These are my grandparents.
Opa and Oma.
I love them very much.
Last weekend, we went to visit them. We spent 6 hours talking and making memories.
It was the best 6 hours of the past year for me.
That was the first time we saw them since mid-October 2020.
4 and 1/2 months.
We, nor them decided on this significant period of isolation due to fear of a virus.
The isolation was necessary as their neighbours have resorted to spying on each other.
This was clearly evident during the time we spent at their home.
You see, my grandparents both grew up in the Netherlands during Nazi occupation.
They understand control, fear and intimidation.
The worst part about growing up under Nazi rule wasn't the threat of death.
It was the lack of trust between neighbours.
I don't say this to compare the 1940s under Nazi rule to now.
I say this because we have let government cut us off from the people that matter most.
Our families. Our friends. Our neighbours.
I continue to hear stories of children dealing with mental health issues.
Some have even taken their own lives because they have no hope.
Grandparents are dying alone in long-term care facilities.
Small business owners have lost everything, their dreams crushed.
It is time to speak out.
It is time to tell all governments that we do not accept isolation.
It is time for hope.
It is time to tell your story.