There are scheduled protests in front of hospitals in every major city in this country today and I’m just so fucking angry.
So, let’s teach the important distinction between two words:
RIGHT – a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way. Example: You have a right to not get vaccinated against COVID.
PRIVILEGE – advantage granted or available only to a particular person or group. Example: You have a privilege to eat at a restaurant. If you do not follow the rules, they can deny you entry. You don’t want to wear a shirt? They can deny you the privilege of eating there. You don’t want to pay for your food? They can deny you the privilege of eating there. You don’t want to show proof of vaccination? They can absolutely deny you the privilege of eating there.
A right for everyone is not the same as a privilege for those that comply to the rules in place to create a free and safe society.
You don’t have a right to a driver’s license. You have the privilege to obtain it, if you study for the test, follow the rules of the road, wear your seatbelt, insure your vehicle, etc, etc…
You don’t have a privilege to eat at a restaurant if there’s a potential you walk in with the bubonic plague and could spread it throughout everyone in the building. The restaurant can accommodate you, if you have the bubonic plague, by offering to have your food delivered to your front door.
You follow me?
This morning whilst scrolling Twitter before work, I saw a note from a Doctor in which he was pleading with people to not protest in front of a hospital. Why? Because the people in there being treated deserve to heal, or die, in peace. Another comment noted that health care workers, who’ve largely been carrying society as a whole for the past year and a half, have really difficult jobs. Really, really difficult jobs. And standing in their way, is going to make it so much harder for them to protect all of us, like they’ve been doing for so long now.
In Ontario, the Premier actually had to threaten the general pop to not block ambulances trying to get into the hospital today because he’s so damn worried these protests he cannot stop will block someone from being able to get life-saving treatment.
If someone is in the hospital, for COVID or other reasons, regardless of what brought them there, they deserve the privilege of medical treatment. They need the privilege of medical treatment. They don’t need a bunch of assholes who don’t understand infectious disease, our health care system, the economy, or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, trying to block them from someone who could save their life.
If you want to protest because your privileges might not be as plentiful due to COVID, go to a government building. Stand outside your MLAs office and protest. These are the people who can actually shape the way in which our country responds to this crisis. A doctor doesn’t make policy. A nurse cannot dictate laws. They can save your life, though. So protesting the very people who are, or will be responsible for saving you, just makes you an uneducated, inconsiderate donkey.
While we’re here, let’s talk about discrimination.
DISCRIMINATION – the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
I hear a lot of people saying that those who are unvaccinated are being given unjust treatment because they’re choosing to not be vaccinated. What exactly is unjust about what’s happening right now? An unvaccinated person cannot go to a hockey game? It’s not as if you can’t watch the hockey game on television. An unvaccinated person cannot get on an airplane? Why don’t you drive your personal car there. An unvaccinated person cannot eat in a restaurant? Well, if you like the food that much, why don’t you order it to be delivered?
There’s a giant fucking chasm between centuries of discrimination of people because of who they are (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc) and some entitled assholes in 2021 who think that society owes them the privilege to spread disease freely, without restraint.
Your privileges will never be rights. NEVER. EVER. EVER.
My privileges will never be rights. Privileges are privileges, whether you’re vaccinated or not.
You are not being discriminated against for choosing to not get a vaccine. You can still eat restaurant food, you just can’t eat it in the restaurant. You can still go on your trip, you just have to drive instead of taking a plane. You can still protest, please just smarten the fuck up and don’t do it in front of a hospital. If you catch COVID, you’re going to need to rely on those very doctors and nurses you’re so vehemently, grossly, disrespecting by protesting in front of their place of work.
If you want to protest because you feel that your privileges should be rights, well I’ve been alive 32 years and you didn’t seem to care about it before 2020, but hey, please go to the office of your local MLA.
Or you could, you know, just stay home and not be a selfish C***.
While you’re at home, maybe you could even read the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It’s some good stuff. Possibly consider putting your money where your mouth is. If you want to protest the altering of privileges because of vaccination status, take a look at your other privileges while you’re at it. Because if this is that important to you, you might as well swing for the fences – get a lawyer. Fight the rules in place that say you have to insure your vehicle to have the privilege of driving. Fight the rules in place that say you cannot drink alcohol before you drive. Fight the rules that say you have to put on clothing to cover your genitalia before you go for a run through your neigbourhood.
