Daresay - Deb Meissner

Daresay - Deb Meissner

Covering COVID-19 has been a difficult and at times, scary job

Deb weighs in on the pandemic for the first (and only) time; hopes we can stop fighting

As I covered yet another COVID-19 press conference today, I had a strong sense of deja vu. Looking over the year of all the things I have talked about in my column, I have purposely steered clear of voicing my personal opinion on this widely divisive topic.

Not from fear of saying how I feel, but because I’m tired of the whole darn thing. I know you are too. So this is the first and last time I intend to tackle this one.

First I need to remind you, this is my opinion only. Many people seem to confuse the fact that as a reporter I cover many COVID-19 related events, meetings, etc. We all have. What I’m not doing is creating the news, I cover it.

I feel that it has been a very long two years. There has been a lot of heartache and division, in my own life and in my community. My family is probably a lot like many of yours in beliefs, so we have folks on both sides of the fence in those beliefs. In my family, we have found a way to have peace, although lively discussions occur on a regular basis. And you know what? I learn something on all sides of this debate.

I can see over this amount of time, messaging about COVID, vaccines, and mandates have caused confusion, anger, and fear. I know when people become fearful, they become combative. It’s the old “fight or flight” response.

It saddens me that the “fight” response has become personal attacks on other people. It sickens me as a matter of fact. The attacks on me personally as I have covered events have at times, scared me.

I shouldn’t have to look over my shoulder because of my job, yet I do. Again, I think it’s people not differentiating between what I cover and what I personally think.

So, here it is. I have, for my personal health reasons and beliefs, gotten my shots, booster, flu, pneumonia, the whole enchilada.

I have to travel, I have to be at events, and to the best of my knowledge and beliefs, I’m doing the right thing for me. I acknowledge others believe in different science, please don’t write me about it, believe me, I have heard you. I also leave others alone who have made different decisions than I have.

Mandates on health bother me, and I see some of them as a slippery slope, but I adhere to laws and understand what health mandates are for. I don’t always disagree or agree with them, but I keep a watchful eye. So far, I have set about following all of Canada’s health mandates.

My health, my choice.

It is, of course, our choice to follow laws or not, and there are consequences if you don’t. Like with driving, it’s your choice to follow the laws and maintain your licence, but if you want to drive 150 km an hour, on the wrong side of the road, you can bet your bippy you are going to get thrown in jail and probably lose your licence.

It’s still your choice.

Another example I think of is pilots. There are checklists they are required by law to follow. If they didn’t and just decided to take off or fly their own direction, your life is in their hands, and you can again bet they too will be thrown in jail and lose their ability to pilot ever again.

Some laws are made to keep chaos from reigning.

I think we need to keep a watchful eye on what our lawmakers are doing, gather all the information we can on what is happening with these ever-changing variants and science and make responsible health choices, but most of all I think we need to stop fighting each other.

There is enough heartache and pain to go around, whether economic or personal.

Most need to just calm down and stop yelling. We will get through this. A fresh new year is almost here, thank fortune.

Here is to a new year, a fresh start, good fortune, and good health to all of us.