LETTER: Use your ears before you use your mouth

I sit from my front seat as a care provider in the year of COVID-19.

When I see the news, I see both federal and provincial governments wondering what has happened. How have we let this slip through our fingers? Why have we lost so many of our elders to this deadly infection?

All I can think of is something that my dad use to say… you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Obviously the government never heard my dad.

I have been working with community care in the PQB area for close to 30 years. I have met some amazing seniors with stories that would curl your hair and others that would tickle your ribs. I have always loved to absorb and try to understand and feel what my clients have endeavoured and accomplished.

Unfortunately, I do not believe that our provincial and federal governments have been using the same two ears as I have.

Don’t get me wrong, Dr. Henry, Minister Dix… good job. But ears should have been activated much further into the past.

As a worker I have been spit on, punched, slapped, kicked, bitten, yelled at, called many names.

I have also been blessed to spend time with people and families. Sometimes, in times of crisis and also in times where a little support is all that is needed.

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I have held the hand of clients who would have to be all alone if it was not for community care as they have taken their last breath. I have held and comforted those who have just lost a loved one… a spouse or maybe a pet that has slept with them or at the foot of the bed for the last 14 years. This all means something if you listen to it, if you learn from it, if you just think about it.

I truly appreciate the 7 o’clock banging of pots and ringing of bells… someone is listening, someone understands. Unfortunately we needed COVID-19 for government and the public to begin to understand.

After all the time effort and feeling of care that I have put into my life assignment I will look back at what has happened in the last few months, and to those who have lost loved ones and struggled through very hard times.

All I can ask is the our governments use their ears. Please treat your workers with respect, pay them a wage that reflects their compassion and willingness to do a very difficult yet rewarding job.

And most of all show respect and compassion for all our seniors, our elders, and mostly use both your ears before you use your mouth.

Rod Bailey


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