Trevor’s Take: Cry Freedumb

By Trevor Hutchinson

A graduate of the University of Toronto, Trevor Hutchinson is a songwriter, writer and bookkeeper. He serves as Contributing Editor at The Lindsay Advocate. He lives with his fiancee and their five kids in Lindsay.

As a smoker, perhaps my rights are being trampled on when I’m told I can’t smoke in a daycare or asthma clinic.

As we enter what many call the last mile of our vaccination efforts to achieve herd immunity, and eagerly await vaccination for kids aged 5 to 12, the vocal minority of conspiracy theorists and selfish individualists is getting louder and more aggressive in its efforts to derail our progress.

Oblivious to science, reason and the data that comes from the administration of the vaccines to billions of people, they peddle untruthful information entwined with misplaced conceptions of freedom.

The vast majority of us are not in this camp. I mean when was the last time you could get 85 per cent of Ontarians to agree on anything? But the latest science tells us that because of the Delta variant we need to increase our overall vaccination rates.

Not all the unvaccinated among those eligible are in the same camp. The vaccine-hesitant may have any number of reasons for holding out. We need to keep communicating with them with compassion and without judgement. There may also be some access barriers for some, such as finding transportation to get their shot. And of course, those who have a valid medical exemption (while a statistically insignificant number) will not be expected to be vaccinated.

But what about the loud anti-science crowd? The ones that protest at primary schools, hospitals and even a local restaurant during the last election.

I mean, I get it. I like freedom. As a smoker, perhaps my rights are being trampled on when I’m told I can’t smoke in a daycare or asthma clinic. And the tyranny of making me have a passport and other vaccinations to visit many countries makes me want to get some Bristol board and a marker and prove to the world I can’t spell. And don’t get me started on not being able to drive 100 km/hour in a school zone while inebriated. 

I jest. Thankfully, I am not a selfish idiot (my editor won’t let me use the word I want) and I welcome those restrictions mentioned above, among many, to my freedom. Because like most of my neighbours I believe in a social contract. I have rights. But I also have responsibilities. And my freedom to do something stops when that action can injure or kill my neighbour. 

So the people in this small vocal minority aren’t freedom fighters. And any suggestion to link these efforts to real freedom fighters is beyond offensive. 

Normally I advocate for non-polarized positions. But this is a matter of life and death. So bring on every curtailment and restriction to these people. They have freely made their choice. And every choice in life has consequences.

And to my friends who will hate every word I have just written, we will agree to disagree. I love you and will miss your company. I hope that you get the facts and make the right choice for all of us.

6 Comments

  1. Christine Wilson says:

    The simple fact is that those anti-vaxxers have never lived in a time when vaccines saved millions of lives (diptheria, smallpox, polio, cholera among others) and subsequently have never faced their own mortality from a disease that doesn’t give a flying you-know-what about their person or freedoms. I have lived near a leper colony overseas, and have seen first-hand how disease can ravage the body. Now we have medications that can easily cure that disease. I also received all the vaccinations when I was younger, so yes, mine was one of the many lives saved.

    Anti-vaxxers do not realize how absolutely insignificant we all are, in terms of the biology of the world.Yet they would be the first to scream for medical attention (and they do) from extremely stressed health systems should they succumb to any maladies resulting from their own negligence or otherwise.

    Do those anti-vaxxers read the label of every product they consume? Do they check the label on the aspirin bottle, the coke they drink, the medication in their prescription? Does anyone not see the delicious irony in that? I don’t do that either, and I am quite certain there are chemicals in them that may very well give me a reaction if I’m sensitive to them – but most of them will work as I expect they will. The tradeoff is that, until I get my degree in microbioology and chemistry (which I very much doubt will happen, as I’ve been a bit lazy about that) I will trust the pharmacist does not want to kill off his customer. And will be very grateful that someone decided to invent that medication for me.

    The science is long proven – SARS and MERS provided a head start in research, and the vaccine was built on years, not months, of prior work. billions of people around the world have taken the vaccine, and until that anti-vaxxer can show me their degree in the relevant sciences and back their claims with scientifically proven peer-reviewed citations, I prefer to believe the actual science. The world is NOT flat. Proven.

    Let me see any anti-vaxxers also accept the consequences of their choices, from losing their jobs to being in the back of the line for a vent in the ICU. I doubt that will ever happen, as evidenced by our ICU’s full of unvaxxed Covid patients. When cancer and other critical patients are forced to delay or lose treatments because of protesters threatening to bring guns to hospitals, and threatening health care workers, they should absolutely be put at the end of the line for treatment of any kind. Speaking for myself, I could never live with the thought that I may have hurt or killed another person.

    The social contract IS important. If you don’t want to abide by it, go live off-grid in the woods somewhere.

  2. Paul says:

    Survival of the fittest and natural selection will sort it out in the long run. The data is widely available, the vaccine is safe and effective. No vax, no protection, significant chance of severe covid reaction. Ya rolls yer dice, ye takes yer chances.

  3. Dave Valentine says:

    https://bit.ly/3FBrtjN

    Similarly, the rapid evolution of the coronavirus raises questions about the next variants, the ones we have not seen yet. Will we still be protected by our current vaccines as they emerge? Emanuel Goldman of Rutgers University argues: “The real danger is a future variant, which will be the legacy of those people who are not getting vaccinated, providing a breeding ground for the virus to continue to generate variants. A variant could arise that is resistant to current vaccines, rendering those already vaccinated susceptible again.”

  4. Avi says:

    This was a brave article to write, but only in regards to how poorly it will age, and how the author will, in the near future, seek to contextualize and distance himself from what he has now immortalized as the content of his Being.

    Words such as these dramatically illustrate the degree of ideological poisoning which many in the world have succumbed to. Always, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, always with virtue the oppressor stakes his claim.

    As an Israeli living in Canada, I see my own Country gripped by this frenzy; triple vaccinated and case numbers out of control. The other comments on this article are bemoaning those who not accept the Vaccine into their body as a roadblock to herd immunity, as the WHO and the CDC themselves caution us that the vaccine does not prevent transmission, thereby making herd immunity a literal impossibility.

    The author, in an attempt at wit, creates the achingly obvious and juvenile portmanteau of “Freedumb”, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he himself lacks both critical thinking and humanity, as he, in a stunning contradiction, calls for compassion and lambasts those who will not take the medicine “selfish idiots”.

    So what to do with those who will not acquiesce to Big Pharma? Put them in camps? Surely that’s coming, and the highway to the gate is paved once again by polemicists who type incendiary words from the safety of their Work From Home environs. Just remember; those Auschwitz guards seemed to have lived a very long time, with only their conscience to haunt them.

  5. Bill Jackson says:

    Science is not an object but a method, and said method forms a body that has been shown to be dynamic. I got my shots, so I wouldn’t fit as an anti-vaccine person, but I am admittedly hesitant about the push for a booster.

    The vaccines were aiming at and measuring for a reduction in negative symptoms of covid, not it’s effect on reducing the spread. Vaccinated or not, we spread it the same (see citations below). Your cigarette habit has a long, established history releasing harmful chemicals to those around you. Therefore, it makes sense to protect others from said smoke. Please have some care and allow people to risk their bodies to a virus just as you risk your body to the damages of cigarette smoke.

    Imagine being a smoker, fast food customer, unprotected-sex enthusiast, or consumer of alcohol. Then imagine being barred from certain work, and places of entertainment or service reception. Unlike the other risks mentioned, their risk taking may produce their natural antibodies can be of benefit to us later on.

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.07.31.21261387v3

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.09.28.21264262v1.full.pdf

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