BOOMER TALK: Boomers and COVID-19

Columnist Carole Fawcett tackles pandemic and misrepresented information

Carole Fawcett is the Boomer Talk columnist for the Morning Star. (File)

Carole Fawcett is the Boomer Talk columnist for the Morning Star. (File)

I had to go to a lab early one morning for blood work.

I left at the same time a delivery person was leaving with a large container on wheels and I jokingly said, “Will there be room for me on the elevator too?”

“Oh sure,” he said. “Besides we are only dealing with the flu anyway, in my opinion.”

“Oh, I think it is more than the usual flu,” I responded from behind my mask.

“Nope, nobody in this valley up to Revelstoke has this flu,” he replied.

It seems I had crossed paths with (pick one) someone who was (a) a conspiracy theorist; (b) a science denier; (c) someone whose life is ruled by superstition; (d) a magical thinker; or (e) someone who thinks the government is trying to control us. (I do hope this last group is declined the CERB payment and the BC Emergency benefit payment.)

As I write this column on Wednesday, May 13, in our region Interior Health stats indicate there have been 180 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Two people have died and both were baby boomers.

In British Columbia, we have had 2,360 lab confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Currently, there are 63 people hospitalized.

B.C. has suffered 131 deaths while 1,832 positive diagnosed people have recovered.

Our area is doing much better at the moment and it is wonderful to see how our actions have led to this.

If you are interested, you can check out the current statistics at B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control.

It is thought some people are (or were) asymptomatic and may not be aware they have the COVID-19 virus. So this is why we have to remain cautious.

I wondered if I should give ink to those who have odd ideas about this challenging time. But I believe viewpoints that are so far-fetched have the potential to be dangerous. I know there are those who think it would be best not to acknowledge bizarre ideas and just accept that everyone thinks differently.

Sadly, during the Second World War, people stayed silent as Hitler’s army rounded up Jewish people and sent them off to concentration camps.

Google Martin Niemoeller and read his short essay about how nobody spoke up as Hitler’s army kept persecuting various groups, one by one.

In any crisis that involves humans, we have choices in how we respond.

One is to respond negatively and the other is to respond in a more positive manner.

I’d like to add a third way to respond, one that is based on realistic facts and clarifies misrepresented information.

Speak up and debunk the misinformation with facts — politely and with respect.

We are fortunate in B.C. to have provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry with her calm demeanor. I think everyone has done an excellent job in helping to keep Canadians on track and agreeable with the changes we have all had to make.

So, to quote Dr. Henry: “Be kind, be calm and be safe.”

Carole Fawcett is a freelance writer, editor, humourist.


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