Connection and Inclusion in a World Facing COVID-19: A Message From Rick Hansen
We have certainly found ourselves in strange times recently. All of us have been completely disrupted by the momentum and devastating effects of COVID-19. At times, it seemed we were watching a scene from a science fiction movie. We watched with compassion from distant shores of those who had been suffering, and while we cared deeply, we hoped that it wouldn’t reach our corner of the world. The reality is the wave has reached us, and it’s truly a shock.
Fear can be the enemy. We are all reeling to adjust our frame of reference from week to week, now day to day, so that we find ground again in our new normal. But then, it’s up to us to transform this circumstance into the blessings that it can offer.
We can reframe to remind ourselves of what’s important: family, love, and being connected, if not physically, then through technology. By moving forward and continuing to live our lives within these new boundaries of health and responsibility, we find ways to inject light during dark times.
Emergency responses and crisis management can really magnify and illuminate how we are doing to help build a healthy and inclusive society. The lessons learned from the courage, determination, and resiliency of people who are struggling to deal with situations like this on a day to day basis can help us reach that higher bar.
Many people with disabilities are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and face potentially serious complications. By following social distancing recommendations and staying informed on the latest updates from Health Canada, we can all work together to protect the most vulnerable Canadians. Your actions matter.
Let’s also make sure that we communicate in the appropriate formats for people with visual, hearing and cognitive disabilities. These measures help everyone. We need to support those who are most vulnerable, to make accommodations for work, and ensure that attendant care is in place, especially for those who have been in quarantine or self-isolation.
Kindness, compassion and simply reaching out to make sure that every Canadian does not feel alone during these challenging times can go a long way. This is the hallmark of the spirit and values that Canada is built on. We need that more now than ever.
This will challenge us as a nation. We need everyone on board. Together we can model the way. Together we can get through this.
- Rick Hansen