Canadians are constantly being told, “We’re all in this together.”
“This” being the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve been enduring since March.
Thanks to face masks, social distancing and other restrictions on our movements and communication, many of us are cut off from co-workers, friends and even family.
In an attempt to bring us a little closer together, the Daily Commercial News and Journal of Commerce spoke to six individuals who either work in construction or are suppliers to the industry and asked them how they’re faring and what’s on their mind. Their comments have been separated into three articles that will be featured this week. Read Part 1 here and read Part 2 here.
To allow them to speak freely, we let them recount their experiences anonymously. One person, however, because of the non-personal nature of his comments, spoke on the record.
Their remarks have been edited and paraphrased for clarity.
“At the height of the pandemic, in March and April, I was very worried I’d get infected.
I didn’t go outdoors until the end of May. I felt very anxious and was horribly afraid of public spaces. I stayed inside and my husband did all the shopping.
Now I’m slightly less afraid. We wear masks when we’re indoors, but outdoors we don’t, unless we’re around a lot of people.
I don’t know anyone who contracted COVID-19, but friends of mine know people who got sick. Two of them died, too.
One of the worst things about the pandemic is the anxiety. I’ve never felt so anxious before.
In the beginning I watched the news all the time, I became obsessed with numbers. I had to know everything about the pandemic.
The absolute worst thing are the horror stories of people dying alone without being able to see family and saying their final goodbyes by cellphone.
The most surprising thing has been all the conspiracy theories floating around, how some people think COVID-19 is a hoax. The amount of nonsense that gets spread by social media is shocking.
But I’m also intrigued by it, and sometimes I don’t know what or whom to believe. The government and public health officials say one thing and the conspiracy theory people say another.
But when the vaccine finally comes out, my family and I are definitely going to get vaccinated.
“I think both my girlfriend and I had it (COVID-19) in February or March, but there weren’t any tests for it then, so we’re not sure.
For her it was like a bad flu, but it didn’t last long, and with no symptoms after the first few days. I had it much milder, like a regular flu.
The worst thing I’ve observed is people’s paranoia, as if the sky is falling. And some people are very intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them.
In fact, the most “tolerant” and politically correct people are actually the most intolerant and aggressive at pushing their point of view on others.
At the same time, some pandemic-scoffers are selfish and careless and lack common sense.
Apart from the medical risk, I like the new normal. I never liked big crowds and I like to have plenty of space.
I like there’s less useless travel and more work from home. Now we burn less gas and waste less time in traffic.
The term “social distancing” is stupid, and so are the idiots who repeat it like parrots. There should be less social distancing, more social interaction, but more physical distancing.
I’m concerned about ideas like health passports, contact-tracing apps and other things with more potential for abuse than benefits.
They condition us bit by bit to accept losing our privacy and liberties as a new normal.
It creates a dangerous precedent and brainwashes us a little at a time, and gradually makes us more complacent.”