I’ve been silent too long

I reach out to you now, dear readers of theseniortimes.com to explore why I feel I have lost my motivation to write, and in doing so, perhaps find it again.

Irwin and I have now received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Decarie Square. The organization of the physical site was impressive, the process fast moving and thorough. Everyone we encountered was professional and kind. I almost cried for joy once I was jabbed.

The process of securing an appointment involved a frenzied online visit the minute I found out they were vaccinating those over 70+. The website hadn’t caught up with the announcement so when I went on to register, it asked if I was 80+ and when I said “no” I could go no further. Brazen as I am, I lied the next time and said I was 80+ and the virtual powers that be let me through, taking my birthdate and medicare number and lo and behold, I had an appointment.

Suddenly I was advised by my friend who was advised by her doctor that there was another number to call and I gave this out to friends and family. They managed to get appointments before mine. I helped one friend navigate the website, holding her hand on the phone until she and her husband got an appointment.

It’s now been three weeks since our shots and our life hasn’t changed much except that I feel I bit less stressed going into a supermarket and have taken to frequenting my favourite clothing shop on Sherbrooke and Belgave, where Chris, the owner, hangs sale items on various racks on the street, weather permitting. Thank goodness for small wonders!

We visited Jean Talon market, the indoor section, last week but it wasn’t nearly as much fun as the outdoor market, which we are looking forward to.

What I constantly think about is all those who desperately need this vaccine, especially teachers and those with compromised immune systems. Why was I so lucky to get it when they are in constant danger of getting the virus? After all I squirrel away in my home, and luckily, no longer have to work.

My efforts to volunteer — to mentor or tutor students at Dawson have been rejected due to my no longer being “a part of the Dawson community.” I taught at Dawson for 25 years and now feel I am no longer needed. I understand more and more what it means to “be retired” as a professional. We feel as though we are useless and all our skills and talents seem to be unrecognized. I miss interacting with students. I miss teaching literature. But society has deemed me useless in this domain.

Back to COVID, I just don’t get it. What is our government playing at? With the variants beginning to wreak havoc upon us, shouldn’t we be protecting all our teachers against the virus?

In California, where my daughters lives, schools have yet to open, and the vaccine rollout is much faster than Canada. It seems in this new world, every state, every province and every country is on their own and it is up to their leaders to decide on a course of action in the face of COVID or no course of action. And we know what the consequences of that are.

People complain about not being able to travel or see loved ones. People complain about not being able to go to their gyms (lest we not forget the fiasco that took place in the Quebec City gym), not being able to eat in restaurants. But the only people who have a right to complain are the teachers and those who are at great risk of contracting the disease and far down on the list of those illegible to get the vaccine.

I keep thinking that our governments could do so much better. We always seem two steps behind, always reacting instead of being one step ahead.

I often dream of returning to Israel where the government has made sure its citizens are safe and many Israelis have received both doses of the vaccine. I realize we are a bigger, more vast country, but still, we should have seen all this coming. There are other reasons for wanting to return to Israel. It’s this illusive desire to return to my youth I suppose.

So now we are hearing of more lockdowns in Quebec and Ontario. Too late of course. More stress. More anguish for those in hospital. This virus is not going away till we are all vaccinated.

Two weeks ago I was in my bank and spoke with a young teller who asked if I had had the vaccine.

She said she “didn’t believe in it” and asked if I had had side effects. She clearly was not going to get it.

I had to convince a friend my age to get it. She had reservations but went ahead anyway all because her doctor told her it was okay.

How many people will not get the vaccine because they are simply ignorant and close minded and willing to believe wild, ridiculous theories? I could have asked the same question about those who voted for Donald Trump. It takes all kinds to make a world.



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