In Canada we revere the health-care workers who are on the front lines in the fight against the coronavirus COVID-19.
But disturbingly, this is not the case everywhere.
A story making the rounds recently showed that health-care workers in some countries have been stigmatized as vectors of contagion and as a result have been assaulted, abused and ostracized.
Many who travel to work on public transportation are no longer able to do so in hospital garb because of fear of being attacked.
In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, soldiers had to be posted outside a hospital and across Mexico dozens of attacks against health care workers have been reported.
A senior nurse went on national television to make a plea on behalf of her fellow health care workers: “Please stop assaulting us.”
Nurses working under her auspices had been viciously attacked at least 21 times, accused of spreading the coronavirus.
“We can save your lives,” she said, addressing the assailants. “Please help us take care of you, and for that we need you to take care of us.”
In many cities around the world, doctors, nurses and other health care workers have been celebrated with choruses of applause and cheers from windows and rooftops for providing the front-line defence against the pandemic.
It is hard to believe that this would not be the case everywhere.
But the story showed that the violence against health-care workers was not restricted to Mexico.
It said in the Philippines a nurse in the southern province of Sultan Kudarat was attacked by five men who thought he was infected with the virus because of his work. They poured bleach on his face, leaving him with what his doctors said could be permanent damage to his eyesight.
In India, a group of medical workers was chased by a stone-throwing mob and in other instances health-care workers reported being physically attacked, spat at and threatened with sexual violence for treating patients with the coronavirus.
Ghazala Bhatti, a nurse in Karachi, Pakistan, and the mother of three children, said her landlord had asked her to vacate their apartment because of fears that she would infect others in the building after treating COVID-19 patients.
You have to wonder about the IQ of the people who would turn on health-care workers in this way, the very people they would have to depend on if they got the virus.
But then you look at what happened in Michigan, where protesters, some with AK 47s and others with confederate flags and swastikas, stormed the State capitol because they believed the governor was moving too slowly toward opening the economy.
I wouldn’t consider these people as being too bright either.
But then, they have probably been brainwashed by their mule-headed president, Donald Trump.
I apologize for the reference. It is not my intent to disrespect mules.
Anyway, back to my original premise.
I hope I never hear of any instances in this country of people speaking in derogatory terms of health-care workers, and this goes up from the cleaners, whose job will have become more important than ever, to those who will be at the bedside of the ill.
We in the Sault have been lucky so far, with only 13 positive tests as of this writing and none of them having required the use of a ventilator.
But as time goes on, COVID-19 may just come our way in greater numbers. If that occurs, the life they save could be any one of us.
However, it is reassuring to us all that Sault Area Hospital has taken the steps required to confront such an eventuality.
After the Battle of Britain in the Second World War, Prime Minister Winston Churchill uttered his famous tribute to the Royal Air Force, “Never has so much been owed by so many to so few.”
I think these words are applicable in hospitals and nursing homes all over the world right now.
LIKE PRESIDENT DONALD Trump before him, Joe Biden, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, is now facing a claim of sexual assault.
Trump’s accusers, of course, were plural. Biden’s is from a single complainant, Tara Reade, who was employed in his office for about nine months starting in December 1992.
Reade says Biden pushed her up against a wall in the Capitol, although she doesn’t recall where as there are several buildings, forced her legs apart with his knee and put his fingers inside her.
Biden, naturally, denies it.
So with a she says, he says, situation, how does it ever get resolved?
Why not have both of them take a polygraph? It seems to work on the Steve Wilco and Maury Povich shows, so why not here?
Actually, although Reade admits she doesn’t recall where it happened, I think the media was remiss in not asking her exactly when it happened. All we have been told so far is that it was in the spring, which runs from March to June.
The timing matters since she worked for Biden from December to August.
If the alleged assault took place in March, why did she stay working for him until August? Even if it occurred as late as June, the same question applies.
Did she give any thought at all to quitting immediately after, as she claims, he put his fingers in her?
Biden says he isn’t questioning Reade’s motive. But it does seem strange that a year ago she claimed it was inappropriate touching and this year has bumped up her claim to sexual assault.
The New York Times has called for a full investigation but 27 years after the fact, I would say good luck with that.
I think the decision will be made by the voters, based on Biden’s character, with its one complaint, against Trump’s, with its 20..