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All My Relations Matter More Now Than Ever
Linda Cauchy
Métis Women's Circle
March 1, 2021


As a young child, I recall contemplating my relations and came to the conclusion that I was related to everyone. The logic is fuzzy now but, somehow, I thought if through marriage, friendship, and affection I was related to say, the neighbours across the street, then their acquaintances became related to me; and so the connections grew. I asked my mom if this was possible, that I was related to everyone in the world. She told me no, only blood relations counted. That satisfied my curiosity and figured that with much fewer numbers it would be easier to care about my relations.

> Years later while in ceremony, I would hear the blessing for all my relations; that always struck a chord with me because I think, secretly, I still believed that my relations reached far beyond my blood. In these times of Covid 19, for me, this rings true. The pandemic has underscored just how globally connected we have become when you consider the rapid spread of the virus. The recent variants of the virus are no sooner discovered in one location only to be found in no time in another. At time of writing, it is estimated that Covid 19 has killed 500 million people world wide. No one, not the young, the old, sick or healthy, white, black, or red is overlooked by this virus. We are all susceptible. This global connectedness brings me back to the idea of caring for all my relations.

> The messages repeated over and over tell us to stay home, isolate, wash our hands. If going out is necessary, wear a mask and stay 2 metres apart. So, this is what I do. It is not solely for me that I comply with these health warnings, I heed this counsel for my family, friends, neighbours, even the vulnerable people I don't know. I do it for all my relations.

> An important part of caring for and about all my relations is critically examining the information available on the corona virus and staying informed. It is easy to become fearful and paralyzed by fear. The rhetoric is loud: anti-maskers protesting restrictions to their freedoms; lockdown resistors; news of international travellers whose misplaced self-importance poses threats to collective safety. One could easily ask why bother to take precautions and make sacrifices at all? The answer is simple; care for self and others.

> Along the lines of caring for others, my thoughts lead to the Covid 19 vaccines. To be clear, I am not an anti-vaxer nor do I subscribe to the conspiracy theories that Bill Gates is involved in 5G implants via the Covid vaccine! I am cautious and a bit wary at the speed of this messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine's development and the long-term effects that may not yet be known. There is much vaccine propaganda circulating and with some effort, I have filtred through the noise and discovered some reassuring scientific facts.

> mRNA vaccine research is not new. It has been going on since the early 1990s hence the apparent speed of the Covid 19 vaccine development is somewhat deceptive (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mrna.html). mRNA never enters the nucleus of our cells (where our DNA is stored) and is short lived (https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/drugs-vaccines-treatments/vaccines.html). mRNA vaccines have been successfully used in veterinary medicine for a long time (2020 personal conversation with a practicing veterinarian). But, as with any vaccine, there is a calculated risk-benefit profile (https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-01-benefits-covid-vaccine.html)(https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-risks-and-side-effects-of-vaccination/a-56136620) (https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenmatloff/2020/12/18/what-are-the-long-term-safety-risks-of-the-pfizer-and-moderna-covid-19-vaccines/?sh=8c96c968f3dfs). The Canadian government has approved two vaccines for nationwide inoculation. At present, taking the vaccine is optional and before I roll up my sleeve, I'll continue to weigh my personal risk-benefit threshold. One is well advised to be informed. (Disclaimer: the author is not a scientist nor a medical practitioner, simply a curious person- the information is out there.)

> Vaccines aside, there are many ways to care for others during this pandemic: keep in touch through calls, messages, video; shop for others in order to reduce their exposure (reciprocity is always appreciated); make extra meals and drop them off at a friend's door; heed the counsel of health authorities by isolating, masking, distancing; take care of yourself in order to limit your risk of infection and subsequent spread. Through the lens of a pandemic I see that we are all related and need to care for one another in a good and generous way.
Meegwetch.

Posted



ARCHIVE

May 12, 2021 The Flower Beadwork People
May 1, 2021 Good Riddance Beyak
April 1, 2021 Another Day in Paradise
March 1, 2021 All My Relations Matter More Now Than Ever
January 21, 2021 "Look Out The Window, Quick"





SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

The purpose of Trade Beads is to inform and inspire our readers within the overall theme of Indigenous experience. Broadly, themes will follow the four seasons, but posts are not limited by these categories. We consider submissions by students, artists and community members at large. TradeBeads is supported by the Métis Women's Circle, whose mission statement is as follows;
We are a circle of Métis women who support, educate and empower our women and their families. We acknowledge the Creator and the wholistic relationship between the earth and the gifts provided to us. Through reciprocity and the healing journey we can help our people reclaim and celebrate our cultures, histories and identities.

Submission Criteria
  1. Please submit original posts, not previously published. Submissions should be 500-1,000 words in length, in MS Word format, emailed as an attachment to info@metiswomenscircle.ca

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