On March 15, Manitoba will follow countless countries and other jurisdictions and remove the last of any public health restrictions that have been in place on and off over the last two years. Everything will now be about personal risk tolerance and choice. There are no more rules, only recommendations. (hint hint freedom trucker fuckers, time to pack in your upside down flags)
Personally, I feel really conflicted about it. I am exhausted by all the back and forth on public health orders and the inability to plan anything with any certainty. I am exhausted by all the debating and double checking of rules and worrying about germs. I am exhausted by the disappointment I have felt in so many people and circumstances over the last two years. This part of me welcomes the return to normal life, even if deep down it feels like so many things are being swept under the rug while the elephant stays firmly planted in his spot in the corner of the room.
We aren’t privy to all of the factors that go into decision making, and while that feels like a deliberate lack of transparency, giving us laymen full access to data we don’t understand and don’t have the skills or education necessary to interpret appropriately, or to even know which questions need to be asked has proved to be a very dangerous thing.
My biggest concerns surround the lack of healthcare resources for anything that isn’t Covid related and the still unknown long term effects of having contracted the virus. Pushing our province into an endemic stage when I’m not sure we really are there (and who knows because all meaningful data collection methods have all but ceased) feels very risky considering the state of our health care system. We are one task force away form an utter disaster of further crisis due to delayed procedures and diagnostics.
All of that aside, where the fuck do we go from here? I am not talking politically or systemically, because that has been a total clusterfuck of idiocy and polarizing bullshit in Manitoba and everywhere else. I am talking about our relationships with others.
I don’t know about you, but living through a pandemic has changed me. It has caused me to re-evaluate many relationships and a lot of them have suffered. Some of them severed completely, fucked beyond all repair. Maybe they were selfish fucking assholes. Maybe I was a hysterical overthinking freak. Maybe we were all just enduring a traumatic experience and clung to different things. I don’t know. But I do know that it has made me way less tolerant of some behaviours and I have made conscious decisions about who I will expend my emotional energy on and who I will not.
So what do we do now?
Do we go about trying to fix things that were broken? Do we try and repair our lives and move forward as if nothing has happened? Do I re-kindle friendships with people who I ethically or morally disagree with?
In a lot of cases that is a hard fucking no for me. It doesn’t mean that people can’t have different opinions. It doesn’t mean that we can’t believe there are different solutions or approaches to the same problems. It doesn’t even mean that our politics have to agree for us to be friends. Dialogue and discourse are normal and needed. I just can’t spend all of my energy trying to convince someone to be a nice human who sometimes puts the welfare of others before themselves. I can’t pull you out of rabbit holes and I certainly will not follow you into them. I won’t have a conversation with you if you are trying to decree if others have a right to exist because of their race, gender,or sexual orientation. There are a lot of circumstances that will begin and end with a “kindly fuck off” and I feel pretty ok about that. I won’t tolerate your bullshit anymore than you should tolerate mine.
So, for me, there are things worth fighting for and things that are not. If I have learned anything over the last two years; energy, both physical and emotional is finite. If I worked with you 10 years ago and haven’t had an in person conversation since and you are spewing idiotic crap on social media that bothers me, I am letting you go. If I have an actual relationships with you and disagree on some things, I will be sensitive to your opinions, but will set firm boundaries. If your risk tolerance to some activities are lower than mine I will respect them and I will hope that you will respect mine as well.
We all have decisions to make and behaviours to choose. I think the next year or so is going to also be difficult, because so much of this is not over no matter what a governing body decides.
A big part of me feels like everything is just fucked forever. There is so much damage to everything and everyone. I can’t decide if the world is repairable or not, and I don’t have any clue where to start if it is.
We are all so broken. Where do we go from here?