Plenty to be tired of these days

Tired of it all

According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, “tire” has multiple definitions.

The intransitive verb means “to become weary.” When used as a transitive verb, the word means either “to exhaust or greatly decrease the physical strength of” or “to wear out the patience of.”

All three definitions are appropriate for recent and current events.

We tire of the pandemic and its ­disruption. Getting through the ­pandemic and the stop-go of the public-health restrictions tires us. The protests tire us, too. Residents are ­losing patience with weekend groups of trucks and other vehicles circling, (drivers) yelling and sounding their horns, and travelling farther afield to make their feelings known.

Tire, the noun, is also relevant. It refers to “a rubber cushion that fits around a wheel (as of an automobile) and usually contains compressed air” or “a metal hoop forming the tread of a wheel.” The trucks, trailers, tractors and other vehicles driving by protesters travelled on tires to Ottawa, to border crossings and provincial legislature precincts across Canada and past the hospitals in Vancouver and here.

We can particularly relate to the ­adjectival form of “tire.” Merriam-Webster defines “tired” as “drained of strength and energy; fatigued often to the point of exhaustion” and “obviously worn by hard use.”

We’re tired of COVID. We’re tired of COVID restrictions. We’re tired of COVID affecting our lives and killing our loved ones.

We’re tired of the unpredictability of the unpredictable virus, its ­unpredictable mutations, and their unpredictable effects on our daily lives — work, school and home life.

Parents are really tired. They’re tired of not knowing whether Junior will be sent home from school for a week because of an in-school outbreak. They’re tired of having to juggle on-again-off-again at-home schooling with their own remote-from-home-office work. Single parents started the pandemic tired of treading water. Now, they’re tired of barely managing to keep their heads above water.

Business owners, bar managers, gym owners and restaurant people are tired of the hits to their income and their ­employment and of having to struggle to hire people, and then of having to let them go on short notice.

Doctors and nurses are tired of the wear and high pressure of dealing with COVID and people ill with COVID in hospital wards. They are so tired, they’re leaving their positions and their ­professions — and who can blame them?

This unfortunately means they’re ­leaving their colleagues to pick up slack in a system that already had little slack. And that leaves our health-care system — and all of us — less able to deal with current, future and emerging health emergencies and concerns.

We’re tired of hearing about COVID. I’m tired of writing about it, and I’m sure you’re tired of reading about it.

I’m tired. You’re tired. With so many voices shouting and honking displeasure, dissatisfaction and disagreement, we might all agree we’re all tired.

A related word is “tiresome” ­(adjective — “wearisome; tedious”).

The public health measures have been that. So have the recent honking parades.

Health-care professionals and ­officials, as well as the researchers and technicians who have spent the past two years working to understand this virus and find ways to protect our communities from its worst effects, find tiresome the constant streams and amplification of ignorance about misinformation related to all aspects of the pandemic.

I find hearing Canadian ­protesters declare ignorance of the country they live in when they claim rights under the 'First Amendment' tiresome. And ­concerning.

We can blame it on ­Hollywood exports, but our own ­education system is failing if Canadian citizens don’t understand where the boundaries lie between this country and the one to the south.

Monique Keiran is a columnist with the Time Colonist newspaper in Victoria. This column first appeared in the Times Colonist.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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