Trevor’s Take: Cry Freedumb
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 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.