Do I sound ridiculous? Good. So does protesting in front of a fucking hospital in the middle of a pandemic.
Society does not owe you anything if you’re unvaccinated.
Society does not owe me anything for being vaccinated.
Society is merely trying to adjust privileges to protect the masses as best as humanly possible through a global pandemic, in hopes of being able to operate as openly as possible. This is not 2019. The world has changed and we need to change with it.
If you’re going to a hospital to protest today, how about you just move the protest to an MLA office. Or, just stay home. Those doctors and nurses and health care workers don’t need your idiotic, selfish arrogance disrupting their ability to save lives. And the people who are being treated deserve to heal, or die, in peace.
Early voting starts today for the September 20th Federal Election.
What does that mean? That means if you don’t want to go stand in a crowded room on September 20th, you can go today.
Early voting isSeptember 10, 11, 12 & 13th. You DO NOT need a to provide a reason for voting early. If you don’t want to vote on the 20th, then pick one of the next four days, whichever works best for you. Grab your identification with proof of address and go vote.
Election day is September 20th. If election day works for you, please put it in your calendar to make sure you vote on the 20th.
Just pick a day, one of the listed days, and go vote. Please. Don’t skip it. Don’t throw away your vote. Go. Vote.
Visit https://elections.ca/ for any information you might need about your specific riding and where you need to go. Also listed on the Elections Canada website is all of the information about COVID precautions being taken at the voting booth. All you have to do is put in your postal code.
Please go vote. Don’t make me ask 100 times over.
And to anyone who might say, or think, that an individual vote doesn’t matter, stop thinking that way. The riding that I live in was decided by 137 votes in 2019. 137, that’s it! Not 1,000. Not 1,000,000. It was decided by 137 people. Could that margin be even less this election? Could that margin be wider given how COVID changed things? Who knows!
If you listen to nothing else I say this year, please hear me when I say that you exercising your right to vote is an important piece to a well functioning democracy.
I have extremely poor vision. I always have. I was that baby who was wearing glasses with the elastic around the back of her head so that I wouldn’t pull them off.
So to frame my perspective (no pun intended), I’ve had glasses since I was a baby, and I’ve had contact lenses since I was thirteen years old.
Eye doctor exams in Canada run between $135 and $210, depending on where you go. To wear contact lenses, you’re required to get an eye doctor exam every year. So, if I were to low-ball an estimate of what I’ve spent on eye-exams from the time I was thirteen to now, my eye exams have cost $2,565
Every major benefit provider in this country will pay $100 for a Canadian to get their eyes checked every second year. So, I will subtract $600, as that would have been paid for by benefits.
Out of my pocket, I’ve paid $1,965 to sit in an exam chair and have a doctor tell me that I have shitty vision.
That, in of itself, doesn’t include the special treatments and tests I’ve required over the years because of my vision being so poor. I can’t even fathom how much that’s gone on to cost. Special requirements aren’t often covered by benefits providers, because apparently I just messed up and should’ve come out of the womb with good eye sight? Let’s low ball my treatments over the years to roughly $5,000.
I have a special prescription for my eyes that makes glasses between $800-$1,200 per pair when I get them. ($800 if I choose the cheapest frames, $1,200 if I try to get something a little more sturdy)
Now keep in mind here, I have no choice. I need to wear some sort of a corrective lens in my eye, or in front of my eye, in order to be able to see. Otherwise I walk into large objects, I would’ve never been able to drive, and would likely fall down stairs. I say that “I’m blind” when people ask. Whilst I’m not legally blind, the world is 50 different shades of fuzzy without some sort of vision correction.
Because I’ve prioritized contact lenses over glasses (they work better for me, my lifestyle, my mood in general), I typically get myself a new pair only once every four years. The reason for this is because I only wear my glasses at night after I’ve taken out my contacts.
If we do the math of when I started paying for my glasses at 13, to now, I’ve owned 5 pair of glasses. Let’s say, I chose the cheapest frames every single time I went (I didn’t but I don’t remember what all of the costs were). $800 x 5 pair of glasses is $4,000 spent on glasses.
