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Opinion: False freedom from anti-vaxxers

What the holdout citizens are affecting now is not COVID, but citizens who have taken the risk of a vaccine so that our fellow citizens can have surgeries, transplants, and life changing procedures for their future quality of life. 
anti vax Protest1
Hundreds of anti-vaccine protestors gathered outside Vancouver City Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 1.

Re: Husband regrets anti-vax stance as pregnant wife lies in a coma 800 km from home in Victoria.

I heard Mr. Binette’s interview and his reasons for being suspicious of Government, vaccines, and the “science” behind COVID.  I grew up in the North, I am much older than Mr. Binette, my father worked in the resource industry his working life.  My best friend’s father was instrumental in starting up Northwood Pulp, years later became the CEO and General Manager of the largest soft wood timber company in the Province.  Mr. Binette said the reason he didn’t believe in the vaccines was because people in the North get the short end of the stick when it comes to “industry” and their livelihoods.   This saddens me to hear this as a reason not to get vaccinated and supports conspiracy when it comes to trusting Government.  When I was in my late 20’s, Mackenzie along with North was described as a boom or bust in the economy.   Science has been ringing the warning bells on the natural resource industry, it is not cyclical, it is lineal and we are quickly reaching the saturation point.  We are all living with the results of ignoring the warnings from science today with “climate change”.  The misconception is that the earth has gone through these changes before, but what we are witnessing is the “frequency” of weather events.  Government will always experience pressure from the private sector when it comes to the economy, and what the global pandemic has caused globally is a severe retraction in the economy. 

This health crisis was predicted by science, the USA Government had a playbook on what would be needed, but the Trump Administration decided to politicize it as “freedom of choice”.  There are over 750,000 Americans who lost their lives, some waiting for a vaccine, some whose health were severely compromised, some who don’t believe in the science,  some who have a religious belief, and some who unfortunately believed the unregulated unchecked information on-line.  We have freedom of choice in this country, what we seem to be losing is our humanity for our fellow citizens.  The pandemic is real, the seriousness of it is real, the data is in on risks associated to a new vaccine but we still have citizens that are willing to risk the lives of others to make a choice that could cost you your life, or someone you love or an innocent child who cannot get the protection needed to save their life.  Vancouver Island residents have the highest vaccinations rates in the Province, and the very Government Mr. Binette lacks trust in, didn’t hesitate to move his wife to an ICU out of the North to do everything to save her life and unborn child.

What the holdout citizens are affecting now is not COVID, but citizens who have taken the risk of a vaccine so that our fellow citizens can have surgeries, transplants, and life changing procedures for their future quality of life.  The pandemic has found new victims even with Mr. Binette’s willingness to come forward to appeal to those who thought like he did because of unfounded distrust in Government.  Our perceptions looking from the outside can be deceptive and misguided.  For some of us who have taken the risk of being vaccinated without years of study, would like the “freedom seekers” to take their freedom of choice one step further and sign a waiver to refuse ICU care, so the rest of us can access to “normal” healthcare.  Government is trying to do the right thing for the greater good and the anti-vaxxers are using this is a manipulative way and this will cost us in the recovery of health and the “economy”.  The majority of Canadians are being held hostage by the anti-vaxxers, our politicians and healthcare workers doing their jobs are being threatened by some of these anti-vaxxers and if this is what “freedom” looks like – count this Canadian as “out”.

Jo-Anne Berezanski

Victoria