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Kamloops News

JONESIE: Public health scofflaws making chumps out of the rest of us

January 29, 2021 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


In my newsfeed this week, I counted four people on vacation in Mexico.

Another person is hosting a visitor from Alberta and she’s taking her guest around Kelowna to show her the sights and neighbourhoods.

Driving around Kelowna, I saw no shortage of Alberta licence plates.

A friend of mine told me he knows someone who flew to the U.S. recently just to buy a dog.

And I’m starting to feel like a chump.

I’m sure most people aren’t as comfortable with B.C.’s health orders as me. I work from home and even before the COVID-19 pandemic, I could go weeks without ever leaving my property or seeing anyone.

The pandemic has, of course, made things more stressful, mostly by forcing my family to remain home with me. At all times. In one small house. Without any escape.

Mostly I see the stress in friends not so lucky as me, wondering when they can return to work or reopen their business.

I watch them struggle with the information and disinformation spreading across social media. They’re looking for answers through an angry lens, seeking facts to feed their bitter feelings.

I understand why they go there, even if I’m not there.

I feel a duty to do my part to slow the spread of this virus. I’m not an infectious disease specialist, I don’t fully understand this virus and I do have questions about the effectiveness of public health mandates.

But none of that matters because I have been in a row boat before.

You go in circles if not everyone is pulling an oar. There’s nothing worse when working as a team when someone in the back is moaning and whining instead of helping.

I used to defend B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s approach. I believe she doesn’t want to impose any restrictions at all. I think she really hoped everyone would be reasonable, follow her directions, grab an oar and pull.

Most people have and most do. But there’s also this growing sense that the conscientious among us are getting played, that others are seeing Facebook feeds like mine and wondering what’s the point, that people are becoming parent-deaf with her latest imploration.

Politicians and even health officials heading to sunny climes over the holidays. Rich entitled morons sneaking ahead of the line for vaccinations. And plenty of others who just don’t care or worse, find information to absolve them of the responsibility.

I’m not sure how Dr. Henry can help with that, short of some draconian wide-sweeping lockdown which I would not prefer.

And I’m just sitting here, doing my best to understand and adhere to the protocols while Dr. Henry asks me to do more.

I will do more, but it would be a lot easier if we had some sense that we are all making sacrifices.

— Marshall Jones is the Managing Editor of iNFOnews.ca

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