To recount, I’ve spent roughly $1,965 on eye exams, $5,000 on special treatments for my eyes and $4,000 on glasses. Right now, we’re sitting at $10,965 spent just to care for my eyes and correct my vision.
Now, I have made the choice, since I was thirteen, to wear contact lenses. This has been a choice that I realize makes things more expensive, but it’s overall suited my life better and has been attainable to me, so I have willingly chosen to do it. I understand that life would be cheaper if I just wore glasses every day of my life. So this isn’t a mandatory expense, but a chosen expense to make my life easier.
The contacts that I wear cost $725 per year. The one thing that I’ve always appreciate about contact lenses is that the fee is always the same. It’s been the same since I was 13 and the price has never gone up, even when my vision has gotten worse.
$725 x 19 years is $13,775.
All major benefits providers in Canada will pay for $100 every two years. Since I wear glasses less frequently then contacts, I’ve always elected to have that $100 go towards my contact lenses. So, if we subtract an estimate of $100×10 years (to be on the fair side), I can take one thousand dollars from the total of my contact lenses. So I have paid $12,775 for contact lenses.
Since I’ve started paying for my own vision care at 13, I’ve spent $23,740.
It is extremely expensive to have shitty vision. And, it’s really a luxury that I’ve been able to afford correcting my vision all of these years. Listen, I’m lucky that for the majority of the past 19 years, I’ve had some form of benefit in some sort of way to help with that fee. But, it’s still fucking expensive with those vision benefits.
With or without benefits, these fees aren’t attainable by a lot of people. I think this is something that a lot of people don’t realize. Vision care is a bit of luxury. Granted I choose to wear contact lenses so my total is more expensive, if I wore glasses every day of my life, I’d likely need to replace them more often, so the total wouldn’t be that far off.
Now, I’ve been very lucky in my life that I’ve been able to afford this luxury.
And sadly, it is still a luxury to be able to see properly in this world.
I can’t even begin to imagine what these eye doctor visits and treatments and whatnot would cost in the United States. Probably more?
As much as I wish all kids could be born with perfect vision, that’s just not reality. There are a lot of kids in this world who just have shitty vision, for no other reason than just because. It can be really hard for their parents to afford eye doctor examinations and glasses, especially if their vision continues to change/get worse.
And for adults, you know, I’m exceptionally blessed to be in a situation where this is a feasible expense for me. I can completely understand, though, this tough for a lot of people. People who really don’t have extra money, people who live pay cheque to pay cheque, people who were laid off in the past year due to COVID, it’s hard to fathom spending vast amounts of money on this.
This is why so many people will go without.
Or, they’ll get glasses of some sort, or contacts of some sort, and just stick with that because it corrects their vision ‘enough’, despite their vision worsening.
A lot of people will just get by with what they have because it’s too damn expensive to get a new pair of glasses, or a new order of contact lenses. Can you imagine? Can you imagine having to get your driver’s license renewed and knowing you’d then have to go get your new glasses in order to get your driver’s license renewed, otherwise you can be denied? It’s an expense, on an expense.
This is something that I care very much about because I’ve always had bad vision and it’s gotten considerably worse with each passing year. It’s expensive to be blind. It’s expensive to have shitty vision. No one chooses shitty vision. Vision care needs to be made more accessible to the masses. The truth is, if your vision isn’t corrected properly, it could be made worse because of that. You could also be subject to frequent headaches, dizziness, increased lethargy, all because your eyes are working so damn hard to just see the world in front of you.
With it estimated that as much as 70% of Canadians needing corrective lenses in order to properly see (I can’t even imagine how high that stat would be around the world!), why isn’t more being done to make vision care and corrective lenses more accessible to people.
You need to see to drive. You need to see to read. You need to see to judge distances, or understand depths, or avoid hazards. Corrective vision should be way more accessible than it is, in Canada and around the world.
Recently, one of my favourite YouTube commentator channels, Tiffany Ferg, did a video about the role that wealth and class play in one’s ability to succeed with social media as a career choice. Video here, for reference:
One of the things that Tiffany spoke of in this video is the way that money, or lack thereof, can play a significant role in who we are, and who we become.
