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Tag: Manitoba

Where do we go from here?

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?

In Manitoba, we’re looking after ourselves now

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God I am so tired.

Of literally everything.

I am tired of wearing every hat- employee, teacher, parent, wife, daughter, friend, advocate, mouthpiece, confidante. I am tired of waiting for it to end and it never fucking ends.

I am tired of not knowing, trying to figure shit out, decision making, mitigation, concession making, pivoting, and fighting.

Mostly the fighting. Everybody, including me has their opinion about how to go about fixing the mess we’re in or how to make it better, and we are ALL experts on pointing out the mistakes others have made and all the coulda woulda shouldas in the history of ever.

In the end I don’t think any of it really matters anymore. Maybe I am just feeling abandoned by a government and a community that seems to have just given up. Maybe I am just feeling disheartened that some people are so greedy and stupid and selfish that they seem willing to risk the well being of others in the name of the almighty dollar. Maybe I am just feeling defeated that after 2 years of this fuckery, even the people who tried so hard in the beginning are too exhausted to continue on.

I get it. This has gone on for a really long time, the current situation is pointing to disease that produces less severe outcomes proportionally and appears much milder in the acute phase.In this exact moment it feels like continuing to take pauses and make more sacrifices is overkill for some people. And as much as I hated watching that complete shitstorm of a cuntboxing match of a press conference this week, one gross truth emerged from it: we really do need to take care of ourselves at this point, because the solidarity that used to exist as we all swam upstream in a body of liquid shit over the past couple of years is clearly starting to crack.

It feels like the province has lost control of the situation because they invested in the wrong strategies and resources and didn’t listen to the people on the front lines. (hint- ALWAYS listen to the people on the front lines when you want to fix something) The current strategy appears to be reminding us that our province was the first to implement restrictions 12 months ago and gaslighting the public about capacity while manipulating data and basically just being a bunch of ignorant assholes. Good reason fell on deaf ears as economic priorities took precedence, but it is a fool’s errand. We are already dealing with a loss of access to essential services due to a lack of human resources that I believe will get worse before it gets better.

So at this point, Heather’s statement is accurate. “It’s up to Manitobans to look after themselves” because the system is in failure.

So as I digest this thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have zero fucks to give about what anyone else does at this point. I don’t care if the province says they expect my kids to go to school. They aren’t going right now. I don’t care if they say I can’t have access to the same short term supports others will get, because I am still not sending them. I don’t give a fuck if you don’t get vaccinated. Fine. Exercise your right to suffer. If you want to take your mask off and walk around some shitty restaurant with a bunch of other dickholes flaunting your rights and exposing your tiny brains and, go right ahead. I don’t care about that either.

I am tired. I am putting on my own oxygen mask so that I can help my own people. I don’t care if you disagree with my personal decisions, or think everything is ok and I am crazy, or wanna explain this data or that data. Not one person needs to justify themselves to me or anyone else. Do what you want to do. Accept whatever risks you choose. Weigh your options. Own your shit and deal with the consequences or rewards.

Cause in Manitoba, we look after ourselves.

No, I don’t think I will be sending my kids back to school in January.

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Let’s be honest. I personally don’t know of any parent (especially working parents) who enjoyed or felt successful at remote learning. I’m not talking about parents who chose to homeschool their children as a means of regular education and have the time, energy and will to take on this enormous task. I’m talking about being thrown into a poorly supported (by the government) situation where the amount of hours in a day don’t ever feel enough nor do the limitations of our patience.

But let’s also be honest about something else.

I personally can’t envision a situation where sending our children and educators back into the classroom for 7 hours a day, without the resources- both material and human- to make it a safe environment for the students or the staff.

Our provincial government is once again busily dropping the ball and keeping parents and school staff in the dark about what the actual situation is and how they plan to address the challenges before them. In fact, it feels like they have been very blatantly gaslighting us all into believing that everything is just fine, and that they have it all under control. Just be honest for once. Please. It is so painfully obvious that we are making public health decisions based on political outcomes and I am absolutely so fucking sick of it.

I don’t know about you, but being repeatedly and consistently bullshitted by what is probably the worst political leadership in the history of ever in Manitoba feels like a slap in the balls already.

