I am not Ryan Reynolds - A Love Letter to Frontline Workers
I am not Ryan Reynolds. I don’t even know him. I did attend the same elementary school as he did, and I do know 2 of his brothers but, I don’t know Ryan Reynolds, and I am not Ryan Reynolds. That’s probably why, if I were to record a message telling people to keep a physical distance, stay in small groups, wear a mask in public and…please don’t kill my mother in law….it’s likely not many would pay much attention.
I do, though, hope, enough people read this blog post to know how important I think it is that we continue to honour our frontline workers. It’s November now…and even though the COVID-19 numbers have been going up in BC, and indeed, all around the world, I think we have reached a level of wearied complacency. I guess that’s to be expected, but I’m honestly shocked that people seem to be living as if things are back to normal when the COVID-19 positive test numbers are actually just as high, if not higher than they were back when the first wave was at its peak. In fact, if you google COVID- 19 Complacency (Click here…I did it for you) – there are SO many articles about why it’s happening and the problems we could face if the complacency continues.
And – of all the things we should NOT be complacent about – it is to thank those who make our every day possible: our frontline workers. We live right by the hospital where my wife Michelle works in Xray…and we use to take walks, almost nightly at 6:45pm – partly to get out and exercise, but mostly so we could hear the resounding clanging in our neighbourhood of those who would step outside their doors at 7:00pm to thank our frontline workers for their hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Yet, even as that practice has long since faded away, their hard work, dedication and sacrifice has not: in fact, during our second wave they’ve had to triple their efforts, work longer hours, and put themselves in increased peril.
Final Honouring at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, BC
Hence, I want to say:
To our frontline workers in medical facilities (pic is of Michelle's Coworkers): thank you for putting your lives and the lives of your families on the line to give others comfort, care and compassion. You are often the first line of defence in putting a halt to this virus. When people worry about their health and survival, you are the ones to give them a sense of calm and quick medical attention. You put on so much PPE, tied so tightly to keep you safe, that the straps often leave scars on your bodies: wounds of this pandemic war. I cannot thank you enough.
To our frontline workers in education: I see you. I honour you. From the teachers and staff in my children's school, to my own staff, to my colleagues in multiple districts – you are risking your lives and the lives of your families to make sure our children – our future – have a future. They need their education and need social interaction; we know this to be true. Even during a global pandemic where every day seems to bring more bad news, you are working hard to ensure the well being of our young people and to bring smiles to their faces. Thank you: you’re amazing.
To our frontline workers in emergency services: You answer the call when we don’t know who else to call – and rush in to save strangers without any thought of your own personal safety. I think back to the tragedy of the car of young people that plunged into the river near Chilliwack, BC.
I will never forget the report that emergency service personnel jumped out of their vehicles and ran into the river to try and save the young adults. No thought of catching COVID-19. No thought of the frigid waters. No thought of personal safety. They just wanted to save lives. Thank you.
To our frontline workers in places of business: oh, how we’ve taken you for granted over the years. For many of us, going to a hair salon, a book store, a Costco, a grocery store, a mall or a restaurant seemed be “just part of life”. So many of you suffered in courageous silence when things were shut down in March; and almost all of you bravely stepped back into your places of business, and into the unknown, when you knew how much we needed you. You stand masked behind counters and glass so that we can experience a bit of normal even though masks and glass are anything but normal. Thank you.
I am not Ryan Reynolds, but I am the husband of a medical professional, the father of two children, a colleague to educators, a friend to frontline workers, and a consumer of businesses. Maybe I won’t get 100,000 + likes on this blog post like a Hollywood celebrity would – but hopefully enough people see this to remember to honour the people who sacrifice every day, so that we can have the chance at having a normal, healthy day.
Love you all.
Until next time...