You know, so the government can invest in its citizens in good times and in bad.
And I’m angry at myself because it brings out ill feelings. I am judgemental of the anti-mask people, even though I know some folks have issues that make wearing one problematic. I focus on how much I’ve sacrificed to follow public health protocols even though I’m aware that others don’t have the financial resources to just stay home or buy a lot of masks. We are all in this together but there are many people who are harder hit than me, and because I stay in as much as possible, I don’t see them.
I’m sure the Covidiots (I told you, I’m judgemental) are as equally frustrated that not everyone shares their point of view. And it’s not a left-wing/right-wing thing either. It’s more like a division between selfish and empathetic people. The selfish say “I don’t wear a mask because it doesn’t protect me 100 percent.” The empathetic say “I wear a mask to protect you.”
I wish I had an answer that would help these selfish Folk see that working for the common good — flattening the curve, providing universal health care, free education and childcare, defunding the police and better allocating financial resources to social and mental health programs, dismantling systemic racism and sexism — will only make everybody’s life better.
I wish I knew a way to improve the current discourse because frankly it is killing my heart. To paraphrase Cracker from the RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars Finale (taped before everything went to hell in a not very stylish handbag) sometimes it’s hurt, not hate. We shouldn’t stand for vitriol, but maybe we need to listen to see what this nastiness is masking. And also take a hard look at the people and organizations that use fear mongering to exploit people (Jason Kenney and MAGA types, anti-vaxxers and Plandemic proponents). Who profits from creating chaos?
In the meantime, I find myself drawn to bright colours as a way to fight the bleakness. I bought myself some pink faux crocs and a plastic beach bag at the Dollarama as a pick-me-up. I also made this necklace from dollar store beads. And I purchased a vermillion dress from Old Navy. Yes, consumerism is a problem too. Nobody’s perfect but we can all strive to be better. I’ll start by taking a social media break to destress, forgive myself and focus on the Joy in the world (and how best to share it).