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A Bit of Burgos by Dale Burgos

2020 so far…

tinned meatby Dale Burgos

What do you do at 7 o’clock every evening? Like many, we like to bang pots and pans and applaud the essential services workers, from the confines of our home. A round of applause is the least we can do for the many nurses, doctors, health care aides, supply chain and food workers that are showing up to work during this global pandemic. My list above is an abbreviated one as there are so many people considered essential services. I am thankful that my family has our health and my work continues through this crisis, but that is not the case for millions of people around the world.

Who would have known three short months ago, when it first emerged, that millions would fall ill and deaths would number in the thousands. My utmost sympathy goes out to all those who have been directly affected by COVID-19.

There are also those that were suddenly faced with lay-offs. There have been unprecedented efforts from the government to provide emergency benefits. I’m sure it is welcome help, but I sincerely empathize with all of you who have been affected.

Just yesterday, I read a news article out of Alberta where a meat packing plant has suffered the largest coronavirus outbreak at one location in Canada. What caught my attention was that many of the workers are Filipino and that many of them have been the targets of racist comments. I’m not one to shout my anger from the rooftops, but this story, along with many other similar stories, have been giving me considerable reason to be angry and sad at the same time.

On one hand, we have companies hiring temporary foreign workers to fill a void. There are more jobs than people to fill them. Enter our hard working brothers and sisters who will gladly take the job to support their family in Canada and back home. Filipinos have been rejuvenating cities and towns across this country with their hard work and family-first core beliefs. Yet, ignorance has reared its ugly head during our time of global turmoil. Instead of coming together in our time of grief, some choose to blame and point fingers. There should never be a time when hurtful comments are allowed, especially in Canada. Thankfully, the hard workers at this particular company near Calgary have more supporters than detractors.

How are you doing? Are you staying healthy by following the recommendations of our top doctors and government officials? Are you keeping two metres away from others when you leave the house? Are you always in search of toilet paper and hand sanitizer when you go to the store?

If there were a lighter side to COVID-19, it would be the number of people who line up to go into Costco so they can stock up on items. Never before have I witnessed the frenzy that is hoarding. What can you possibly do with 200 rolls of toilet paper? As long as you have running water and a small bucket, you’ll be fine, am I right? Amen!

I’m kalbo, so this next piece doesn’t affect me. Did you hear that people are now stocking up on hair dye? Grey hairs be gone! I wonder about this since most of us are stuck at home with our loved ones. I don’t care about white hairs; there is no judgement!

My last observation has to do with Spam and Hereford corned beef. My mom and dad cooked these for me when I was little. I’m doing the same for my kids. Why, during COVID times, is it so hard to find these in the grocery stores? Once we get back to our new normal, I’m going to stock up. Don’t judge me.

Dale manages the communications department for a school district in B.C.

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