So, let’s talk about financial trauma.
The concept of financial trauma is the idea that those from low-class economic status have larger portions of their personality shaped around money than those raised in the middle class or upper class. Essentially, growing up poor or barely scraping by, play a considerable role in who you become.
From a personal perspective, this is absolutely true.
From a societal standpoint, I do believe this to largely be true. It’s one of the reasons, I think, why lottery winners are infinitely more likely to file for bankruptcy than regular folk. The sudden windfall of money is something that they really don’t know how to deal with, especially if lands in the laps of someone who’s spent their whole life scraping by, or just making it pay cheque to pay cheque.
But, let’s backtrack here.
I grew up in what is regularly defined as one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. I was one of five biological children and seven total children living in the house. As a family, we were very much house poor. This means that we were living in a house, we had a roof over our heads and were ultimately very privileged in that sense, but the sacrifices made to ensure that roof stayed over our heads meant a lot of sacrifices in other areas of life.
My siblings and I would regularly go out on bicycles after dark to collect cans and bottles from dumpsters, to earn what very little money we could so that my father would have a way to and from work each day. There were actually days in which he hitchhiked to work. (Due to my father’s profession and the location of our house relative to where he worked, it was very difficult for him to find a coworker who was headed there at the same time as him)
Those memories, they stay with you. They define you, dare I say.
Even so, I know that while I may have grown up low-class in an upper-middle and upper class world, I still acknowledge how blessed I was to be in the situation that I was. Sharing a bedroom with three other people was annoying at times, but I did have a room. I had a house. I had a place to come home to. It’s something that I know a lot of people in the city which I grew up, and the world, did not and still do not have. For the sake of this share, I just wanted to acknowledge the privilege that I did/do have.
One thing I distinctly remember from my childhood is that, for the years in which we did have a vehicle (largely my teenaged years), the gas tank was always riding ‘Empty’. My parents had scraped together enough to get the vehicle, but between the vehicle and the house payments, things felt tighter than ever before.
I think this is very much one of the reasons why I didn’t purchase my own vehicle until I was 31 years old. I think this is one of the reasons why you will never, ever, ever see the gas-tank in my car get below the half-way mark. I can’t do it. The anxiety and stress that I get from seeing the gas-tank read closer to ‘E’ than it does to ‘F'(Full) is something that I cannot tolerate. If I cannot afford to fill up my car with gas, to keep it above the half-way mark on the tank, then I won’t drive my car until I can.
This, to me, is the idea of financial trauma. That the socioeconomic status in which you’re raised is something that stays with you, for what I can only assume is your whole life.
I know I’m not alone in this.
I know someone who grew up in a world-renowned mountain town, one famous for skiing/snowboarding, winter lifestyle and affluence. Their parents brought them to this country as refugees and they landed in this mountain town by some sort of cosmic coincidence.
Their upbringing was hard. This mountain town, known for accepting wealthy tourists from all over the world year-round, was one where cost of living was high, while the possible wages able to be earned by a refugee couple and their children was.
They’ve told me stories about working as a bag-boy and shelf-stocker in the grocery store every day of the week from as early in life as they were able to work, with the money they made in week not even being able to afford them the groceries they would want to buy from that very store. And of following their mom and dd to work as janitors at night to help them get work done faster so they can get more done, and thus make a little more money for the family.
This person, a lot of the financial decisions that they make today are the outcome of what they went through growing up. They go out of their way to ensure that living pay cheque to pay cheque will never again be their reality. They also go out of their way to ensure they don’t/won’t work in any industry remotely related to the jobs they worked growing up. The way in which they grew up has played a big role in defining the decisions they make today.
To an extent, I think this idea of financial trauma will be present in anyone who has lived, or is presently living in a situation in which money is not something that allows them to be comfortable. And, when you really stop to think about it, it’s something that really doesn’t affect those who come from a higher-level socioeconomic class. Because they’ve never had to worry about money, they’ll likely continue to not worry about money, or the choices they make with their money. Not unless they suddenly fall into bankruptcy.
