There is no question the times in which we find ourselves are a strain on people’s capacity for graciousness.
But graciousness is precisely what is required.
While opinions on the scope of pandemic-related restrictions and public health measures differ wildly, let us not forget that we are all neighbours.
It starts with not making assumptions.
We have all heard stories of anti-maskers abusing frontline workers, but there is another side to that coin. People who cannot wear a mask have also been targeted.
There are people who legitimately cannot wear a mask, which is why there is an exemption in the provincial mandate for those people.
In many cases, the medical reasons for this also make those folks more susceptible to the worst complications of COVID-19.
They still need to shop, they still need to access essential services.
As trite as it is to say, “we’re all in this together,” it is true to the extent that we are all doing our best to cope with things that are largely beyond our own control.
There is enough stress for everyone already without being unkind to one another.
There is a reason, aside from her eminent medical qualifications, that Dr. Bonnie Henry is the public face of B.C.’s pandemic response.
She embodies what is often referred to as “The Golden Rule.”
Treat others as you would wish to be treated.
This concept is not necessarily a religious maxim, although it is a foundational principle of nearly every major religious tradition in the world as well as most secular ethical traditions.
Don’t assume. Be kind. Be gracious.
It really is that simple.