Friday 28 January 2022

Freedom Convoy 2022

Dear Truckers,
You have come to represent the collective frustration of the pandemic. We’ve all had enough, and we’d all like to get back to normal. But I can’t stand with you on this issue. Hear me out.

This morning, I read two headlines:
1. Trucker Convoy protest in Ottawa
2. 70 people died from Covid in Ontario yesterday with over three thousand people in hospital.

Those 70 people are added to the over 33,000 Canadians who’ve died from this disease (source as of Jan 28/2022), most of whom did not have the opportunity to get vaccinated. I’m not going to argue with you about the efficacy of vaccines; the scientific data is conclusive. Vaccines work, and they are the best way to minimise sickness, hospitalisation, and death. They may not be 100% perfect (Is anything in life 100%?) but doing nothing is not an option!

With all due respect, I get my information from legitimate medical professionals, not from social media. I love Canada, and I don’t think my country asks too much of me: pay my taxes, don’t litter, stop at red lights, and buckle up my safety belt.

We have been confronted by an unprecedented health crisis, not just a Canadian crisis but a global one. It is painfully obvious we were not prepared. Like it or not, we’re all in this together. I’ve read that truckers in British Columbia have driven across the country to Ottawa for this national protest, investing weeks of their time and thousands of dollars in fuel, food, etc. And what horrible, draconian government intervention are they mad about? Getting vaccinated. Wait, what? I visited Shoppers Drug Mart three times, two doses and one booster. I was in and out in under 30 minutes, including the 15 minutes they wanted me to wait after the shot. And each visit didn’t cost me anything; vaccination is free. 90 minutes of my time versus driving across the country.

Vaccination is nothing new. Have we all forgotten? We enjoy life without measles, mumps, rubella, polio, meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria, etc. because of vaccines. I read on the Government of Ontario web site: “Unless they have a valid exemption, children who attend primary or secondary school must be immunized.” It’s the law. We already have vaccine mandates.

Canada currently has 79% of the population fully vaccinated. (source: Our World in Data, as of Jan 28/2022) To reach “herd immunity”, that is, protection for all of us, we all need to do it. (Scientists say 90% - 95%; there are always exemptions.) If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Imagine if the remaining 21% decided to not follow the rules: don’t pay taxes, don’t put your litter in trash cans, don’t stop at red lights, and don’t buckle up. Is this a question of personal freedom?

You have the right to jeopardize your life, but you have the responsibility to not jeopardize mine.

Let me be clear: I support truckers. They are the backbone of our country. Our quality of life is very much tied to them, and how they furnish all that is necessary for a good life. They are an integral part of Canada. I thank them all. But I have to note one important thing. Truckers can’t do their job if they’re sick. Truckers can’t do their job if they have to go to the hospital. And they certainly can’t do their job if they die. I know that a lot of people like to throw around statistics to justify their position, but I choose to pay attention to the epidemiologists, the specialists in infectious diseases who are trained in this field. I recognise they may not know everything, but I also recognise they know a heck of a lot more than I do!

The reason why you get to protest is not just because of the freedom you enjoy in Canada, it’s because you’re not dead. Over 33,000 Canadians have died from Covid, and I will personally do whatever I can to ensure that as many Canadians as possible get the chance to sit on a patio this summer and enjoy the warmth of the sun, a plate of chicken wings with an ice-cold beer, and the company of family and friends. If I found out I had contributed to anyone, family, friend or even a stranger, getting sick — God forbid dying! — I would be devastated! Canada is a great country, and I’m willing to make a small, personal sacrifice to make sure it stays great for everybody. This pandemic isn’t about you or me; it’s about all of us.


my blog: Covid: The Premise of the Anti's - Jan 25/2022
Anti-mask, anti-closures, anti-lockdowns, anti-vaccine, the premise of the anti is that Covid is either an outright hoax or an overexaggerated problem; Covid is no worse than the common cold. Whatever the case, the past two years with all its restrictions in combating the pandemic have been unnecessary.

my blog: Covid-19: What would you do? - Jan 21/2022
Like you, I read the newspapers; I watch the news, and I’m bombarded with a myriad of opinions, statistics, and analysis meant to clarify the obscure and set me on the path of righteous salvation. However, from time to time, somebody says something that I know is not correct because of research I’ve done, or somebody says something that immediately throws up a red flag because it doesn’t make sense to me. How difficult is it to sort out the wheat from the chaff in this avalanche of conflicting ideas?

my blog: Dear Antivaxxers: What about my rights? - Jan 7/2022
Over and over again, I’ve heard you rally against vaccines. This is a violation of your individual freedom, and you should be the one making your own medical decisions. Vaccine mandates are out of the question. Fine. But what about my rights? How come you keep talking about your rights but don’t bother about the rights of anybody else?

my blog: What I learned from parents who don't vaccinate their kids | Jennifer Reich | TEDxMileHigh - Dec 3/2021
Jennifer Anne Reich is an American sociologist, researcher and author at the University of Colorado Denver. Her research interests include healthcare, adolescence, welfare, and policy. Her work on vaccine hesitancy gained widespread attention during the 2019 measles outbreaks. She is the author of three books and numerous journal articles.

my blog: Aaron Rodgers: I’m disappointed but I’m not surprised. - Nov 18/2021
The stink is about Aaron Rodgers (b 1983), quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL).

my blog: Ivermectin: I'm not taking medical advice from Joe Rogan. - Nov 9/2021
From the outset of the pandemic, the supposed antiviral properties of the antiparasitic drug ivermectin has been bandied about left, right, and center. Even if expert sources of information like the CDC and the FDA said not to use it, people, especially those on the right led by Fox News, kept pushing ivermectin “propaganda”. Has anybody read the science, and if they did, did they understand what they were looking at?

my blog: What the heck is a respiratory droplet? - Nov 7/2021
You step outside on a cold, winter day, and you exhale. You see your breath. The cold has condensed the bits of moisture in the exhaled air and formed a mist. When you exhale, you’re not only breathing out air but dampness from your lungs, your mouth, and your windpipe . Those bits of moisture are called respiratory droplets.

my blog: Masks: How We Hate Change - Sep 28/2021
To mask, or not to mask, that should not be a question. I have to shake my head at all the protests against masks and vaccines. We hate being told what to do, even if it’s for our own good.


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