Ottawa Urbanites Suffer PTSD, While Ukraine Burns

March 1st, 2022 | SP

No greater comedy could be written than what the urban hipsters of Ottawa have provided. My friends, what you are about to read is as much sad as it is entertaining, that is, if you haven't read about it all ready. As you may have heard, the urban dwelling hipsters of downtown Ottawa have been suffering a great deal of post-traumatic stress since our friends in the Freedom Convoy exited their town. But, let us not dare compare them to the millions of Ukrainians now fleeing their homes and facing constant bombardments and fire from Russian aggressors.

The CBC was eager to inform us that the urban dwellers in Canada's capital have been suffering from PTSD and hearing “phantom horns” since the end of the trucker protests that marred their city many weeks ago. What makes this story so special, friends, is that the CBC was compelled to share it with us only days after the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The CBC's Nicole Williams wrote:

Kevin uses one word to describe the first days of the protests in downtown Ottawa: torture.

"Literally there was trucks right underneath me," said Kevin, who did not want to provide CBC a last name for fear of reprisal.  "It was one thing for me, but I've got animals. I've got three cats, two dogs. So yeah, it was torture."

That "torture" is the reason behind an ongoing class-action lawsuit, which sought an injunction prohibiting any participants in the convoy protest from using vehicle horns in the vicinity of downtown Ottawa.

Oh, my dear Kevin. You poor lad! Just as the people of Ukraine began to flee their homes and build makeshift bomb shelters in subways and basements, you were approached by the CBC's Nicole Williams to share your horrific and near fatal trauma from the long-gone Freedom Convoy. My dear Kevin, please know that Canadians are so very sorry to hear about your suffering.

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We are also very sad to hear that you are not alone and that many more Ottawa residents have been suffering with you. Had it not been for the brave reporting by Nicole, we may have never known. Had she not informed us of the others, we would not be able to refer to her as a true reporter.

Thankfully, according to Nicole and Dr. Peter Liu of Ottawa, the symptoms are only temporary and compromise a very mild form of PTSD. As stated by Nicole:

Dr Peter Liu, an Ottawa-based clinical psychologist, said it's possible people who hear phantom honking are experiencing a "mild trauma."

"These sounds become sort of embedded in mind, kind of like the way trauma leads to flashbacks," said Liu. "Even long after this has happened, the brain is still in a hyper-vigilant state and expects more honking."


"It is temporary and it will always fade with time," Liu said of the phantom honking. In the meantime, he recommended trying to sleep in a different location, even if it's just in another room, listening to music, or putting on white noise before bed.

Oh, thank goodness! Along with the rest of my countrymen, I am happy to hear that Kevin's suffering will eventually come to an end. Those of us who have been fathers and mothers to screaming newborns at all hours of the night, for many months at a time, are happy to hear that the honking sounds in every Ottawa urbanite's brain will fade over time—just as the sounds of our newborn children did in ours.

Meanwhile, it is important for many of us to draw our attention away from the poor Ottawa hipsters, if not only for a moment, to focus on the suffering of the Ukrainian people.

As reported by Euronews, Ukrainians have harboured in one of Europe's most impressive metro systems, turning it into a bomb shelter for families as Russian forces descend on their major cities:

With 80 distinct mosaics, colourful stonework and swinging chandeliers, Kyiv's network of 52 metro stations is often regarded as one of the most impressive underground systems in Europe.

But as Russian forces close in on the capital city, many Ukrainians are now taking shelter in the Soviet-era stations - hoping to avoid the blasts of incoming missiles on the streets above.

"I'm here because I think it is one of the only places right now where you can hide in Kyiv," says Bogdan Voytenko, a resident in the Ukrainian capital.

"All of the other places are terrifying."

On February 26, The Guardian reported on 80 children being born in these makeshift bomb shelters:

Sharing an image of the newborn child wrapped in blankets while others in the shelter are visible in the background, Hanna Hopko, a former Ukrainian MP and chair of Democracy in Action Conference, said Mia was born in the shelter in a “stressful environment”. But she said that despite the challenging experience, Mia’s mother was happy, adding: “We defend lives and humanity!” The baby was among more than 80 born in bomb shelters over the last two nights, according to Kyiv’s city authorities.

On the same day, Al Jazeera shared photos of Ukrainians fleeing as refugees to Poland and nearby countries, uprooting their lives and leaving behind their country and homes. On social media emerged videos of tanks flattening passenger vehicles, gun fights between Ukrainian and Russian soldiers and jets launching missiles into civilian complexes near Chernobyl. In all of it, trauma and desperation were clear among the Ukrainian people and those who appeared caught in the middle of a war that no one asked for.

Reports of hospitals filling up with injured soldiers began to mount by the third day of fighting. Many were blast injuries with amputations, leaving citizens in the cross-hairs as well. Within more days, 198 Ukrainian civilians had been reported dead, with at least three of them being children. By February 25, more than 1,000 civilians had been non-fatally injured. Civilian buildings, like a high rise apartment complex in the outskirts of Kyiv, were hit with artillery and Russian rockets.

As the fighting continues, Ukrainians will continue to die and face the trauma of war.

However, my friends, we should not forget about the poor citizens of downtown Ottawa, who have had their lives shattered and their minds riddled with post-traumatic stress from the incessant honking and protests against draconian pandemic mandates. Their lives have been torn apart, leaving them desperate and unable to walk peacefully on the streets outside their apartments. Their daily trips to fetch frappuccinos at Starbucks were temporarily uprooted, but their minds have been fatally scarred.

There is no telling when, or if, the poor citizens of urban Ottawa will ever get their lives back.

Have you seen this video?

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