Protocols unfair to those living alone


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/06/2021 (714 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

By the time this column comes out, some of the provincial public health restrictions may have been lifted and we’ll be on our way back to something that resembles normal life.

Let’s hope so because like many, I’m beginning to feel like I’m living in another dimension. One where aloneness is the required state.

I’ve been reviewing the ups and downs, sidesteps and backtracking of the protocol measures that have been in place over the past 15 months or so and it is little wonder many of us are feeling conflicted.

Last spring, when the restrictions began, we knew what to do and we were OK with them, because we thought this would last only for a short time. It was once restrictions start changing that things got confusing.

Let’s start with gatherings. For a time you could have a few people in your home or in your yard. Then you couldn’t. Restaurants were open to households and patios to small groups. Then they weren’t.

For a few months we could walk with a friend in a park, as long as we socially distanced, of course. After that, you walked alone.

Now you can go to Superstore, Walmart, Canadian Tire or any mall that is open, where there are lots of people. But we must go in store alone.

The one thing that has remained constant in all of these measures is the social isolation these protocols impart on people who live alone. In reality, these people are probably the least likely to be a threat of having or spreading COVID-19.

Even when restaurants were open, single people didn’t go out to eat because they didn’t want to eat alone. Under the latest restrictions, they couldn’t even go for a walk with the one designate they were allowed. Golf is another example of how protocols favour households. Household members can golf together. Single people can golf, too. They just have to golf alone.    

So I say again, as I did in my column around this time last year, we are not all in this together. While all of us have been affected by the pandemic, we are not suffering it in the same way.

For some, life hasn’t changed that much. For others, thanks to the household protocols, days are long and lonely.

To quote an offhand remark I overheard recently, “we may all be in this together but some of us are in a row boat and others are in a yacht.”

To which I add, “those who in the row boat are in it alone.”

By the end of June, or whenever life goes back to normal, the powers that be will likely review their pandemic strategy. When they do, they might want to rethink measures that were put in place that essentially discriminate against people who live alone – a fairly large segment of the population.  

Donna Minkus

Donna Minkus
Charleswood community correspondent

Donna Minkus is a community correspondent for Charleswood.

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