OPINION: The unseen enemy

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It’s been more than a year now. Tempers are frayed, patience is wearing thin, but COVID-19 remains.

We all must remember it is the common enemy, not each other.

With Chatham-Kent back into a Red Zone in terms of COVID-19 restrictions, we are all admittedly extremely fatigued of this virus, be it in terms of those fearful of it, others who want to ignore it but are unable to do so due to government restrictions and everyone in between.

We’ve seemingly had wave after wave of COVID surges, locally, provincially, nationally and globally.

As soon as restrictions are relaxed, people seemingly forget the notion of social distancing and regular hand washing, hugging friends, having large gatherings and wondering how COVID counterattacked so quickly.

As we said, this is fatiguing on all sides, and it has polarized people.

You have the anti-maskers vs. the pro maskers; the anti-vaxxers vs. the pro-vaxxers; the anti-rules folks vs. the pro-government types. Yes, there are many of us in the middle in some of these wars of words, but that is certainly the minority.

Half of long-term care personnel declined to get vaccinated. That caused an uproar from folks who are in favour of the vaccine.

People had gathered outside their immediate households during the lockdown (Super Bowl parties, for example), and in much larger numbers than allowed once the lockdown ended. Neighbours called the COVID police on one another. Fines were levied.

We have people who blame governments as a whole for failing to properly deal with this virus, or for trying to put restrictions on their freedom of movement.

Furthermore, we have a plethora of online doctors, with degrees in Facebook medicine, it seems, who claim to know way more about the virus than our own medial officer of health, or those at the provincial or federal levels. More verbal sparring, this time on social media.

Most of us have also encountered a person in a store without a mask or someone heading the wrong way down a clearly marked one-way aisle, and had less-than pleasant thoughts against the other.

Blame, blame, blame. When the point of anger is only seen under a microscope, people lash out at their nearest targets all too often.

Let’s take a collective breath, people, respect one another, and get through this together.

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