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The rest of the story

Letter to the Editor

Now that the world has been catapulted into a new normal trying to curb the spread of COVID-19, it is fascinating to observe how diverse demographics adjust and respond to directives given in the interest of public health.

What is a very common denominator is the incredible dedication of the front line workers. Demographics don’t apply when a front-line worker is called to step up to the plate. Now more than ever we must pay attention to the vital importance of public healthcare in our country. In our modern lives perhaps we consciously or unconsciously have not had enough gratitude for the health care system we have.

This period in time will go down in history and historians will remember the steps taken to stop the spread of the virus. History may report that despite the fear and anxiety of the unknown, all Canadians had access to the resources necessary because of our strong public healthcare system. History will record the facts of how many people died and got sick, but it will also remember the catalyst of change it brought to the modern way of living we have become accustomed to. This will be the "rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say. The rest of the story that is yet to come will be remembered in history too.

All people, no matter their demographic, will play a vital role in the days, weeks and months to come as we adjust to a new normal. When this is done we will live in a world that experienced forced isolation.

For me the breath really is the tool which allows you to understand what's happening on the mental level and what's happening on the emotional level, and it also allows you to measure what's happening on a physical level. Paul Harvey gives some very real advice that can be applied to self-care for all of us. Without self-care, all the uncertainty will become overwhelming. Being assertive and paying attention to how you are feeling, what is going on around you and how our government is responding is an important part of our collective journey.

Maya Angelou describes this perfectly: "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."

With the real implications that isolation will cause to people’s lives, we have a government that is ramming through legislation that Albertans do not understand. It is incumbent on every level of government to be focused on the immediate crisis.

Albertans of all demographics will deal with this situation differently. No one knows what next week will bring. What is clear is that front line workers are the common denominator to all of us involved in this story. Their voices matter and they deserve the respect of each of us. History will tell the rest of the story and every Albertan can ask this current government to take a moment to pause, breathe ,and respect our frontline workers and our public health care system.

Winston Churchill said it perfectly: "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."


Mandy Melnyk, Athabasca County