So what shapes them, then? What shapes the upper half? If they’re not plagued by the choice of which bill to decide to pay this month, how do they discern how to make difficult decisions in life? I’m not too sure, really. I can speculate. But, since I’ve never experienced being in that place in which I don’t have to worry about money, it wouldn’t really be fair for me to do as such.
Also, I just want to point out that this is not my shaming of people who come from, or presently reside in, upper-half socioeconomic classes. Money is a wonderful thing. And, if you’re able to reach a point in life in which you’re comfortable, which you have a cushion in your bank account, I think that’s a very good thing.
I wouldn’t say that I have a cushion, where I’m presently at in life. But, I did manage to pay off my debts earlier this year, so I reckon I’m probably in better financial standing that many people my age. That feeling of having no debts, that feeling is unlike anything I’ve ever achieved before.
Funnily enough, my parents, in their late 60’s, have officially paid off all of their debts this year as well. While I’ve noticed a certain ‘lightness’ to them that I’ve never experienced before in my life, I also notice that there are certain things they’re unwilling to do. There are certain decisions being made out of the preservation of their present status in life, to ensure they never go back to their state of financial trauma.
I’d also like to note that financial trauma affects everyone differently. For some people, I think financial trauma manifests itself in hyper-consumerism. People desire to have things to showcase their status. For other people, financial trauma can manifest itself in an unwillingness to buy anything.
As much as money can’t buy happiness, it doesn’t play a very large contributing factor in who we grow up to be. Whether we went through financial trauma in the past, or we’re presently going through it now, money affects every decision in our lives, to some extent.
I’m not really sure how to close this, so I’ll just leave with an ideological thought that’s been on my mind for years. Internships should be abolished. The concept that young people should be forced to work for free and that University, College or High School credit, or ‘experience’ should be enough of a reason to force them through financial hardships should end. Free labor/labour should not exist in the western world. It shouldn’t exist in the world at all, actually. But that’s a discussion for another day – something I need to do a lot more research on and learn a lot more about. The concept of forcing a young person to work for free, ‘to pay their dues’ whilst they’re still required to pay their bills, their rent and they still need to eat is wholly unfair. At the very least, interns should be paid minimum wage in the industry for which they work.
At what point in time do we stop wishing for younger generations to ‘pay their dues’ (a grossly misguided belief) and start saying ‘perhaps the favour I can do for future generations is to ensure they don’t have to go through that which I did’.
The fact that the remains of 215 children were found in a mass grave site that no one knew about and there are people in this country who are trying to draw excuses for that shows that we’ve got bigger problems with racism in this country than anyone is willing to admit to.
The fact that the remains of 215 children were found in a mass grave site proves that present day Canadians have NO IDEA the extent of the horrors Indigenous Communities have lived through at the hands of white people. 215 children died and were buried together in a giant hole. Think about that. There’s no records. No one knows when this happened, or how this happened. 215 children died and no one was held accountable for that.
At what point in time will our country stop propping up these ‘white saviours’ of the past and start to realize that cultural genocide is not something we should be celebrating? These people don’t deserve to have schools, churches, roads and infrastructure named after them. These people deserve to be looked back upon with disgrace. These 215 children deserve justice.
At what point do we stop turning a blind eye to the deep, dark and disgusting history Canada created?
How many people died? How many more mass grave sites are around this country? How many unlabeled grave sites are around this world representing the Indigenous children who were ripped from their home and adopted out without the permission of their parents, without record of where they were sent or who they were sent to live with? We, the present generation, may not have done this. But we, the present generation, shouldn’t be turning a blind eye to this.
No one, and I mean that in its entirety, no one on this planet can make excuse for the fact that human remains of 215 children were buried in a mass grave site near a former residential school. That is un-fucking-believable to me. The fact that there are people in positions of political power in this country who don’t see anything wrong with the history of residential schools is doing so, so, so much harm.
White people in Canada spent the better part of the 20th century doing irreparable harm.
I went for a drive during my lunch break because, you know, that’s what you do these days.
Alberta has double the cases per-capita of provincial counterpart, Ontario, a province with more then 10 million more people in it.
I also saw on the news last night a Virologist saying that Alberta has more cases per capita right now than in a lot of the US States. Now, I haven’t seen an actual stat for that, and I can’t find one online, but if he was telling the truth and not making a generalization, that sucks….
