I really appreciated the remarks Wab Kinew the Manitoba New Democratic leader made yesterday. As Winnipeg prepared to go Code Red due to our rising COVID numbers, he suggested we not think of the Code Red directives as a red stop sign. We shouldn’t focus on all the things the new COVID status will stop us from doing. Rather he held up an image of a heart and suggested we think of a red heart filled with love. Following the Code Red directives is a way to show our love for our senior population, for our health care providers, for our essential workers and for our teachers and students. By staying home and wearing a mask we are supporting them and showing our respect and love for them.
It sounds pretty simple but I know it’s complicated. There is not a family in Manitoba that hasn’t been impacted by COVID-19 directives in a very personal way. I am well aware of the fact my husband and I are some of the luckiest Manitobans because we are seniors with a stable pension income. But people in our family have lost their jobs and livelihoods. Seniors in our family have suffered devastating losses both physical and mental due to the necessary isolation.
Members of our family provide essential services in health care and education and not a day goes by I don’t worry about them. Like other Manitobans we’ve mourned the long separations from grandchildren, the loss of opportunities to volunteer, to attend cultural events, to travel, to worship with our faith community in a normal way, to entertain in our home and to get together with extended family for holidays, birthdays, weddings and other family milestones.
The love Mr Kinew was talking about doesn’t come cheap. But in his speech, the New Democratic leader compared the sacrifices we are being asked to make to those previous generations made during world wars, natural disasters and times of even greater economic depression. He suggested that staying home and wearing a mask were small sacrifices in comparison.
A positive attitude makes all the difference. If we don’t complain or protest or whine but wear masks and encourage our children to do so as well, we will teach them an important lesson about love and sacrifice. If we stay home and we encourage our friends and family members to do the same thing, we will be setting a good example of love and sacrifice for our community.
Trading in our stop sign attitude for an attitude of love is the way forward for our province, our city, our families and for each one of us.