In the Crosshairs

Right now here in central Calgary we have every Saturday “Freedom” protests on 17 th. Avenue in the news.  These protesters are calling out for no government restrictions and yet they have taken the freedoms earned by the residents and businesses in the area away. This global pandemic has been going on now for two years since it first appeared in Wuhan, China. Bad, archaic cultural food market practices brought on by an ever increasing global population where it would appear to be the perfect breeding ground for viruses like this to take hold and put a strangle hold on our lives. So it is just not one factor at fault but many, many factors on a global scale. I’m here to voice my concern regarding just one of these factors, self righteous and victim martyr self talk, “How dare they!”  “Poor me!” “Who do they think they are?”  The anti-vaccine crowd shout, “Give me my freedoms back!” Look HOW government has put me in this position. Look HOW government and the professional news media have manipulated the public. Look HOW the professional journalists are in the hip pocket of government officials. Look HOW government is to blame for my lot in life! Look HOW the government and the big Pharma are in cahoots with each other. NO, you have a CHOICE and at least in Western democracies tremendous FREEDOM. Your life for the most part has been a reflection of choices you have made and to blame the government and/or the “professional’ news media or anyone else for that matter is self-righteous victim martyr self talk. Take responsibility for your choices and actions! 

It’s time for all those people who have done the right thing for whatever reason by getting vaccinated to stand up, poke our collective heads up out of our fox holes and be leaders. The global population who do not want to get vaccinated need to hear our voices loud and clear. We have a choice, and yes our freedom in a civil society such as our own here in Canada to make an independent decision. You can take the vaccine to protect all of us or you can decide not to. Your choice! I’m not taking away your freedom. However, should you choose to not get the vaccine and subsequently  require medical care with Covid, then you should not have the right to take the hospital beds of those who require our health services and have been vaccinated. We’ll provide emotional and minimal care if resources allow at your homes but NOT in our hospitals. Innocent people are dying. Innocent people are being denied life-saving and quality of life surgeries because of the anti-vaccination folks. Health care and long term care professionals around the world are putting their lives, their families lives, and friends lives at risk every day they go to work because of the anti-vaccine folks. Innocent people in third world countries are unable to receive vaccinations because the anti-vaccine and anti-mask folks have effectively tied up vaccine resources in the more highly developed countries that could help them. Canada could be sending more life-saving vaccine to these under developed countries instead of desperately trying to get the unvaccinated vaccinated and third shots in the arms of the vaccinated here at home. This is a global pandemic people! IF everyone would get vaccinated we know that this virus would be manageable. Like the annual flu shots we would be able to live more “normal lives” but we can not because of the anti-vaccine folks. Yes, this may be in all probability against our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. My intent is to not vilify the unvaccinated but to get people to reevaluate the decisions we choose to make in our free and democratic society. Unlimited freedom does not and should not exist in a democracy. That is dangerous!   

We make choices every day of our lives and accept them in most cases without any deep thought about their consequences. In the case of running a red light, putting on a seat belt, smoking, not keeping your vehicle serviced, consuming that last drink of alcohol at the bar and stepping into our automobile, showing the finger to a bad driver, throwing a temper tantrum at work, not exercising or eating healthy; we might have second thoughts or then again maybe for some not. My point is this, you would have to accept the consequences of your behaviour. How is it during this pandemic the global masses are constrained by the few?     

Collectively as a people we are victims and have idly stood by and accepted this behaviour from in one case or another either corrupt, misguided,  ill-informed, or worse; self invested predators within the anti-vaccine community. History is taught in schools because it has important lessons to teach us but we humans are nothing if not a complex species. We refuse to learn from the mistakes we’ve made in the past and continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. It’s extremely hard not to be cynical when we see these lessons from the past ignored. It seems we only stand up when we reach that ‘tipping point’, and only then upon reflection do we discover what that point is. It’s always too late! 

