Essential Worker

Watching a trainwreck from relative safety

From Kitchener, ON
Kitchener
N2H

Mon May 03 2021

Anonymous

I'm so, so lucky, because I have worked throughout the entire pandemic for an organization that pays ALL its employees self-isolation and sick pay, and gives us accommodations to be able to take care of our kids if our kids have to stay home. They tell us they care AND they show us by backing up their words with concrete action. And it's working. We've had one positive case in my department of over 100 people (who can't work from home) in the entire pandemic.

I worked on Saturday after the Ontario gov't released its "strategy" that closed playgrounds and left vulnerable essential workers without sick pay. I have never seen my staff so demoralized as they were that day. There were tears. We are all taken care of, but maybe because of that we are all acutely aware that not everyone else is. And until everyone can stay home if they or their families are sick, we're not going to get this thing under control. It's brutal to see this drag on and know it doesn't have to be this way. It's scary to know that some of us, and people we love, are still vulnerable and the decision-makers don't seem to be listening to science. Corporations making billions are treating their staff as expendable, the provincial gov't is spending all kinds of our tax money but not on the things that actually will make a difference, and it's hurting all of us - even the luckiest ones. Watching this third wave, even from relative safety, has been like watching a preventable trainwreck in slow motion and it's horrifying. And if I hear once more about how frontline essential workers are "heroes" and "thank you" from a politician who in the same breath won't vote to give them adequate pay and sick time, I might actually scream.

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