It’s so bad here other provinces are starting to restrict people from our province because we carry a risk of basically exponentially worsening the entire country if we province hop.
There are more cases in this city, presently, than in the entire province that my parents live in. So… I really don’t blame other provinces for wanting to tell us to just fucking stay home. (Yes, language is necessary because I’m in that kind of a mood)
Basically, we’re going to be here a long time to come.
So I went for a drive. In the snow. I saw the mountains, I saw a couple moose, some very confused geese, a pretty lake. It was… I guess as good as it could be.
I wore shorts and flip-flops in protest of the current weather. I didn’t go inside anywhere because… why bother.
I don’t think this is anything that’s going to make me rich any time soon. But, you know, I’m learning something new. That’s exciting to me, both for the new knowledge I am gaining, and also, that I’m in a place where I can financially do this. It’s a nice feeling. I’ve spent so long of my life being worried about money that having a few extra dollars to ‘play with’ so to speak, it feels freeing.
In other news, we’re in that awkward stage in Canada where the weather gods cannot decide if it’s winter or spring. Yesterday it was +9 and sunny and beautiful. Today it’s -6 and snowing. If the weather gods are listening, I would love spring. I would love, love, love spring. I’m ready for sunny days and warmer weather. I am ready for adventures into the mountains where I don’t have to wear four layers of clothing to stay warm.
Come at me, spring. I dare you.
In absolutely unrelated news, I’ve been invited to Colorado in September for a work-related event. They keep asking me to confirm attendance, I think because the vaccine roll out is going much faster in the United States than in Canada. Truthfully, I don’t know that I’ll be vaccinated by then. I wish I could turn around and say ‘Red Rocks here we come!’ I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles. It ALWAYS exists near the poles, but weakens in summer and strengthens in winter. The term “vortex” refers to the counter-clockwise flow of air that helps keep the colder air near the Poles.
Translation: Canada is very, very cold. Very cold. Cold. Cold. Cold. I cannot type cold enough to explain how cold it’s been lately.
As a Canadian, cold weather isn’t something that shocks me. We’re basically groomed to grow up tolerating cold when we live in this country. It comes with the territory… literally. The polar vortex, though… it’s a different kind of cold. This special weather occasion only happens every few years and my, my, my is it ever cold.
Presently, at my house, it’s -39 degrees Celsius(translates to -38 degrees Fahrenheit). Overnight we’re supposed to drop down to -49 degrees Celsius (translates to -56 degrees Fahrenheit). In case I haven’t said it enough yet, it’s really fucking cold right now.
We’ve been dealing with this weather about a week now. Temperatures aren’t supposed to warm until Sunday/Monday of next week, so we have at least four more days until we get tolerable cold (-15 degrees Celsius/5 degrees Fahrenheit). Being well used to this weather at this point, I’ve compiled a list of fun things to do during a polar vortex…
Play a rousing game of ‘will my car start today?’
Play a rousing game of ‘why is my garage door frozen shut?’
Play a rousing game of ‘why is my front door frozen shut?’
Seriously, going outside is painful. The air… it hurts your face. You get this overwhelming urge to keep your eyes closed because it’s so damn cold, it hurts your eyes.
If you do go outside, watch your eyelashes freeze together and become icicles. Pretend you’re a Yeti and start grunting a lot. Partially out of grumpiness for the cold, partially because it’s hard to do anything but grunt when you’re so cold and struggling to breathe.
Put on your best parka, go outside and flash your hands towards frozen objects whilst singing ‘Let it Go’ at the top of your lungs. If anyone bothers you, tell them you’re practicing for your future as Queen Elsa.
Move to Bermuda.
If moving to Bermuda isn’t an option for you, going for a ride on a polar bear is always fun. Though you’ll have to ensure it’s quick ride as if you’re outside for more than five minutes in this weather, you could very well wind up with frost bite
Drive to Starbucks and get a Frappucino (provided the answer to #1 was yes) because what sounds better than a frozen drink when it’s -39 outside?
If all else fails, complain to the internet about the cold. Because they’ll feel for you.
In the words of the Mighty, Might Covers… “I said BRRRRRR, it’s cold in here”.