Hello Chestermere-Strathmore readers.
I have been overwhelmed by the incredible generosity and kindness that I have seen in our constituency. There have been so many gestures of generosity, those going above and beyond, and I’m always touched and incredibly grateful to the many people who give so much back to their community.
In this same spirit, I want to acknowledge the frustration and pain being born by many of our small businesses, in particular fitness, personal services, and restaurants. I want to express how sorry I am for the profound impact on your businesses and families. I also want us to look at the numbers in our riding. We have some of the highest infection rates in the province. I am begging, literally begging that we take this opportunity to end the hold that the virus has over our lives. With all humility and all the love that I can muster, I am pleading with all of the good people of Alberta to hunker down and be there for each other so that we can get out of this COVID nightmare.
Every one of us needs to look at the way we are impacting each other. We need to come together and truly ask ourselves what we can do to end this sooner. What could I do to make sure my neighbour is safe and healthy. What is our collective goal? Do we really want society to be so adversarial?
I ask this because most of us would give the shirts off our backs for our families and friends; at least that is the Alberta that I know, have contributed to, and believe in. I grew up surrounded by folks who knew if their neighbours were successful, they would be successful. COVID has genuinely been a tough teacher and poses the question; what can I do to help those around me, whether that is through community organizations, volunteer organizations, churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques, helping folks pivot to online businesses, buying gift certificates from businesses that have been shut down, and helping your community by wearing a mask, washing your hands, keeping your distance, and following simple protocols.
We can pray from our homes, love from a distance, and get vaccinated. This is about thinking about everyone else. When you look at the infections in our region, understand those small businesses will suffer because anywhere where people gather, becomes a vector of transmission. I don’t know about you, but I would love to snuggle my niece and nephew, who live down the street. I would have loved to have visited my mom on Mother’s Day, just like many of you. I am tired of COVID-but we have the power to end this, save our small businesses, get our kids back to school, into playdates, visit our vulnerable family members in hospitals, hospice, and long-term care. We are so close to getting through this dark tunnel, and I’m committed to being part of the solution.
I believe in personal freedoms and individuals’ rights to make their own decisions. However, we have an opportunity to serve collectively and save our communities. Our futures depend on our actions now. I feel such hope as I meet with so many of you. You are incredible advocates for your community, so let’s all advocate in the same direction where the person standing beside you, their health and well-being, is as important to you as your own.
I would also like to remind folks that we have people with medical reasons for not wearing masks. Please be kind, compassionate and thoughtful, because people deserve it, and we should never forget that there are real exemptions. That kindness will go miles to include all and exclude none. I know we can do this. I have faith in our humanity, and I have faith in the love of my neighbours.
As always, we love to hear from you.