Around the country and around the world, we are seeing staffing crises in multiple sectors. New York City has an emergency workers shortage of 30%. WestJet just announced a reduction in services as they struggle to staff flights. London has reduced tube services as they also face a large number of train conductors and staff off sick.

As usual, the tits in charge of Manitoba have set up a scenario where they will try and tell us that they aren’t seeing transmission in schools, they are safe, blah blah blah. They have instructed those under 40 to not get tested, opening up a door where they don’t have transmission and case data for school aged kids, so how will we know? We still don’t know how and when rapid antigen tests will be used, the schools are scrambling to implement the distribution of them, N95 masks are difficult to find and certainly not handed out in an equitable manner, and the schools have a whole extra TWO FUCKING DAYS to figure it all out.

So what is the government assessing in those two days? Are they figuring out how to help the schools split all the classrooms in two? How to use the limited staff and resources they have to try and distance and manage classrooms using EA’s to supervise as teachers run back and forth from room to room? What about how they will manage the inevitable staffing shortages that will occur as the adults get sick? Are they getting ready to keep the essential workers’ kids in person and organize remote learning packages for others? Or are they going to just pretend that they don’t have to worry about children getting sick anymore despite the alarming increase in severe illness in children in other jurisdictions – or continue to not report the outbreaks currently underway in our Children’s hospital here?

We are 10 days from the start of the winter term. Educators need better communication. Parents need better communication. This province deserves better communication than a Premier who shows up once her tan has faded enough to not be so obvious, a health minister who only shows up to deflect every single question ever asked of her once her nails are fucking dry, and an education minister who seems to feel like his role is purely ceremonial.

Personally, I don’t have any trust left in the system. Our educators are worn out. They are getting sick. Two staff members DIED at the same school this week. Parents are worried. I AM WORRIED.

I don’t actually give a shit if Omicron is mostly less severe. Less severe than what? Than dying? Than needing hospitalization in the acute phase? A lesson in proportionality: a smaller percentage of an exponentially bigger number is still a whole fucking lot. More than Manitoba can handle, and more than is fucking reasonable to risk.

So no. I don’t think I will be sending my kids to school in January. I fucking hate that this is where I am at again, but it is what it is. I actually feel safer sending my kids to extra curricular activities that provide shorter exposure, better ventilation, smaller numbers and business owners who hare able to control some variables in the name of keeping everyone safe and keeping their doors open.

And once again, those of us privileged enough to be able to say “NOPE” will have a better chance of escaping this wave that those that rely on schools to not only educate their kids, but care for them. There is no equity given to those already underserved in terms of resources, care, funding or options. I can’t find all the answers for everyone, and I wish to God I could. All I can do is be part of the solution by trying to keep our little family safe.

And PS, I will participate in “remote learning” as it it provided or not provided on my own terms. I am not killing myself or my relationship with my kids to meet some made up standard of what they need to know about the history of Egypt when they are 9 years old. I don’t give a fuck right now. My priorities will be happiness, survival, coping, health, inquiry based learning and fun. I will try to facilitate work sent home as we can tolerate and that is IT. If that makes me a bad parent then there is a place reserved in my mind for you to go fuck yourself.

I hope this is the last time I have to vent this type of frustration, but I suspect our leaders will continue to suck ass. So until we get new leaders, I’m gonna take matter in my own hands and do the best I can.

Solidarity to all the educators, staff, parents and kiddos out there. I hope you all stay well and we see the actual beginning of the end after this.

This is fucking bullshit already

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Jesus Christ.

That’s not a swear. It’s a heartfelt plea that we get some guidance and salvation from the absolute fucking idiocy that we are plagued with in terms of leadership in Manitoba.

You would THINK that by now, in the fourth round of this pandemic spawned in the pits of the darkest corners of Hell, punishing humanity for its arrogance and entitlement that we would have the sense to do things a little differently.

You would THINK that by now, instead of letting these absolute fuckpastries of politicians make the decisions that we would start to think hey, maybe, just maybe, it would be a good idea to listen to the people working in hospitals, laboratories, and otherwise highly specialized areas of lifetime study instead?

That maybe instead of blowing billions of dollars on knee jerk reactions we could clue in to the fuckery of donkey ass that is about to happen because of Omicron and invest our efforts in prevention, testing, ENFORCEMENT, infrastructure (a little ventilation, anyone?) and capacity.

