• Jane Wheeler

Ya, We Are Those People



Brian hit an elk last week in our truck. He is fine, the elk is not, and neither is our truck.

While we are sorting out the truck damages, we have a rental truck through our insurance. When I went to pick it up, I noticed immediately that it had Ontario plates on it, both front and back. Alberta has one plate on the back so this one kind of stood out to me.


I laughed when I saw the plates and said to the rental guy, “Seriously? Will I get spit on for driving around with out of province plates?” We both laughed at my joke about the stories of territorial people and the Covid virus and I drove away.


On the second day out with the truck I was driving down a double sided road when a smaller vehicle passed me on the inside, the guy was doing some fancy hand gestures – fancy yes, polite – no, to me and laughing his head off to his buddy in the passenger seat. Basically, he was signalling me to go back home after I had the fancy finger (as he thought I was from Ontario). I was stunned at his actions and to be honest, it made me more than a little hot under the collar.


I had not gone more than 1 km further when I turned into a parking lot where I wanted to go and there was lots of room to make my turn when another pick up sped up and blocked my lane into the parking lot. I stopped suddenly and looked over at the other driver, he sat there stopped and was glaring at me. Again, stunned, I had to drive up on the sidewalk to be able to pull into the parking lot. The driver stayed stopped in the way glaring at me.


I was now slightly unnerved as well as hopping mad. Not only did these 2 other drivers make judgement calls about me that were untrue without even talking to me. I was a fellow Albertan, possibly even their neighbor and because of circumstances beyond my control, I was driving with out of province plates. What right did they have to be so stinking rude? Even if I was from Ontario, I might have had legitimate reasons for being here and besides, what right do others have to be so rude?


This is basic human value here. I mean, come on, we should have learned this way before grade school, this is basic preschool sandbox lessons: In the sandbox we play nice, and we share, no matter what color you are or where you are from.


I literally learned this lesson the hard way when I beaned Leah Handle in the head with a rock when she spit on my sand castle when I was 4 years old because I told her she could not play with me.


I ran and hid when I saw her mom coming, but my Dad marched me right over hand in hand to look at the damage and blood running down Leah’s back. I was made to apologize and given sufficient consequences that I learned that we share in the sandbox.


These other drivers it seemed must have missed this important life lesson.


I had a chance to ponder this a lot on a drive to Edmonton and back over the past 2 days. Yes, I went out of my area and crossed the Covid line by driving out of my area except I was still in Alberta and now had Alberta plates on my car.


For folks in urban centers you probably have the necessities available to you. In the northern areas we often must drive to urban centers for medical appointments (4-5 hours). This is normal to us; we do not like it but there are no other options. Few specialists decide to take up residence in the northern regions.


While I was in Edmonton, I also delivered a care package to my niece in one of the hospitals. Yes, I did the proper screening and wore appropriate PPE. My niece has been in the hospital 2 months, she just delivered a baby and needed some mothering supplies. She has no family there, they all live 4 hours away, she is not allowed to leave the hospital. Someone must bring things to her. I crossed the Covid line to do that, I am one of those people.


In my hotel this morning I walked out the door to go and check out, and saw a lady from another culture, painfully shuffling down the hall with a walker looking for the elevator. Her face was bruised and swollen, she was probably also here in Edmonton for medical treatment and she had very labored breathing trying to walk the long walk to the elevator. Unfortunately, she had gotten turned around and was actually walking away from the elevator. She was not wearing a mask as I do not think she could have with the bruising on her face, nor did I have one on.


What would you have done? Would you have walked right by her and let her continue wandering down the wrong way? Would you have gone back into the room and waited for the hallway to clear? Would you have run for a mask and come back? Would you have simply just left her there?


I crossed the Covid line. I went up to her and asked if she was alright and then explained that she needed to turn around. I waited patiently while she did that and then walked with her towards the elevator to ensure that she would be alright and not fall along the way. I only left her when a family member came along almost at the elevator and relieved me. Yes, I am one of those people.


I have also gone and delivered groceries to a 91 year old woman who needed help over the past couple months. I crossed the line for her as I am one of those people.


I drove another lady to her surgery and back this week because she lives alone and had no ride.


I have lived through a lot of experiences, a lot of diseases and life lessons that make Covid pale by comparison. Is Covid a health concern? Sure, but so is cancer, heart disease and loneliness - and people are still dying from these every day. I have learned that people matter – not the color, race, religion or whatever other thing you want to bring up, people matter and I for one will not sit idly by and do nothing if I can help. I will not! I am one of those people.


I and my family are also the ones who will stop for you along the highway to ask if you are alright or need help if you get a flat tire or break down. We will cross the line to help others we are those kind of people.


I have read the comments and sneers of – “Christians believe Jesus will save or heal them if they get Covid, that’s why you do not care if you cross the line.”


No, actually that is not what I think. It is not that Jesus could not save or heal me if He chose to, but rather it is because: it is what Jesus Himself would do, that I cross the line. He said to “go and do likewise” and I do. (Luke 10:37)


I am not sorry for crossing the Covid line, I am not sorry for helping others and if you have a problem with me crossing the line, please know that when you break down on the highway or get a flat tire and some folks pull up to see if you are okay, it’s because they will be “Those Kind of People.”


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