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What this Trucker Freedom Convoy means to me.

When I first heard about the news of the trucker freedom convoy to Ottawa this weekend, I was overcome with emotion. As I listened in on their talk about their plans, I had hope for our country for the first time in 2 years.

In the last two-plus years of this pandemic, nothing has made sense. The government mandates have changed almost daily. According to their health officials, I understand that this virus has been nothing like anything before. However, no virus has ever caused this much destruction to my knowledge. I don't remember another vaccine that has been mandated like this. The flu has been around a lot longer, and not everyone has been forced to take it to keep a job or to shut restaurants and other businesses down.

That being said, I do know that COVID -19 has been the casualty of many lives, and my heart goes out to their families and the nurses and doctors that have treated them and watched them die without their families. I know of a fair number of nursing professionals who are changing jobs because of the PTSD they have suffered from watching this happen. I can't imagine the devastation of the families that were not allowed to say goodbye to their loved ones either.

I didn't get my last Christmas with my father either due to a Covid scare in the family. We were not allowed to be in my father's doctor's appointments or his cancer treatments during this time, which was hard on us all. He died at home with the mandate over our heads because we would not have been able to be with him in hospital or hospice.

There have been times in the last two-plus years of this pandemic that I had given up hope at times. I have sat here and cried because it felt like the isolation was too great. I could not hug my parents or see them like I wanted to, or even see my husband's family for the most part. To see my community against each other or calling the unvaxx selfish, of hearing that business owners were losing their business because they could not keep their business afloat. To see and hear of our homeless doubling and tripling, of hearing of at least one death happening a day of overdoses and suicide, but that never made front-line news.

I have seen the comments on social media and the vast divide this virus has caused not only my country but the world. I understand that people live into the fear that the mainstream media is putting out there. I can't believe that we can’t have a different option as adults and still respect each other. I understand we are all tired, and we want our lives to go back to "normal," But can I invite you to see the good side of the pandemic.

For me, this pandemic has allowed me to pause and transition into a new career; it has given me some amazing friends around the world, sisters I would never have met if it were not for this pandemic. My family is closer than ever before, yes, we have had our blows, and I lost my father, but my relationship with my brother and my mother and aunt and uncle has strengthened. My husband and I have bonded more and improved our communication with each other. My mother knows how strong of a woman she is. I invite you to think of at least three good things this pandemic has done for you.

Getting back to my feelings of elations over this convoy. I was in the trucking industry for over 11 years; no, I was not in the truck but the office. Truckers are a different breed; they will take so much until they can't take it anymore. They are on the road away from their families and loved ones to bring much-needed supplies to stores, factories, and places worldwide. One of the reasons I left the trucking industry was that it is so heavily regulated that I am not sure how these guys do it, to be honest, and that was before the global pandemic. That being said, these guys are NOT just fighting for their freedom; they are fighting for the world's freedom! To end all mandates for all.

We have been isolated to the point that I am pretty sure all of us have been affected if you were honest with yourself. We have all been forced to do things we have not wanted to do in some capacity or another. We have been divided with vaxxed vs. non-vaxxed, and I have seen families separated, and some have not made it. I have seen and heard of people not being with their loved ones in their final hours and people not seeing their family if they lived in a different country. People have lost their jobs that were last year's heroes, and many others have been forced to take the vaccine to keep their jobs as well.

When I see the pictures of this convoy, I tear up because I know that we are together again for once in 2 years. We are all fighting for the same thing, that together we are united. When two or more come together, it is finished. These pictures give me hope; not only are Canadian truckers in Ottawa, but I know of over 10,000 US truckers there were coming as well. We are bringing the people together again. There have been messages from Australia, New Zealand, and worldwide saying that we stand with you, Canada. Once Canada gets its freedom back, they are headed for the US, too is what I am hearing. We are in this together; I stand with you. I see you and know that I love you, and we will make Canada great again!

With many thanks, and much love.

Dorothy O'Dell

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