The science from world experts on infectious disease is unequivocally clear regarding this virus. Are we still learning about it? Yes! And there are things we know to be absolutely true? Yes!  I have no intentions of listing them here. Go to the Public Health Agency of Canada, National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases, or our provincial health departments for the “real” science behind this pandemic. There are so many pseudo experts on the digital platform that influence gullible, ignorant, and/or vulnerable individuals. If these co-called experts craft a vision that agrees with them, they stash it away in their pocket smug in the view that their interpretation of the pandemic is the right one.  The established professional media in Canada can be trusted and when they make a mistake they invariably publicly correct it 99% of the time. We have laws in Canada to protect the integrity of our journalists from political interference. As for our politicians here in Canada of whatever political persuasion, the majority are decent human beings hoping to make a positive difference while on borrowed time on this planet. I should know, I come from a political family and know their stories first hand. I know why they got into politics and what they hoped to change. They’re not all “bad” people. They’re human, they make honest mistakes, and in today’s transparent world they usually pay dearly for their mistakes and  transgressions. Sometimes very unfairly and none the less they know getting into the political arena or should know that politics is a “blood sport”! 

Let’s learn from history and climb out of the Roman theatre into a brave new world where we humans learn to be both transparent, accountable, and responsible for our actions, choices, and behaviours. We have a choice to get the vaccine or not. I suggest we all get the vaccine unless compromised physiologically on some account. It’s the only course of action we have right now and likely will be for the future. We humans are so self centred and self destructive, wake up world!  Leadership comes from within, it not something imposed on us unless we choose to allow it. Let’s stop being victims of the few who would put all of us at risk. Get vaccinated and if you don’t, you have no right to take the bed from a person who is vaccinated and needs hospitalization. The millions of folks who have done the right thing have the right to our health care system and their caring, dedicated health professionals.  

Just before closing I want to touch on topic of the pandemic not often talked about. If our governments and in particular, Canada had had a pandemic plan that was updated and able to be implemented we would be in a much better place today. We’d still have the unvaccinated issue hindering us; however, we always knew that there was a risk of a serious pandemic just lurking around the corner. We’d escaped by the skin of our teeth with a former variant  of this SARS virus back in the early 2000s,  and currently there are many potential harmful viruses circulating the globe; especially within the avian and hog industries it would appear where the greatest risk to human transmission lies. Canada also had the ability to manufacture our own vaccines a decade ago and due to the lack of government support the pharmaceutical industry moved out of Canada. Additionally we also had and still do have the manufacturing capability to produce all the necessary PPE required. Why we don’t have a co-ordinated effort regarding this issue is beyond both myself and many of my fellow Canadians? It’s time for Canadian bureaucrats and politicians to get on the ball! They collect their salaries, benefits, and pensions regardless of their incompetence or laziness. Meanwhile the private  and not for profit sector employees struggle. Grossly unfair! There are no more excuses left, get back in the game Canada (this includes certain business enterprises) and STOP relying on a cheap, abused labour force and in some instances corrupt, autocratic regimes to fulfill our needs. As the old saying goes, “If you play with fire you can expect to get burnt!” And if you think you can hide your shoddy business practices in today’s digital world, think again!    *I won’t go into the CanSino Biologics escapade, suffice to say that China denied us of our leading SARS research, and the manufacturing of an effective Covid vaccine. 

And finally, the impact of this false narrative propagated by non professional news media outlets and pseudo on line anti-vaccine evangelists spewing misinformation is devastating to our recovery from this pandemic. Those of you who believe in this narrative have effectively done the opposite of what you wanted to achieve; that is,  get back your freedom. Two doses of the vaccine as I write this means you are 12 times less likely to end up in hospital. Those with two vaccinations and a booster are 45 times less likely to be in the hospital. Our hospitals are overwhelmed and not getting vaccinated you are effectively guaranteeing more variants to emerge. I have friends in health care who are on the front lines and I hear their devastating stories before it reaches the news outlets; need I say more!  

Using Format