For those who have lost count, we’ve been in this mess for 270 days. That’s two hundred and seventy days. As the numbers rise, and as the death count doesn’t seem to stop climbing, you’d think that a global pandemic such as this would be enough to join humanity together to fight with a united front against this virus.

Apparently not.

At the beginning of this pandemic no one knew what we would be in for, and the select few that had some idea, well, not a whole lot of people were listening to them. Things began to close, people were getting infected in cities way closer to us, our hospitals began to report that maybe this virus entered Canada a little earlier than we all thought. But we were still okay, right? I mean, Canadians are generally healthy and have good health care, of course, everything was going to be fine. Except it wasn’t, it still isn’t, and to those of you reading this who are still a little skeptical about the plausibility of this virus, I’ve got the families of over fifty million people who’ve been infected and the families of over one million people who have died who would tell you to smarten up.

It was excusable in the beginning when we would watch celebrities talk to us about how difficult everything has been and how hard it was to be stuck at home not knowing the future, while the sun danced over the water of their crystal blue pool and the grass of their acre estate swayed in the wind behind them. Sure, people were losing their jobs, their homes, but we forgave the celebrities because no one was really sure how to act, how to approach this tough topic of the hardships of the common folk. Now, it’s not so excusable.

What I don’t understand is how these celebrities don’t know how much of an influence they have over people. Look around! People pay attention to how you act, so if you go on acting like there isn’t a pandemic happening, most likely the least strong-minded fans of yours will mirror your actions. Apparently, a few weeks ago, it was uber important that a certain celeb family had a little party celebrating who knows what, who really cares. But don’t worry, they rented out an entire island to make sure that they were being safe and weren’t around others so as to not spread germs. Sure, okay, but it’s a tad tone-deaf no? People are struggling to pay for rent, for food, trying and failing to see their grandparents, their parents, but you thought it was okay to go on social media and brag about how lucky you were to rent out an entire island just so you and your family could have a safe extravagant party.

But this is where I stop right? I mean, surely it’s only these celebrities that are so far removed from reality they couldn’t possibly understand how to act, who aren’t following proper procedure and doing everything they can to shorten the time we spend isolated. Sorry, but it’s not the end, not even close.

If everyone is wearing their masks and socially distancing, then why do the numbers keep going up? That’s the question I ask daily after the news update that just keeps getting worse every day. Obviously, there’s only one answer: not everyone is.

Before I go any further, I want to make myself perfectly clear.  The following is not aimed at essential workers, it’s not aimed at those who have to go out to serve society, to work the stores that the rest of the population frequent to have some sense of normalcy during all of this. It’s not aimed at those that can’t work from home, that have to work the factories and trucks that deliver packages to people who can stay at home. It’s not aimed at the people working in the grocery stores who stock the shelves and probably have to deal with some of the worst people every day. This is for them. Who this is aimed at is the portion of the population that chooses not to limit the number of people they expose themselves to, when they have the option to do so. Choose to see friends without socially distancing. Choose to wear masks incorrectly or not at all. Choose to ignore the fact that it is humanly possible to delay a dinner at a restaurant in hopes that doing so will lower numbers. And choose to disregard the grim reality that the longer we put the needs of one before the needs of many, the longer essential workers risk their lives.

What I can’t apprehend is how people don’t get it. Wear your mask! You’ve had 270 days to figure out how to put one on, so do it. And don’t complain about it; “Oh it’s uncomfortable, oh it hurts my ears”, suck it up. Would you rather have a breathing tube to help you breathe? Would you rather your back hurt with bed sores from not being able to get out of bed? Be isolated in a strange and scary white room because your family can’t come and visit you? Because that’s the alternative, and that’s what millions of people are facing right now. And while I’m on the subject, not sure if this isn’t common knowledge, but air and particles come out of both your mouth AND nose. I shouldn’t even have to write this out.

Your mask needs to cover your mouth and nose. Both. Of. Them. Not just one or the other (I seriously felt a few of my brain cells die writing that).

Your actions have consequences, didn’t anyone teach you that? We all hate this, it’s not just you. We are all missing our friends and non-immediate family. Most of us have probably had a milestone by now that has just come and went, not being able to truly celebrate with the people we love. It’s not just you that’s suffering.

Grow up, and realize that if we all work together, this will be over faster. It can’t be everyone for themselves, it’s not going to work. The longer people are being selfish the longer we’ll be in this mess, the longer we’ll be apart from family and friends. The sad fact of it all is that those who are listening, who are wearing a mask, socially distancing, giving up chances to hang out with friends because they know it’s for the betterment of humanity, are the ones getting the brunt of this horrible feeling of being unable to surround themselves with people they care about.

I don’t care if you miss your gals, bros, and pals. The longer humanity only thinks “me me me”, the longer some socially responsible young person is unable to hug their grandparent who may not make it to next Christmas, and by the way, things are going, won’t be able to see them this Christmas either. This could have been over if we would’ve just nipped it in the bud. In the beginning, we could’ve just not gone anywhere, left our houses only for extremely essential reasons, not given the virus a chance to spread. We could’ve gotten rid of this much faster. We could’ve understood the severity of not following the rules the government so urgently gave us.

Humanity needs to start to think about one another, think about the doctors and nurses, the long-term care workers who are putting their lives behind everyone else’s, who are putting themselves in danger every day to make sure more people don’t die. Think about those who are sick, struggling to breathe, eat, trying to not feel completely defeated. All you have to do is make sure you aren’t closer than six feet to other people, put a loop behind each ear and make sure the fabric is covering both your nose and mouth. That’s literally it.

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