Since the beginning of the pandemic provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has called on us to act as a group against COVID-19.
“Stand together in our pandemic, while staying apart,” she repeats. It’s like we are in a horror movie and she is asking us to gather in one room in a cabin in the woods, lock all the doors and hold on till the sun comes up.
But of course it never works out like that.
Some of us are trapped in care homes, unable to hold our newborn grandchildren, wondering which monster is worse – the virus or loneliness.
Others have to risk it and open the door to the monster, whether it be to save lives, ring in groceries, teach math or just hold onto whatever job we need to pay bills.
Being inside the house isn’t 100 per cent safe either, as if this cabin in the woods we were forced into is haunted.
Last year 30,000 people called the Interior Health Crisis Line Responders, an increase of almost 50 per cent compared to the year prior and across the province 1,716 people died from illicit drug overdoses.
In Revelstoke people aged 20-39 are likely living with several roommates, making quarantine so difficult that Interior Health is offering to pay for hotel rooms for those who can’t safely isolate in their homes.
And there are many who are more vulnerable to the disease because race has historically prevented fair opportunities for economic, physical and emotional health.
On top of everything, Premier John Horgan, is accusing some of us of cavorting with the enemy; the 20-39 year olds are sneaking out in the middle of the night and simply ignoring the monster that is trying to break down the door.
“My appeal to you is do not blow this for the rest of us,” he said at a March 29 news conference. “Do not blow this for your parents and your neighbours and others who have been working really, really hard, making significant sacrifices so that we can have good outcomes for everybody.”
I get it, we are all sick of being stuck in this horrifying cabin, and seeing videos of 20-somethings partying at a restaurant in Big White (which I am not at all condoning) fuels the finger pointing.
But, it’s always when the group splits up, when they start blaming, doubting and arguing, that the monster sneaks up and devours them one by one.
We all have a role to play and need each other to get through this. So, Premier Horgan, are we really all in this together? Or is it just something to say until a scapegoat comes along that is more agreeable to your voters?