Putting money above people and craft
By Angela Frye, Contributor
Many of my friends are doubling up: grown professionals moving back in with parents and wondering what to do.
It was good while it lasted—collecting CERB instead of being a productive member of society in my fulfilling job in a field I love. It was good watching people return to work, knowing that I likely never would. Canada did some good with CERB. It was good having people think I should be doing something, forgetting there is a global pandemic that shuttered the entire performing arts industry. CERB gave me a tiny bit of leeway so I could feed myself and my son and try to figure out what to do now.
Now CERB is ending and I spend hours a day on hold trying to get my claim activated with EI. I am clearly not alone; thousands are also scrambling to get through as well. How will I feed myself? How can I pay my rent? What will I do now that my industry is gone? Now that CERB is gone? And what the eff is up with the BC booming housing market? Gross.
I am in my 50s and trying to pivot to a new career where I can use my lifetime of experience in another way. My son just voted for the first time and is wondering if there is a point in going to school for the arts in the midst of a global pandemic… now that there is no support.
Many of my friends are doubling up: grown professionals moving back in with parents and wondering what to do. A whole generation of arts workers trying to find other work. The fun part of the pandemic is over. We are nearing winter and have seen rising COVID case numbers. The part where we could go outside and sit in a park six feet from our friends is over. The part where the government let us know that it had our backs is over. To me, some arbitrary number has been reached that has nothing to do with health or lives, but reflects the all-consuming interest of money, and we can’t go that far into debt.
Think about the almighty dollar for a second—it is a construct. People need money so they can live. So, make some more money and give it to people. Let us continue to spend what we can and contribute to the economy. Keep us safe and keep us alive, don’t let the people of this country fall through the cracks. That’s what government should do.