“We are all in this together.”

The Prime Minister says this every day as he ends his briefing. Political leaders everywhere are saying this.

“We are all in this together.”

But are we together?

Different people have very different experiences of the pandemic, in fact.

Some people can isolate at home, never having had any contact with COVID-19, any symptoms of COVID-19, or any hardship related to COVID-19.Their lives are likely becoming tedious but their only challenge is to continue to remain at home.

Other people are in a safe home, but they are sick with COVID-19. They may be worried, terrified that they will become more unwell or die. They may be even more worried about giving COVID-19 to members of their family.

Then there are the people who must choose – between heat and food, between medicine and food, between rent and food.

Now imagine being a person whose cancer surgery or heart surgery was cancelled because of COVID-19. You are at home, safe – but for how long? Is your cancer spreading? Will you have a heart attack?

Some people are not safe at home. They are hiding from angry parents or bullying siblings. They are battered, maybe even with broken bones or other injuries, but definitely with broken spirits.

Then there are the health care workers:

  • Working virtually
  • Working directly with patients, but with healthy patients or the Personal Protective Equipment they need
  • Working with patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19
  • Working in Emergency Rooms, Medical Wards, COVID-19 Assessment Centres, or Intensive Care units

Give your last and most loving thoughts for those people living or working in a long term care home or retirement residence. You have the worry of all the other groups combined. You were the canaries in the coal mine and we didn’t pay attention.

“We are all in this together.”

But are we? Are not some of us very far apart?

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