I recently read the Opinion “Stopped myself from giving in to negativity”, and tried my best to ignore it, but without success.
Apparently, regular, otherwise law-abiding people who have chosen not to receive the COVID vaccine are now the enemy, because they disagree with the government strategy of mandated vaccinations and question the effectiveness of masks or the need for and risks associated with lockdowns. They should simply shut-up and do what they’re told. Alistair, you win the award for hyperbole, divisiveness and smugness.
Let’s start with a little perspective. The fight against the SARS virus is no “war” and the metaphor is hardly apt, especially as to the situation in B.C. (let alone locally). Rather it only encourages snide, disparaging remarks about those who haven’t gotten on board with the so-called “war effort.” Consider the flu pandemic of 1918 which occurred in the midst of an actual war. Scholars estimate that 30-50 million were killed, most between the ages of 30 and 50 years. That was perhaps a war. Covid has been a serious challenge in a polarized world, posing a small risk to healthy, younger people, but often fatal to older persons, particularly if their health is already compromised.
Are the unvaccinated the problem (particularly locally) and deserving of condemnation? While I get the argument that presently there are more cases among the unvaxxed and so the potential for greater spread, never has evidence been shown that this is occurring. The vaxxed still get infected and transmit the virus. So in B.C., from January 2020 to Dec. 25, 2021 there were 1,910 deaths considered to be COVID related in people 70 years and over. 1,215 occurred in care facilities where the residents are almost 100 per cent vaccinated, surrounded by vaccinated staff. Further, the unvaxxed have been excluded from public places for the last 2 months and yet cases and deaths continue to grow in the population as a whole. The recent BCCDC report claims 14,095 new cases from Dec. 12 to Dec. 25. And now we know of COVID outbreaks on fully vaccinated cruise ships, sports teams, colleges and workplaces, and that the vaccines are not stopping the new Omicron.
Want to blame somebody? Then I suggest you look at the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal regions. Of the 14,095 new cases 11,208 were in these regions, with huge increase in those who are 15-39 years old. Hmm. Younger people at work and socializing?
I suggest it is a remarkable presumption to expect every person to accept the vaccine. The vaccine hasn’t been effective at stopping the pandemic. Its effectiveness turned out to be short-lived. Remember “herd immunity”? The government’s messaging was contradictory, then became heavy-handed. Successive lockdowns have failed and vaccine passports are failing. It lost trust. Although it’s said that the vaccines are safe, manufacturers are still protected against liability. The data remains hidden. There was no follow-up of those who were vaccinated, the VAERS reporting system has been ignored, and legitimate vaccine victims have been shamefully marginalized. When good doctors expressed concerns about vaccine issues or wished to try alternative prophylactic therapies they were punished and cancelled. The mainstream media and Internet censored all question and debate. It became impossible to determine what was truth or fiction when the information was managed and contrary ideas messaging prohibited? Finally, Trudeau’s divisive rhetoric during the election and since, along with punishing mandates which scapegoat good people have alienated conservatives, hardened opposition and caused unnecessary hardship to families. There is a complete lack of trust on the part of many and I wonder if it will ever be restored.
Sadly, the single-minded focus on vaccination has also made us lose sight of important answers needed from this government. What improvements have been made to our medical/hospital system in the past two years to improve our ability to respond to medical emergencies? What research or unbiased studies has our government conducted as to alternative, cheap and effective early treatment protocols and preventative measures being used in other places? Why have we not been provided monoclonal antibodies, used effectively in the U.S.? Why are at-home test kits not readily available so people can self-monitor and isolate if infected? What exactly is the endgame? Israel is now on its 2nd booster. Are we to blithely accept endless boosters of the ineffective vaccine, and if so, what might that do to our natural immune system?
Alistair, virtually everyone no matter their vaccination status has made sacrifices. Your problem seems to be that some have protested about government coercion and the loss of the right to make informed decisions about the medical treatment they receive. Well I maintain that we live in a free society and are each guaranteed the freedom to think and assess the risk of COVID to us individually and our community. Then if a person decides against the vaccine but still acts responsibly I have no problem with that. In fact, I applaud their right to decide for themselves. So, I’m sorry Alistair, you go ahead and proclaim your self-righteousness. But I hope that most people won’t divide their neighbours on the basis that they’ve made different decisions about the vaccine and their health. There are smart and good people on both sides of these issues despite the messages your favourite media is feeding you. We may not understand a person’s decision, we might even think it wrong, but we should respect them just the same and their right to decide differently. Come to think of it, that’s why Canadians fought in the “real” wars.