Define: Freedom

February 3, 2022   ·   1 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Usually, I dodge matters that are already in the midst of media attention but this time, it’s personal. It has been noted the errors in information at the pandemic’s beginning have stretched this far, in spite of rapid amendments that, in truth: vaccines can save lives; masks can save lives and hand washing, distancing save lives.

In a recent telephone conversation with a nurse, she said, “I’ve had it with these anti-vaxxers – people are missing their surgeries, much needed treatments and tests because there are still so many people getting infected with Covid. All we need is to get vaccinated and wear masks and we can beat this.”

It has to said about masks that N95 are the most effective. Paper and cloth lag behind as safety measures. Yet no masks are a guarantee of infection and any mask is better than none.

Into all this comes Omicron, which has landed more vaccinated than unvaccinated people in hospitals, both in the ICUs and the wards. Death rates rose in January, keeping medical personnel worried and busy.

Here is what I learned about it: that first of all, the first booster after two initial vaccinations does help prevent infection or mitigate severity. The spike in infections and deaths of [possibly the combination] Covid-19 and Omicron of vaccinated persons, “is not proof that vaccines are not working,” said Dr. Jerome Leis, Medical Director of infection prevention and control at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, when interviewed by the CBC. “Without the high level of vaccinations here in Ontario, it would have been far worse,” he confirmed.

Medical Officers both federal and provincial across the country urge a slow, if steady, opening from lockdowns. Omicron is highly contagious and while symptoms are apparently milder, people are still dying. Elsewhere around the world, other variants increasing the struggle between the Covid infections and medicine have been compared to a chess game, as though Covid is sentient.

A person close to me has more than one auto-immune disease, making that person extremely vulnerable to what would likely be a deathly infection if contracted. The more lax the protocols or the lifting entirely of the protocols as so many protesters have demanded, could be “like a death sentence to some” or a cause for indefinite confinement at home.

If you knew for certain that people were not concerned for your well-being, absolutely refusing to be vaccinated (still a valid precaution) or wear the masks that would keep you safe because vaccinations and masks interfere with their perception of “freedom,” would you ever go out again? Would that be the end of your freedom?

Laws or mandates are created to stop people from harming each other and some animals. Some countries have laws to stop people from harming Nature.

Yet no trucks are blocking city roads to demand those laws be rescinded. Somehow, society generally accepts that such laws are reasonable.

The real question: why is a mandate to be vaccinated and wear masks, necessary to avoid harming people, a problem? How did this become a “freedom” issue?

An unvaccinated person is a major source of patients still filling hospitals and restricting treatment for other patients with other problems.

The balance of admissions and deaths between unvaccinated and vaccinated people filling hospitals has tipped but medics still encourage boosters.

Are we talking about a wish to shift abruptly to “herd immunity”? Do we throw our hands up in the air and say, “We’ll just have to learn to live with it.”? Too bad for the most vulnerable of our society.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “The proportion of the population that must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to begin inducing herd immunity is not known. This is an important area of research and will likely vary according to the community, the vaccine, the populations prioritized for vaccination, and other factors.

“Achieving herd immunity with safe and effective vaccines makes diseases rarer and saves lives.”  Worldwide, the march of the truckers in Ottawa is not the only protest; as soon as you start talking about “freedom” and in particular, the “loss” of it, there will be other agendas, some wanting to disrupt for disruption’s sake. From an idiot woman standing outside an Orangeville shop stopping people as they went in to say they didn’t need to wear a mask – like the fool who told me he wouldn’t wear a mask in gas station shop and if the authorities were going to fine the shop keeper for letting him in, that is the merchant’s problem: it is up to him to protest government policy. 

It is not about the freedom not to wear a mask nor about the freedom to control one’s own body not be vaccinated, it is about any person’s freedom to go out into the world and not be put at risk, about the store owner’s freedom to open his doors and not have to defend his business from those would bring risks in.

Readers Comments (1)

  1. Aaron says:

    reading this tells me you like living in a bubble. 2 years in ,you keep telling yourself after your 4,5,vax.This time its going to be better. It’s going to end this lol. I’ve witnessed vaxed and unvax getting sick and the results and time sick are the same.With this hit piece you’ll be one of the people driving around in your car by yourself with a mask on for the rest of your life.Some of us feel the damage mentally, physically and emotionally has taken a far greater toll.To us then then covid ever could
    Time to learn to live with it.and move on .you keep living in your fear ,I like many others are moving on and getting back to living. Sounds like you will be in your bubble for the rest of your life.Good for you. Fear or freedom? I’m going with freedom


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