Rolando Moon is looking a bit like how I feel!
Warning: venting ahead!
Today was a mix of good and bad.
The kitties are always part of the good. 🙂 Rolando Moon was especially wanting attention this morning.
My main thing today was to help my mother with her groceries, so she could get more than what she can carry home in her walker. With that in mind, I called the grocery store first, asking about medical exemptions to the new mask mandate. This municipality has been under one for a while and we had no problems before, but the province is putting on the pressure, so I wanted to check. I was assured it was not a problem; I was just asked to let the cashier know when we came in.
Then my mother called. She was ready, so I ended up leaving early.
The caretakers in her building are still harassing her, so she was waiting for me outside one of the side doors. With a mask on under her nose. 😦 At least she can breathe, but she may as well not be wearing it! She tried to say, it keeps her mouth warm. 😦 The harassment is definitely getting to her.
She wanted to go to the pharmacy first, which I was not expecting. I did have my exemption card, and a printout of the new mandate’s medical exemption portion, ready. Of course, I kept my distance from everyone but my mother, and didn’t touch anything but what she needed help with.
It wasn’t good enough.
I got kicked out.
The irony of it is, when a manager was brought over to tell me they would not recognize the medical exemption in the mandate, he was wearing a gappy mask, and pulling on it as he spoke. So he wasn’t wearing a mask properly, himself, but it’s me they’re worried about? They (he and the woman who first tried to make me wear a mask) kept making comments about protecting their staff – from me! – and they were following some other guidelines, instead of the mandate. I was treated like a pariah.
My mother, whom they know by name, with her mask under her nose, was allowed to keep shopping. I did mention she was exempt, too, but they didn’t care. So utterly arbitrary.
Thankfully, she did not need much there, and I waited for her outside. Like I was some kind of leper.
The grocery store, on the other hand, was awesome. I told the cashier we were exempt, and that I’d called ahead about it, and she said it was fine. A friend of mine works there and we started to chat a bit. I told him what happened, and he was flabbergasted. He told me of a person he knows that cannot wear masks. When the mandate came in, she was laid off. Permanently. Which is illegal, but they did it, anyway.
When my mother was done her shopping and I was helping her at the cash desk, I made sure to tell the cashier how much I appreciated that they don’t discriminate against people for their medical issues, and to please pass my thanks on to management. She was very understanding about it. I suspect she’s seen a lot of this.
Once back at my mother’s place, she was acting like she had to sneak me in through the side door, out of fear of the caretakers. Once we had her groceries inside, I took a printout of the relevant portions of the mandate to tape to her door, making it as small and neat as I could. She has a mask exemption card there already, but medical exemption section number in the current mandate has changed, and I don’t know when I can get an updated one.
Then I stayed for a little while to chat. Not long after, we heard voices in the hall. No big deal – until those voices stopped outside her door. We could hear two people talking about the portion of the mandate on her door, and how “she had to do that…” because the section numbers had changed.
Then the person doing most of the talking said, “she can’t be allowed to get away with that” and “this shouldn’t be here”.
My mother recognized one of the voices as one of the caretakers.
Clearly, this person was aware of the exemptions, but didn’t want people in the building to know about them, or actually use them.
They continued talking and I got my phone out to try and record it, but it’s really hard to hear. I did catch the “shouldn’t be here” comment as they were walking away down the hallway.
I didn’t stay much longer. As soon as it was quiet, I left.
As I did, I saw two people sitting outside the main doors, watching me. Both pulled their masks down while I was walking to the car and, as I was leaving, I could see one of them on her phone.
It could have been anybody, or the woman making the call could have been one of the two people we heard in the hallway.
As soon as I could, once I was home, I made a phone call to a social worker who has been trying to help my mother. When last I spoke to her, she’d given me the number for the housing department responsible for the building my mother lives in. I told her I’d tried calling, left message, and there has been no response. She was not surprised. I told her there was another incident.
She told me she just had another incident, too, but to go ahead and tell her mine, first.
I knew immediately they were related.
I told her what happened, and she was able to put names to the voices we heard. We had a pretty extensive chat about the whole thing.
I’ll also be coming in on Monday to write an incident report.
As for her incident? Yup. It was related. There was a complaint about my mother and “she can’t be allowed to get away with this” along with the accusation that my mother was lying about her medical issues. I’m guessing the person I saw outside her building, making a call, was the person who phoned to complain.
Since I was there to hear what they said first hand, and I don’t live there, I can make the incident report myself. Something a lot of the people who live where my mom does either cannot do, or are to afraid to do.
I was also encouraged to file a human rights complaint about what happened to me, too. I’ve also been encouraged to go to the media.
On the one hand, I really don’t want that added stress. On the other, the stress of all this is already there.
This is all so very wrong.