My job involves analytical observation of people and property to attempt at finding out what has changed. It's true of a security role, but it places me in the frontline of actual events to attempt at interpreting the cause and effects of social movements.
That's somewhat unusual for a rover Mobile Patrol Security doing the rounds in the night shift. And you can't help the passion when you are confronted with people sleeping rough, aimlessly wondering about the place as if looking for something on the ground.
At times I am called for activations, otherwise it's for a lockout; that's someone who has lost his/her keys, often locked inside. One tenant was a young woman who met me at the ground floor of one of those tall towers now occupied by MSD clients.
She showed me the way up to the 5th floor, but through the stairs. I asked why she doesn't use the lift and she replied that she hasn't got a lift swipe. She is a caregiver for a paraplegic patient and she often goes out shopping for supplies. You guessed it; she climbs the stairs few times a day up to the 5th floor.
That's not too bad, the next tenant I unlocked had to walk the stairs to the 9th floor. I am supposed to be fit for the job, but after climbing the height of a tall tower, it certainly took its toll.
However, that's actual reality of a housing crisis giving rise to homelessness. Buildings not designed for tenants' social needs have to do.
Now, the reality of homelessness was here for over a decade. If you were walking up the stairs to floor 9, you'd probably get fit too. But you get a hint that tenants are holding back on what they wish to say. I guess they are thankful they have a roof over their head. The repressive submission is an ideal behaviour for a corporate landlord. But you can't help thinking that whatever MSD subsidised for rent is paid directly to the landlord. And for fear of eviction, the tenant has to put up with the stairs.
Homelessness may have established the groundwork for the first wave of covid-19. The people were proactive and in solidarity with authorities on containing the virus. There were a few protestors but overall, the first wave brought out the government's administration- the best in the world. I was listening to moderate talk back shows and I heard a few kudos were passed around.
As covid-19 hovered around, some folks started to feel anxious about their future as lockdowns kept business closed and jobs terminated. Folks slowly began to look for something or someone to blame. Hard hitters were at their element in finding faults with the government, with health authorities, with the police, immigration and the neighbour.
The mood is changing as the height of tall towers begin to ache; the cold breeze and hunger of homelessness nights cast a dark shade upon the place. And you can feel the sadness, dejection, anger, anxiety and fear. It's depression.
It's a double hit! The homelessness, covid-19 and lockdowns; the economy and employment. The social conditions provide a great opportunity for the opposition among big hitters of blame and conspiracy theorists to do their thing. But the negative development feeds into fear to prolong anxiety and isolation. And that escalates to all sorts of consequences including self-harm, alcohol and drugs, violence and crime.
The strange thing about fear is that there is no basis for the complaint. The victim's perspective is self- preservation and they will find something wrong in anything even if there is nothing wrong. We have known that fear of the fear itself is sometimes stronger than life. But the complaint provides a catalyst for reaction. And a whole lot of arguments and anxiety proliferate the place while fear sits quietly in the corner.
That's why a rover Mobile Patrol guard is a super customer service and essential worker. He/she is not only scaling the stairs of tall towers, but also listening with feelings to identify the stress and provide health and welfare for the community.
They say the client is the most important unit in the business. But the conditions created by the Housing Crisis have gifted the landlord the opportunity to further exploit the tenant with extra demands. The tenant in fear of eviction submit to such unreasonable demands.
Anti-vaccine users have used the Bill of Rights to refuse injection. They have also claimed they are exercising the right to expression of opinions.
First of all, to prevent infection spread is to make sure everyone is vaccinated. Those who are not injected are sure to be the cause of another covid-19 outbreak. The more people infected the more the virus mutate and we might not be able to contain multiple layers of mutations. And that could mean wipe-out.
To contain the virus therefore is also to contain extreme oppositions among conspiracy theories and misinformation.