That maybe the last thing we need is another goddamn task force with a million dollar pricetag and a new pants suit for our minister of health?

I.Don’t.Want.To.Spend.Another.Year. Locked.In.MyHouse.With.My.Children.

I love my kids, god help me I would fall on a thousand swords for them and throw a verbal assault that would sink a sailor’s ship if you messed with them, but I can’t be all things for all people and continue to keep my shit together. I finally just felt like I was getting my groove back. Like Stella. If you know, you know.

So many of us did the right things. We tried SO HARD to do the right things, despite the whining and stupidity of the right wing cousin humpers and the inadequacies of our governments. And still the barn orgies churches were allowed to go on, nobody got shut down, the test positivity soared, and the politicians gave zero fucks because the VOTES.

Now we have less nurses and doctors thatn we did the last time, the doubling time of the virus is 3 days instead of 34 and even if you aren’t good at math you must be able to understand how utterly jacked in the ass we are going to be.

In the meantime our Premier went to football games and opened hospitals that can’t be staffed, and complained about the lack of an omnipotent crystal ball and told us not to see family while she planned a party at the stadium with 30, 000 friends.

The health minister got her nails done, baked cookies and refused to answer questions. She gave a beautiful performance of getting her booster shot and fucked off to the flower shop to kiss the ass of her potential voters while she passively signed the death warrants of others.

There’s only one thing left to do. I can’t even read the news anymore because DUMB PEOPLE.

I’m going to the LC.

An irritated rant about the flaming dumpster fire of a health care system in Manitoba

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First education, now health care. Manitoba is a complete administrative and political nightmare of fuckery and disaster. I’m no doctor, I am certainly not a politician, but holy shit there has to be a way to make this better.

Surgery backlogs that will take years to clear. Lack of access to diagnostic services. Reduced amount of in person appointments. Limited admission for family members to support their loved ones while in care or at end of life. Exhausted health care workers. Mandated overtime. Forcing nurses to work in highly specialized areas they aren’t sufficiently trained for.

And what do we have? A Health Minister who passes the buck in the name of the optically termed “TASK FORCE” so that she can continue to pre-campaign in her constituency; baking cookies, delivering flowers and taking a bunch of photos in her cheerleader pose that does nothing but negatively affect her credibility in my opinion. I mean, go Bombers go, but I’d rather see Audrey put her pom-poms down and pick up her fucking portfolio.

We have a bunch of problems that need addressing, and I personally believe that governments ( all of them really, but especially our current bunch of twits) love to throw bandaids at things that sound really good but never accomplish a goddamn thing.

A task force? REALLY? So you can justify centralizing more services that look streamlined on the outside but in reality just continue to reduce accessibility of care to those who need it the most and create more bottlenecks down the road?

We have a critical shortage of resources, especially staff in this province. We have a system where family doctors and local medical clinics can basically do nothing for you besides take your temperature and write a prescription or a referral. For pretty much everything else, you have to go to a hospital which is beyond stupid and astronomically expensive.

Need stitches? Hospital. Need to be rehydrated? Hospital. Having a baby, need an ultrasound? Hospital. After 4pm? You guessed it-hospital.

Oh, and just for fun, we only have 3 hospitals with emergency rooms, and none of them are in local neighbourhoods.

On top of all that, our critical care wards were already running at or very near capacity during normal times. There were months or years long waiting lists for scans and scopes. Need a knee replacement? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

There was absolutely no wiggle room in the system to begin with and then Covid happened. Now, you might have sacrificed all the things, gotten vaccinated, followed the rules, but now you get to die of cancer because the scope you should have had for that pain or lump took two years to get, so now they found your cancer at stage 4 instead of stage 1.

THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT.

And so we put an arrogant, inexperienced, unequipped, fool of a first term back-bencher MLA in charge of fixing this? Dear God we are so fucked.

I think we need localized health care systems that are truly equitable and accessible to everyone. We need more after hours clinics that can handle 3 am baby fevers and 9 pm broken arms. A family practitioner should be able to give someone stitches in their fucking office and if you are in the business of delivering babies, wouldn’t the ability to perform ultrasounds in the office make a whole lot of sense? Midwifery should be the standard of care for expecting mothers, perhaps even (GASP!) tapping in to the multi million dollar birth centre that almost nobody currently uses.

