Anyone who has sneezed or had a tickle in their throat out in public in the last year knows how uncomfortable it is. The wide-eyed glares you get while people take another step away from you, as if you were a leper. Six feet, all of a sudden, doesn’t seem far enough.
Sick or in perfect health, since this pandemic's start, we have launched into treating each other as parasites.
Governments across the world—especially in Canada—have imposed strict lockdowns on citizens, telling them who is and isn’t essential. Striking down civil liberties and increasing police powers to previously unimaginable heights.
But beyond lockdown, there is a new punishment that has come during this global pandemic. It is no longer okay to get sick.
Being ill is more or less criminal now.
Not only are you not allowed to be sick, God forbid you get COVID-19 and actually beat it.
Getting sick or contracting COVID has become socially irresponsible and unacceptable. Quarantining yourself for weeks isn’t good enough for the morally superior. If you get sick, you must be ostracized too.
To the woke mob, if you got COVID that means you weren’t careful enough.
You didn’t do enough, you didn’t care enough. You didn’t wear two or three or four masks, you didn’t wear rubber gloves or a face shield, you didn’t cut everyone off from your life and sit at home like a hermit.
If you got COVID, they paint you as someone who doesn't care if people die.
Being integrated back into society after being quarantined takes time because everyone around you has a certain comfort level. The government has certain rules, your employer (if you’re lucky enough to have kept your job) has certain rules, and your friends and families can make up all the rules they want.
You may come out of your quarantine feeling tainting and judged. You are given the scarlet label, "COVID positive" and this doesn’t go away after your 10-14 days quarantine.
According to the Canadian government, employers are required to "investigate instances of employees with confirmed COVID-19."
Now our employers are getting involved in our personal business to try and figure out what you did, where you went, who you saw and who you’ve had contact with since.
What happened to privacy? What happened to freedom? We used to be able to do what we want when we want.
Not anymore, not with the new normal. The new normal is someone tracing our every step.
We’ve all seen arbitrary COVID rules everywhere we go. You go to a coffee shop and are told you are not allowed to stand in a certain area until you get called over to that exact area that you were just publicly shamed for standing at.
You’re not allowed to go into your local pet store, but you can walk into a busy Wal-Mart. You’re not allowed to buy "non-essential" items, but you can grab the item right next to it.
These types of rules don’t end in stores or businesses—they continue into every household.
After you get COVID, you are labeled and shunned. Your neighbour will think twice before approaching you, your work place can ask you to stay home an extra few days and your friend may not give you a ride to the laundry mat.
Logic has flown out the window a long time ago. People are desperate and scared. That’s why we set in these erratic and inconsistent rules.
Even though by law, you are technically safe to re-join society after your 10-14 day quarantine people will still look at you differently. People will have preconceived notions on why you got sick in the first place and believe me, they will judge you.
The one thing lockdowns and restrictions have certainly done to us as a society is broken down social norms and created animosity between neighbours and strangers.
People will always look at you and wonder what you did wrong to get sick in the first place. They will be mad at you for living your life, and that’s so fundamentally wrong.
Everyone gets sick, and it’s no fun to be sick. When your neighbour or friend gets better, try being compassionate and stop the public shaming.