If you saw someone driving erratically on the highway and thought to yourself that this person may be intoxicated, you’d call the authorities. Right? Because that person is a hazard to themselves and others and it’s in the interest of public safety to do so. If you saw someone get assaulted on the street, you’d likely do the same thing. Granted in today’s society, you’d get more people filming it on their phone than helping out, but that’s a different issue.
The irony is that all of these things, assault, driving while impaired and even “little” things like speeding or rolling through a stop sign, are against the law. Statutes and regulations have been put in place to prevent these actions. Not because they’re intended to restrict a person’s freedom but in a way, to ensure it by guaranteeing everyone’s safety; including your own. The same can be said about many of the health measures being implemented by governments in order to try and flatten the COVID-19 curve.
Hell, I’ve even seen people phone the authorities on neighbours because they’re having a loud party and the worst damage is that the person is losing some sleep because of the noise. It doesn’t stop them from calling, nonetheless. The problem is that people only report these incidents when they directly affect them or benefit them. You wouldn’t give two shits about the party happening on the other side of town or the drunk driver travelling on the other side of the Province, despite the results being the same.
In recent times, governments have begun to implement a number of laws, statutes and regulations that limit the number of people in households and certain businesses and make the wearing of non-surgical masks mandatory in public places. Since I know that the majority of my readers aren’t from Saskatchewan, I haven’t bothered to link these laws as they’re different in each country. Hell, in Canada they’re different in each Province, although my Sask readers are welcome to Google “Saskatchewan Public Health Act” if they want confirmed information.
I’ve been extremely disheartened with the reactions and comments that I’ve seen spreading across social media, since the regulations restricting the number of people in a household has been implemented. It seems that with every post that someone writes about a gathering in a household, a commenter will jump on there and indicate that they should be left alone and that people shouldn’t be “snitching” on their neighbours. Yeah. Great. That sounds ideal, but there’s a lot more to it than simply letting the neighbour have their party…
Picture this scenario: a local resident decides to invite a dozen or more of their closest friends to have a small social gathering. Seems like a good idea, right? Moral is low, a lot of people are working remotely from home and don’t have a lot of contact with the outside world and realistically, we’re all supposed to be in this together, right? The resident knowns he or she doesn’t have COVID-19 and has done the “responsible” thing and asked all the invitees not to attend if they have a fever, cough, yada, yada, yada…
One of the big problems, which has been explained ad nauseam in the past year, is that you can be carrying the virus without demonstrating any symptoms. You may have it and not even know it. So you’re temperature is fine, you’re not coughing or having difficulty breathing. Great. You head on over to your party and have an awesome time, drinking awesome shooters and maybe even meet a special someone. Fantastic. Then , those invitees all go to their homes and their work and potentially spread the virus on to the people in their surroundings because someone at that gathering wasn’t aware they were carrying the virus.
Maybe you’ve spread it to your family, who has then spread it to their work and in their schools. That results in greater case numbers, more people getting sick, schools closing and potential lives in jeopardy. All because you wanted to have your little party and people think they shouldn’t be phoning in on their neighbours. Does that seem like a bit of a bleak picture? Absolutely, but it’s also the reality. And much like the offences I mentioned in the opening paragraphs, these types of gatherings are not a scenario where “they’re not hurting anybody else,” but a case where they may likely be causing this pandemic to continue on for longer than it needs to. Oh, and it’s illegal. In case no one caught that little detail. IT’S ILLEGAL.
This time of year is particularly hard for people, especially since restrictions mean that we don’t get to see our families over the holidays. I feel that sting better than most, since my parents are in New Brunswick and there’s no realistic chance in hell that I’ll be with them for Christmas. I’m lucky; I have my wife and sons to spend Christmas with. But I’m an only child and my parents are separated due to my father being a care-home resident that’s currently locked down. But besides obeying the law, which all of us should be doing, isn’t sacrificing one Christmas worth it to ensure you may be able to live to see the subsequent ones?
I know that all of this seems restrictive, and as I’ve written on a number of occasions, people don’t like to be told what to do. But the reason this seems to be dragging on is because we loosen our grip too soon, only to have a resurgence of the virus requiring tighter measures. Wouldn’t it make more sense to simply follow regulations and restrictions, let this thing die out so that we can start looking towards the future? Seems to this Buddhist that this would be the path of least suffering. But what do I know? I’m just a short man on a tall soapbox… ☯
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