And we certainly need to be meaningfully addressing the levels of poverty, mental health and addictions in Manitoba. Status of one’s physical health is directly correlated to socio-economic situation and mental health status. If people are well fed and housed, and their mental health is truly cared for (meaning that everyone has access to therapy without years long waiting lists) their overall well being will be better and they will require less other services. It is an investment that no government has ever seemed willing to make.

We need to increase the size of training programs for medical professionals to acquire and retain more nurses, doctors and technologists. That takes money. At some point the uber rich are gonna have to cough it up one way or the other, and governments have to stop running platforms of reduced taxes because it ISN’T WORKING.

This mess has been years, decades and generations in the the making. If we are going to actually fix it, we need to elect someone who gives the right fucks, has the right vision, and is ready to take time out of Simon Says with their political party and do what’s right for the people they are serving.

While we are busy with Healthcare being in the toilet, some of Manitoba’s teachers just got dealt another cock shot

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While the Conservative government in Manitoba is self destructing with a catastrophic situation in Healthcare, people dying in transport due to a lack of space in critical care and MLA’s sharing laughs in Question Period over it, public health compliance scandals, transphobic jokes and basically just a complete misfire on every fucking end of the governance spectrum that you could possibly imagine……there is still a fire simmering that we shouldn’t forget about.

The education system in this province is struggling. After years of chronic underfunding, the events of the last 15 months and the dark cloud looming that is Bill 64, the complete and utter burnout of staff, students and parents is a heavier burden that we are capable of carrying for long.

We all have our opinions on whether or not schools should be in remote learning. I personally believe that this was the right call and should have happened way earlier, despite the challenges and near impossibility of being a working parent trying to facilitate my children’s education at home even with the monumental efforts of our teachers. These past few weeks have been burdensome. Teachers feeling like they need to live up to the same standards they normally would, feeling the criticism of the chaos of last spring freshly enough to drive them to go above and beyond what seems reasonable or achievable today. Parents needing structure for their kids but struggling to keep up with all of their duties and responsibilities. Wanting desperately to throw in the fucking towel and just NOT.

These are trying times, and I will tell you from my personal experience that I am pretty much over it. The only thing keeping me from refusing to do a single thing more in terms of printing assignments and threatening the kids’ relationship with electronics FOREVER so that they do their work, and taking pictures and submitting and fighting is literally the utmost respect that I have for my fellow educators and the amount that they care about our kids and trying to give them some stability in all of this.

And that respect and knowledge about how hard teachers work has me shaking my fucking head about how underappreciated teachers are in this world.

“THOSE WHO CAN”T DO, TEACH.”

It seems to me that those who teach literally DO EVERYTHING.

And so now comes the extra what the fuckey ……

Teachers in Winnipeg School Division today finally got a contract. They have been negotiating for FOUR YEARS. They are finally getting a nominal raise that will back payed for 4 years. But there’s catch:

In order to pay teachers (almost) what they’re worth, the school division will have to cut 120 permanent full time teaching positions. Seniority will not be a factor, it will be cutthroat decisions based on how valuable you are. So teachers with highly specialized skill sets may be safe, but anyone else is fair game for a lay off.

From a teacher in WSD: “ Everyone loves us when it comes to babysitting their kids so they can go to work, but no one actually wants to pay us” (what we’re worth)

In all of this we keep referring to these people as heroes, yet we give them the choice of accepting less than they deserve for literally ever, since the beginning of time, or watch a bunch of their hardworking hero colleagues lose their jobs??

So, the next time Pallister or Cullen or any of the rest of those fucking assholes gets up and starts talking about all of the investments they are making in education, and when you all get your education tax rebate cheques, remember it is founded in bullshit and what it is at the expense of. People losing their jobs. Your children losing educational resources. Your children’s relationship with their teachers as class sizes continue to grow.

This province needs to stop congratulating itself on a job never done and top sucking their own dick in the media about how awesome they are.

If this is Team Manitoba, the stands are empty, revenue is in the red and the coach needs firing. Fuck already.

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