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Letter: We should be counting our blessings

Re: "Three RVC-area MLAs oppose provincial public health restrictions," article, April 13, Rocky View Weekly

Dear editor,

This is addressed to Airdrie-East MLA Angela Pitt and Co.

I get it.

You’re sick and tired of on-again, off-again restrictions. You’re sick and tired of being barred from bars, from restaurants and from your friends’ homes. From malls and rock concerts and churches. You’re sick and tired of this whole COVID thing and you just wish you could get back to normal.

Don't we all?

But consider this – millions of people around the world have endured much worse for much longer. For example, Syrians lived through 10 years of bombing and displacement, and now they live in the rubble of that war. You think they’re not sick and tired of that?

How about the millions of Rohingya, who fled persecution from the Burmese military and now find themselves squatting just inside the Bangladesh border. They have no decent shelter, no sanitation, no schools, no hope of ever going back home, and are not wanted by either country.

Then there are the Uyghurs in China, who have been herded into “re-education” camps?

What about the people – especially women – of Afghanistan, who have endured at least 40 years of various militaries invading their country? They have endured repressive prohibitions concerning dress and schooling all in the name of some perverted, extremist, horribly-gone-wrong version of Islam.

Closer to home, what about the thousands of First Nations who live on reserves under boil-water advisories since as long as anyone can remember?

You think all those people are not sick and tired of what they are enduring? Would you rather change places with them? I’m sure they would be only too glad to change places with you.

We are so fortunate. We are not being bombed. We are not being driven from our homes. We are not living in refugee camps. Women here are not required to cover themselves from head to toe in order to go to the grocery store. We can go about our business without fear of being blown up by an IED. We don’t have tanks running up and down the streets. Our children aren’t being co-opted as child soldiers. We don’t have to worry about disappearing. 

Maybe right now we can’t come and go exactly as we wish but there’s a reason for that – a pandemic is still raging worldwide. As for those pesky restrictions, well, there’s a reason for them too. Wearing masks, social distancing, going somewhere only when it is absolutely necessary and getting vaccinated are the only ways we will beat this pandemic.

So, stop whining and protesting. Get on with being responsible citizens who show care and respect for each other. That’s the only way we will beat this pandemic. That’s the only way we will once again live restriction-free.

Margaret Hanna

Airdrie