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Graffiti artist Banksy’s work entitled Peaceful Heart, located at 720 Grant St in Chinatown, San Francisco.

There has been a curious infallibility among the very group who know better, the group that has been giving us all the good advice for how to prevent contracting and spreading the pandemic. There’s been a few cases where world leaders either contracted, or were in isolation because of fears of contracting the virus from their doctor:

ForeignPolicy.com recently reported on “Coronavirus in the Corridors of Power“. It is a telling list partially because the vector of the virus spread sometimes has been their own attending doctor – as was the case with Chancellor Angela Merkel who was recently in self-isolation after a doctor who vaccinated her against pneumonia tested positive for COVID-19.

Closer to home is the case of an ER doctor who is among dozens of Canadian health-care workers who have tested positive for COVID-19: “Vancouver ER doctor with COVID-19 shares his story“:

“When Dr. Joseph Finkler started feeling run-down at the beginning of last week, he attributed the fatigue to the string of night shifts he had been working at the emergency department of St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

It wasn’t until [March 26], when he woke up sweating and shaking, that he knew he needed to get tested for COVID-19. Twenty-four hours later, he received the results: positive.”

I guess I felt a tiny bit invincible until I got this.

Invincible and Infallible?

Health-care workers at any stage of contact have much higher risk to contract the virus due to exposure, in the way that firefighters have a higher exposure to burns, and climbers have a higher exposure to rockfall, etc. Despite training and precautions, over-confidence or fatigue can play us into peril.

I am well aware of how my own over-confidence has been met with the perfect timing of humility. The pandemic can scour our hidden hubris; it’s just that while we listen (for the most part) to the most respected and trusted segment of society – some in critical positions of care have been exposed for being merely human:

“Currently, there is no one tracking the number of infections among health-care workers nationally, but federal officials say they are working to compile that data from the provinces and territories.

Alberta has confirmed 77 of its health-care workers have tested positive for the virus.

In the Windsor-Essex area of southern Ontario, 15 health-care workers have been infected. The majority of those workers live in Canada but commute across the border to work in Michigan, where there is a significant COVID-19 outbreak.

In Italy, more than 60 doctors have died of COVID-19. And in the U.K., up to a quarter of physicians have been off sick with the virus or self-isolating.”

A Mirror to our own Hubris

There seems to be this societal awareness that health-care workers have given and given and given; some to their own fatalities. What I am really trying to do is use this unfortunate development as a mirror to our own hubris.

We are neither invincible nor infallible, and we need all the help and encouragement in the world to care for ourselves and each other. And when we fall physically, mentally, or spiritually ill, we don’t need people wagging their fingers at us.

We are in continual need of grace & compassion

So whether it’s the students recklessly enjoying spring break, or people sneaking out to gather with friends, or health-care workers ignoring their own symptoms or their own advice, this is a reminder to myself to be gracious and compassionate; we probably didn’t need a crisis to tell us that.

In meantime, in case you needed reminding, I leave you with Rick Mercer’s Rant: “Stop Looking for Loopholes!