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.

 

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!

If it walks like a duck, and squaks like a duck… it must be terrorism

Let me preface this post by stating that my heart is broken for all those affected by the heinous act of terrorism that took place this past week in Las Vegas, Nevada.  My thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost friends and loved ones, all those injured and all those traumatized by this event.  May God bless each and every one of you…

It seems to me that the world has been going crazy.  Every time I turn around, there is another violent, gruesome attack of some sort.  And every time I turn around, Muslims are being blamed.  A whole group of people, being blamed for the barbaric actions of a few.  I cannot even begin to tell you how wrong that is.

But what really concerns me is this:  when a “dark-skinned follower of ‘Islam’ perpetrates a hate crime, he/she is a terrorist.”  However, when a Caucasian commits a barbaric act, he is a “gunman.”  This DOUBLE STANDARD is a hate crime in and of itself.  It is a targeted, deliberate act of prejudice.  Western Media outlets have their own agenda and will only refer to Muslims as terrorists.

How many people have to be slaughtered before the person(s) committing the crime can be called a terrorist?  The challenge with how terrorism is defined in the West is that the term itself is directly correlated to a “religious” ideology rather than the very personal nature of the crimes themselves.  All we have to do is look at what Israel is doing to Palestine and one can see deliberate, political, religious acts of hatred being perpetrated in the name of “self-defense.”  The other challenge with defining terrorism is that it is tied in to a “political” ideology.   So if the ‘gunman’ in Las Vegas was settling a personal score, where does that fit in to the above definitions?

It doesn’t.   The definitions themselves have to be redefined.  Stop blaming an entire segment of the world’s population for the actions of a few.  Do your own research; don’t let the biased, bigoted news you see portrayed by Western media outlets be your entire basis of evidence.  Seek knowledge for yourself.

This man in Las Vegas doesn’t fit the “criminal profile,” of a terrorist.  However, he committed a brutal, terrifying act of violence which struck fear into the hearts of everyone in a given location.  Why is that not called “terrorism?”

Earlier this year, when Muslims in London coming out of a mosque after prayers, were rode down by a Caucasian male in a white van, it still wasn’t called terrorism, even though that ‘man’ was shouting hateful words towards the Muslim group.  Even though he said he wanted to “kill all Muslims,” he was still referred to as a “deranged lunatic.”  He committed an act of terrorism, shouted political ideology as he was dragged away by police and it took three whole days before British broadcasters began quietly using the term “terrorist.”  An off duty reporter with the BBC, who was speaking with a group of young Muslim Youtubers, turned off his camera and his microphone and said to the group, “look guys, I’m going to be honest with you.  The media outlets have their own agenda and won’t say what you want them to say.”

At least he was honest.  So here’s what I say to the Western Media outlets:
“Sac up. Grab yourself by the parts that matter and stop being biased by what your producers are telling you is truth.”  YOU KNOW BETTER.

To all the people who are so quick to blame Muslims when something goes wrong in the world, stop.  If you want to know Islam, speak to a Muslim.  If you want to know the truth about how Muslims are treated, look at the Rohingya.  As of 2015, 61% of hate crimes in Canada were against Muslims.   (as per the Canadian Human Rights commission.)   If you really want to know what prejudice feels like, speak to a member of the First Nations.

What the world needs to do is love.  Love is the key to all things.  Love is stronger than hatred.  Love is stronger than bias.  Love is stronger and more powerful than darkness.  We are one human race.  We share one planet.  And the same God made us all.

We must be louder than those who make headlines by their acts of hatred. We must call out acts of intolerance no matter how small, because even small acts can embolden the hatred and anger that lead to devastating consequences. Our diversity is our greatest strength.”
~ Marie-Claude Landry