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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ADAM OLSEN -- Our elders are incredibly important to building and maintaining a resilient society. They are our knowledge holders. Their experience and wisdom is immeasurable

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on every aspect of our society.

The social discourse is evolving in so many ways. We are faced with ethical dilemmas as we recognize and acknowledge the fragility of the systems that we have created.

There are incredible challenges for front-line medical workers who must make the seemingly impossible decision about who receives medical attention and limited supplies. Public health officials and politicians are faced with making decisions on our behalf about the advice they give and the orders they make.

Individuals are asked to make personal decisions that just a few weeks ago we never thought we would have to make.

Our elders are among the most impacted demographic by the COVID-19 outbreak.

While we are seeing statistics that show it’s more complex than this, seniors are more likely to have compromised immune systems, existing respiratory issues and therefore they are more likely to succumb to COVID-19.

Truth is, health researchers are seeing that COVID-19 is a potentially fatal disease for people of all demographics. However, I think we need to pause and reflect on the significance of our elders. Our elders are incredibly important to building and maintaining a resilient society. They are our knowledge holders. Their experience and wisdom is immeasurable.

The decisions we are making today, to practice physical distancing and isolate ourselves, is to limit the spread of COVID-19. It is in large part a measure that society is taking on behalf of those people who are most vulnerable to the disease -- our elders.

I’m thankful for the broad social mobilization efforts to protect our elders.

It’s deeply heartwarming to see the extraordinary and creative measures people and businesses are taking to support seniors. From volunteer supply pick-up and delivery to special shopping times. In these difficult days we are seeing wonderful acts of kindness, compassion and love.

We have seen a massive mobilization across all demographics in an effort to limit the spread of this awful disease and protect our elders. Our actions are profound. They come from a deep sense of respect and love for those who are the foundation of our families and our society.

I support every effort we are taking and recognize that we must continue those incredible efforts to preserve the knowledge, wisdom and experience of our elders.

It brings me a deep satisfaction to witness society take hold of intergenerational equity. As we work our way through this public health and economic crisis that we currently face, and begin the recovery effort, the next question for us to answer is whether we are going the extend the same respect to our children and grandchildren.

Adam Olsen is the Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and Member of Tsartlip First Nation


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