Thoughts and questions on Covid-19

Hello human family!

Lately, our strange and unique world has seen some great challenges.  So many thoughts and questions have been running through my mind – and I am sure that it’s the same for many of you.

I’ve been thinking of the families who have lost loved ones due to the corona virus and it’s got me thinking about the adage, “When an old person dies, he takes a library with him.”  How many libraries have been lost in the last few months because of one little, yet incredulously powerful virus?  My heart goes out to all of you…

Yet, this sheds an astonishing light on how poorly we treat the most vulnerable people in our societies. It’s almost as though, once people reach a certain age, we “put them away” in places that could not possibly bring them comfort, which, ironically, makes them more vulnerable.

I never thought that our seniors could be so negligently and thoughtlessly ignored,  even though people are being paid to attend to their needs.   I never thought that doctors, nurses, EMTs, hospital staff, porters, food servers, janitors, cleaning staff would be even more vulnerable than the patients streaming in to hospitals.

I never thought I’d be a cheering fan of truckers, but as long as they are delivering the food to our grocery stores and supermarkets, I’ll continue cheering them on.   (thank you truckers!) and thank you to every employee of every place that sells food – without all of you, this pandemic would have been far more horrendous!

Thank you to the bus drivers, teachers (who are well underpaid!) and all essential workers for keeping things going while the rest of us shut down.

Thank you to the Canadian government and health officials who have been there for us, informing us, supporting us and giving us the truth of the situation. (So proud to be a Canadian!)  Thank you to all the anonymous, un-thanked volunteers who are delivering food to the most vulnerable.  You are heroes and sheroes too!  Thank you to the food banks who are overwhelmed with requests and under supported.

Thank you to all those following the social distancing requirements, staying home and wearing masks while you have to be out and about.  You too are an important part of this recovery process!

And thanks also to the “covidiots” who necessitate embarrassment; I never thought we would need new lessons on how to properly wash our hands or explanations of what “six feet apart” looks like.

I had long held out hope that pollution levels in India, Los Angeles and China would dissipate, and yet, look at what happens when we are forced to stay home with our families, loved ones and liked ones? Jellyfish have been spotted in the canals in Venice!  People are hearing bird song in places in which birds had disappeared and more importantly, we have had no choice but to surrender to our surrounding ecosystems.

Why (and when) did it become normal to continually and substantially harm our environments?  It took a global health crises for us to realise what was possible if we all just stopped for a bit…

People, let’s not ever go back to the previous way of environmental degradation.  We have the power to shape a new normal, so when we are able, let’s all go plant hundreds of trees.

Goodness knows, the Amazon is in trouble.  Let’s not add to it… Look at what happens when we give Nature the time she needs to repair herself.

Have you also noticed the tanking of gas prices?  I’ve written on this blog before that if all of you wanted to see lower gas prices, all you had to do was stop driving for a bit.

This is nothing new.  Given how many people have stopped driving for a month or two, we’re seeing major environmental response.  Please don’t throw that away for the sake of the dreaded rat race.  We have one planet.  There are no other options.

Moreover, when did it become normal for world leaders to publicly request that all governments globally work together to solve this crisis?  Did the fact that “we’re all in this together” not register?  Do certain leaders think that their part of the continent will be spared given who’s in charge?   Denial is a dangerous game when it comes to pandemics.  Let’s stop electing people who clearly don’t give a ****.

How many of you complained that you didn’t have enough time with your families?  How many of you wished you didn’t have to see your bosses on a day-to-day basis?  How many of you wished “that you could just slow down for a little while?”

It seems, my friends, we were all making the same wishes…

But there are lessons here for those who ponder- Only the One who Made us could make the entire world stop, answer all our wishes, show us who the real heroes are and expose the awesome regenerative power of Mother Nature simultaneously!

Take this time and use it well.  Don’t waste it on the hustle; the old rat race has run its course.  Nature is showing us what really happens when we’re not paying attention.

Speaking of paying attention, it’s been bothering me that we pay certain people so much money to act in plays or movies. We give them awards and as much air time as they want – even just for cutting their hair.  Yet, we pay our teachers less than many essential service workers.   We pay our footballers, basket ball players and baseball players more money than can be justified whilst we under-fund and undervalue teachers, janitors, porters, food servers and biological researchers – these are the people who will find a cure for cancer – and for the Novel Corona Virus.

Don’t get me wrong – GO RAPTORS! – I love a good match as much as anyone else, however, are we all not questioning priorities at the moment?  One of the Italian biological researchers said it well, “You pay Messi 1 million Euros per month while you pay researchers 1800 Euros.  You want a cure?  Go ask Messi.”

How many of you, whilst schooling your children at home, have had the thought “I don’t know how teachers do this every day…”? It’s time to show, and place, appreciation where it belongs.

And how is it that we read one article on what is happening, or what needs to happen and we become sudden subject matter experts who can diagnose one another and prognosticate as to when things will open up again?

Also, HOW do people get away with having mass protests under lock down? Because yet again, the almighty dollar reigns supreme?  Has Covid taught people nothing? Without your health, the rest of anything else becomes irrelevant.

And WHEN did it become okay to pack in a small flight without any pre-screening,  health or temperature checks? Or any instructions that masks must be worn throughout the flight?

Speaking of planes, how long will it take before I can travel again? How long before I can see my antipodean family?  When can I rush into a grocery store for a midnight milk run?  When can I sit with loved ones in a café or restaurant without fear of infection?  When will there be a vaccine and how will they get it to everyone?

