It’s midnight; I just finished submitting a paper (16 minutes before the deadline), and rather than writing this blog, I started scrolling through Insta stories. But instead of the usual barrage of cute babies, reposts, and so-so TikToks, I’m swiping through nurses crying, anti-maskers striking, bigoted gym owners spouting bullshit, and all of this happening in a city I love. My chest fucking aches right now, I am just so emotionally exhausted by all of it.
It has been incredibly hard to be a province away and watch the Covid numbers rise. When I left in September, Manitoba had 239 active cases, with a total of 1,428 confirmed cases and 16 deaths; two months later, Manitoba has 7,011 active cases, with 11,339 total confirmed cases and 172 deaths. That’s almost 10,000 new cases in 64 days. It will probably be that many by the time this blog is published.
Take in that number. Absorb the enormity of it. Please understand why it fucking terrifies me and why it should terrify you too.
I’m not trying to come at you with a holier than thou attitude. When I lived in Winnipeg, I wasn’t nearly as Covid-conscious as I am now. I wore a mask to the store, but never around family or friends. I went to parties and didn’t social distance. I didn’t know anyone who had the virus, and barely knew anyone who knew someone who did; it made the virus seem very far away. But that’s when the numbers were low, when we only had single-digit new cases each day. Then I moved to Ottawa, where the cases were much higher, and I had to adapt to a community that had dealt with a much more serious pandemic.
And now Manitoba has the worst Covid numbers in Canada. You finally did it, Winnipeg! All the other provinces finally know your name! No more Winterpeg, no siree; instead, you’re the new Typhoid Mary.
So, what now? Do we accept defeat and just ride out the cresting wave until a vaccine? Despite what the government seems to think, that’s not an option. We need to adapt and learn how we can keep everyone we love safe. That starts with wearing a mask when you’re around anyone outside your household, regardless if they’re feeling unwell or not. If that isn’t possible, then restrict your bubble to the same people, and make sure they’re only seeing the same people; it doesn’t work if people in your bubble have other bubbles too. And stay home when you can; it’s getting cold anyway, why would you even want to go outside? This isn’t going to be easy and it fucking sucks, but please Manitoba, start taking this more seriously.
Stay safe, everyone.