It's about respect

By Zachary Roman

Published May 26 2020

If you’re reading this while being safe and following all of the recommended best practices for preventing COVID-19 you’re awesome and you certainly don’t need me telling you what to do. If you’re reading this and you think COVID-19 is not such a big deal or even a hoax my opinions on masks and social distancing are certainly not going to change yours. Or will they?

During my short time with the Echo I have spoken to so many kind and welcoming people. And it breaks my heart to hear that so many of these people proud business owners and employers in the Haliburton community are in truly dire straits because of COVID-19. These people are going into massive amounts of debt yet what they care about most is how they can’t provide jobs for their employees anymore. They are selfless. They – and their employees without work – don’t deserve to see people who haven’t been affected so harshly by the virus walking around ignoring the rules while their own worlds crumble around them.
However rule breakers in this county are the exception to the rule. I have seen incredible support for local food banks essential workers businesses and more every day while I am reporting. I have already written three stories about people who started their own initiatives to help others and I have only been working here for three weeks.

Now I’m not saying that if everyone followed the rules perfectly COVID-19 would magically go away and everyone’s problems would be solved. The virus is an unprecedented threat that even the top minds in our world are struggling to keep under control. But following the rules would certainly help.
At the very least it would show respect to those who are laying down their lives every single day for us – be it at the hospital or the grocery store or anywhere in between. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’re going to catch the virus or give it to anyone. Even if there was a 100 per cent chance that you wouldn’t or couldn’t you should still wear a mask and stay two metres apart from others out of respect for those who have lost or are losing everything because of COVID-19.

Regardless of views on the virus everyone has heard of the golden rule at some point: Treat others how you want to be treated. The pandemic may not be hitting us all the same but if it were you losing loved ones risking your safety or losing your life’s work – maybe following the rules and practicing social distancing wouldn’t seem like too much of an ask.

Believe me as an avid skateboarder the rules and I don’t always get along (why do some of the best hills ever not allow skateboarding?). Nobody on this Earth is perfect myself included. However some rules like the COVID-19 prevention best practices are just too important to ignore. I haven’t been skating with a group since the virus started and it sucks big time – anyone who knows me must be tired of me talking about it 24/7 – but it’s the least I can do.
Regardless of what you may believe let’s all remember that you nor I are the centre of the universe. Let’s come together and show some respect for those whose universes need it most by wearing our masks and social distancing.