To The Editor,

Unlike my grandparents and great-grandparents, I have never been asked to serve my country. Until now. The adversary this time is COVID-19 and all Canadians are being asked to make the smallest of sacrifices to contribute to the effort to combat a virus for which there is no known cure and no vaccine.

The virus has killed, it has made people sick, and it has devastated the economy, particularly in the service and travel industries, where people are being cast out of work and businesses are failing. The front line in this campaign is formed wherever people come together, particularly in large numbers and in confined spaces. Its guardians are those still working in the service industries, school teachers, medical personnel and first responders.

The rest of us are simply being asked to stay home as much as possible, to forego those normal activities that bring us in contact with groups of people. This includes family gatherings like Thanksgiving dinner.

Some among us, of course, see these measures as restricting their freedom, as if freedom is merely individual and absolute, and that it doesn’t require collective struggle from time to time, as our ancestors who risked their lives in combat should have taught us. The irony is that it is those who refuse to wear masks, who don’t social distance, and who carry on as if there is no pandemic, they are the ones who have compelled governments to impose restrictions.

We should, I think, see this trying moment as an opportunity to serve our communities, to demonstrate our respect for others, to contribute in a consequential way to halting COVID’s spread, and to reflect on how good we have it in normal times.

Mike Gasher,