January 22nd, 2021

Experiencing the very best of community

By Letter to the Editor on June 16, 2020.

RE: Shopping is not what it used to be, Gillian Slade, June 6

As a news writer, I’m surprised Gillian has not remained abreast of our community’s response to COVID-19, especially from accessible social media groups such as YXH-Volunteers and YXH-Business Support.

Had she done so she would be aware of the very public conversation around ‘cash vs. plastic’ transactions. Some take out/delivery service, drug stores, coffee shops and post office outlets are among those who have mandated ‘plastic only’ and our community fully supports them.

I am not alone in having experienced the very best of our community throughout this health crisis. Transit operators and riders, cab drivers, City Council and administration, business leaders, volunteers, grocery store workers and regular everyday Hatters have done our utmost to support the wellbeing of all, especially vulnerable people.

Rather than deem those with anxiety about COVID-19 as “not a societal problem, but rather the individual needs mental health assistance to overcome,” we have shared information and resources, and offered practical help to alleviate their concerns and address their needs.

Instead of attempting to shame Hatters who receive CERB or imply that retail workers are ‘making excuses’ not to return to work so they can ‘enjoy the summer off with more money to spend than if you worked’, as a so called journalist, perhaps Gillian might better serve readers to investigate why a payment of $2,000 per month would be, as she suggests, incentive for anyone to not work.

The real worry is not ‘the number of people who are or will be out of jobs or the number of businesses that will close after three months of no revenue’. The real worry is the risk of a second wave of COVID-19 because of the complacency and entitlement of Gillian and her ilk who balk at measures taken by local retailers and workers to ensure the safe relaunch of their operations.

It’s interesting that Gillian’s comments were published beside a Hatters’ letter of appreciation to those very same retail workers who she holds in such contempt.

Gillian, go flash your crisp $100 bills elsewhere, that don’t impress me much.

Colette Smithers

Medicine Hat

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