Some nonsense has gone on long enough…

This week’s theme of posting and news seems to be those on the edges of our community, that COVID-19 seems to make easy to discard. On my podcast The 905er, this week we centred our attention on the Ministry of Long Term Care home policies effects on separating families in it’s care.

Yesterday, I wrote about the Hugs over Masks people being allowed to get away with violating mask by-laws. As well, a friend of mine Brenda Agnew, shared a shameful story of trying to take her son into Indigo here in Burlington. Her son has a disability, and is the reason why mask exemptions were included in masking by-laws. I’m not going to speak for her. She can do that herself, you can find her Facebook post here:

I can’t speak for Indigo corporate policy. I can say that there is an oceans worth of ignorance happening here. For starters, I have no doubt part of this is the fear of Indigo staff of having to deal with the ignorance of others. The Hugs over Masks people I described above who manufacture made up medical reasons to avoid wearing a mask, or simply refuse to wear them because they’re special, are unfortunately everywhere. Having worked in retail, I can understand not wanting your day ruined by the ignorance of some. Catering to these people is just harmful and pointless. Shame them, kick them out of your stores if you have to. I’m done negotiating with them.

Indigo staff and corporate aren’t blameless either here. They have a responsibility to be educated on what the by-laws of the municipalities they operate in say. In this case, the by-laws have exemptions for Brenda’s son. This is the reason why they were written in the first place. Laziness and ignorance is no excuse here. Threatening to call the police was the absolute height of indifference to the needs of others.

We cannot become a society where it is acceptable to hide away the vulnerable because it’s convenient to. This pandemic has revealed many fault lines which have existed in our society for a long time but we chose to look the other way. We can’t any more. Right now minor inconveniences for the majority of us, can allow a minority to join the rest of us in enjoying the day. The elderly, the vulnerable, those with special needs cannot be the price we are to pay to return to normalcy. If that is the price of COVID-19, I cannot pay it, and you shouldn’t either. Shame on Indigo for this policy and shame on them for making a child with special needs and his mother cry.

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