There’s been a lot of attention and plenty of well-deserved salutes to our front-line workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
And I’m not just talking health-care workers, although they are of paramount importance in the battle against this insidious, fast-moving virus and the treatment of those hit hardest by it.
That list contains everyone from those who continue to police our communities to keep everyone safe and those who continue to battle fires across the country, to those who stock grocery shelves and those who keep the goods flowing.
But there is another group of heroes out there. They are the heroes against pressure.
The single moms working three jobs to make ends meet who have lost the support of day cares, preschool and regular schooling, and now have to tend to their flock almost 24/7, while the pressures of a diminishing savings account (if there was one to begin with) and mounting bills continue to peck away at her sanity.
And, all the while, she has limited access to a tiny space of refuge to allow her to try and calm herself, collect her thoughts, and promise herself she won’t take any of this out on her kids because none of this is their doing.
Think of the lower middle class, working poor and lower class parents of mid to large families trying to make the same ends meet, while seeing their cramped living quarters slowly become pressure cookers of mounting frustration among all ages under their roof.
And those who live on the fringes of society, already feeling alone and disconnected from the world around them during their good days, who now sit in further isolation, feeling their walls closing in ever tighter around them.
And, just like the front-line workers (may the deity of your faith bless every last one of them) who fell victim to Covid-19 and gave their lives while caring for others, there are those falling among the ranks of the pressure heroes, as well.
There was a dire warning penned in mid-April by Karen Selick, a senior research associate for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy who practised family law for 24 years.
Selick fears we will see an epidemic of suicides among such folks, as well as an epidemic of family violence by those who are nobody’s heroes; those who deal with pressure in the most vile of ways.
And Selick is backed in her fears by a number of experts on domestic violence such as author Carolyn Hennecy.
Selick points out the rate of suicide in Canada closely mirrors that of mental breakdown, and wonders if our various levels of government think through all these consequences before imposing restrictions and closures on most of our social and educational activities?
She asks if anyone tried to estimate how many additional people will die as a result of the unprecedented and unnatural conditions being forced upon us?
And her guess is that is the number of dead and injured will far exceed what Covid-19 would have inflicted had people been allowed to gather at will.
For the sake of all the wonderful heroes trying to hang on and get through each day of this pandemic, I pray to the deity of my choice that she is wrong.
Food for thought!