I’m sure many of you have the same questions.  I think the most important fact of the matter is this: family matters.  Your loved ones matter more than the hustle, the drive, the status of how many and how much…

We have to trust that “this too shall pass,” and when we emerge from this world of isolation, let’s all be that much kinder to each other.  Do we not deserve that?

Love each other.  That’s the only real rule.

 

Happy Women’s Day!

Happy Day to all you strong, intelligent, beautiful women!

To all of you who make a difference in the lives of others, whether through education, care-giving, home-making, professional activities, entrepreneurship, and all others, Thank You!

Every woman has an impact.  Every woman makes an impact – whether it’s holding a door open for someone else in one minute or teaching a class or checking a pulse, or styling someone’s hair or planting trees – every time you act, you make an impact.

So I am saying “Thank You” because the world will often forget how important you are. So lean on women who know.

Happy International Women’s Day beautiful people!

 

 

 

What is going on 2020?

Hi Everyone!

A belated Happy New Year to all of you!

You know, every time I turn around these days, it feels as if things and people are getting weirder and crazier.  And I know it’s not just me…

I’ve said this before, and it bears repeating:  We need to be kinder to each other. Accept each other as we are.  Love and let love, live and let live.  The differences don’t matter- It’s what we have in common that binds us.

We are One race. One human family. One people.

Don’t bother me with your labels. Come to me with your ideas for betterment.

Have a kinder, more loving, more accepting year.

My whole heart goes out to the Iranian and Canadian communities who lost so many loved ones in the devastating crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752. May God comfort you and ease your pain.

My heart also goes out to all those struggling on the front lines of devastating fires, floods, blizzards, snowpocalypses, climate change, severe famines, droughts, poverty and dehumanization of religious minorities.  (Let’s do more to stop that!)

 

Hey Vancouverites,

Thank you for one of the most peaceful protests we’ve seen in a very long time.  Thank you to everyone who made signs (on recyclable and reused materials) and thank you to all the parents who stood beside their little ones.  This strike/protest matters.  You matter. Our world matters.   “One love, One heart, Let’s get together” and make this right!

Some of my favourite photos:

All photos ©Safreena Rajan

People of all walks of life attended this rally from very young to young at heart and all people in between.  The human family was well represented today.  Well done Vancouverites!

 

Kudos to the VSB for “Letting” kids skip school to attend.  I get the feeling though, that the majority of the 100,000 people in the downtown core would not have asked permission.

The Earth is in trouble people.  Let’s not leave it in the hands of those who clearly don’t care.

Thank you to everyone in every city, province, state, nation, country who walked or who supported those who walked today.  Shout out to the Policeman who directed traffic using his sandwich and coke bottle as sign posts for traffic to follow!  (Unfortunately I couldn’t get a pic, but I’m thankful I live in a place where the police have our safety first in mind and can make us laugh.)  And thankful I live in a place where signs like this result only in messages being delivered and more cardboard being recycled!

Thank you to the Climate Strike Team, Fridays for the Future, Greta Thunberg and all the lovely people who, like me, have been fighting this fight for years.  There is much to be done. Today was a fantastic start!

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir….

thank you

and congratulations to all Canadian Olympic Athletes!

Happy Canada 150 + a few hundred

Happy “unofficial” 150th Birthday Canada!

I say unofficial because it’s important we acknowledge the hundreds of years, (possibly longer,) of First Nations history that shaped Canada long before the age of colonialism.

This is a beautiful and strong country; one which continually shapes our day-to-day lives. However, lets not all jump on the Canada 150 bandwagon – we are a large nation – “the true north strong and free,” but that strength and freedom have come at very steep prices. Those prices have been paid largely by our First Nations Peoples and by those who were promised citizenship in exchange for their slave labour. The price has been paid through the cultural genocide called the residential school system, the building of the Canadian railways and the movement which kept slavery alive and well in this country.

It’s a price paid by every woman who earns less than men for the same work. By those who are persecuted for their beliefs, skin colour, creed, gender or orientation. Or by those for whom accessibility options are the only options.

If we are going to jump on this bandwagon, let us, at the very least, acknowledge we have much farther to go before we can call ourselves united. When our own citizens are dying of hunger in the north, whilst the south partakes in gluttony, we cannot call ourselves advanced. Nor settled. When people have to live on the streets or in tent cities because those are the only safe options, much needs to be done.

Yes we have issues- the very crux of which need to begin with dialogue and reconciliation. We are not a nation who is turning 150. We are a nation who are acknowledging, rather ironically, that we are celebrating 150 years of a coast to coast railway that made us into the federation we recognise today.

Yes we lead the world in many things. We are great with science and technology, peace keeping and peace building. We are great at poking fun at our Québécois and voting people into and out of office based solely on spite. We are also fantastic at not being American.

Yes we have poutine, bearclaws, healthcare, free air conditioning (arctic downdrafts) hockey and brew. We even have music, other sports and we love to ski and snowboard. We say sorry, please and thank you. We know we are not the only citizens on the planet. We are diverse and welcoming. We live in one of the most amazing places in the world and many of us believe in taking care of our land.

So if we are going to jump on the Canada 150 bandwagon, let’s do it with integrity. Let’s admit that Canada is, was and always has been Kanata. And we “have miles to go before we sleep.” But at least we’re on the same road.

Happy Birthday Canada ♡