I see you. I have been watching from the safety of my home as you have gone to work for the past 13 months, never knowing if you will fall victim to COVID-19 and its pernicious variants while you take care of us.
I see you as you risk your safety to care for sick and injured people, sacrificing your time with loved ones because you are the last line of defence for a population growing in thanklessness, carelessness and infections.
I see your co-workers break down from the trauma of being the final comforter of the dying in levels not seen outside wartime, and break down from exhaustion as increasing numbers come for help when they ultimately realize that the virus is real, and they are not invulnerable after all. You warned us of the threat, you begged us to restrict ourselves, but you still care for those who ignored you, as the decriers continue to protest. Grief is a cold lonely blanket that threatens to smother us all.
You have to be ready in case thoughtless people decide it is too inconvenient for them to wash their hands and wear a mask, or who gather in large groups to worship or complain about the restrictions to their habits.
It has been more than a year of incredible stress for those of you working in hospitals across the province. You are paying too high a price for our indulgences. I see you and I am working hard so you never have to see me.
We are all tired of the deadliness of the virus and the impact on our lives, but some are more tired than others. Let’s start taking care of them for a change.
Cindy McCallum Miller