Sunday, June 16, 2024

Reader Reacts to Freedom Convoy Experience Letter

To the editor,

Since the anti-mandate protests have begun, I’ve spent too many hours reading remarks from both sides of the argument, trying to see if the protesters/supporters have valid points. I’ve yet to find anything, and Brian Bell’s letter of Feb. 17 didn’t change that. On-line remarks, quotes, and retorts to coverage have been full of anger, insults, half facts, and personal opinion. Nowhere will you find a quote from a protester or supporter which includes any scientific or medical fact. This editorial seemed to be more of the same.

In order of his statements, not order of importance:

1) He questions the effectiveness of lock-downs, stating, ‘we’ll find out, won’t we?’ Seems to be a very cavalier way to test a defence against a proven deadly virus.

2)He states the need for a ‘freedom from vaccination passports’, erroneously reporting that non-vaxed truckers can’t work. This is a statement that has been made incorrectly since this foolishness began. What would be the accomplishment in removing the vax mandate for cross border truck drivers, considering the USA will not allow unvaccinated drivers into their country? You are demanding non-quarantined entry into a country you were never allowed to leave in the first place. Trucks are fully capable of working within our borders; you are not becoming unemployed because of a fear of vaccine, you just received a change of scenery. If this was the only line of work experiencing this stipulation, there would be a valid argument, but it’s not.

3) Freedom of masks. Mr. Bell states that this practice is ‘more harmful than helpful’. If you don’t entirely trust our governments (which I don’t), feel free to research unbiased, trusted test results. The Johns Hopkins University recently released a study, showing that masks, social distancing, and occupancy limits reduced the COVID mortality rate by roughly 10%. If you don’t believe them either, go through the daily statements issued by the local health unit throughout the pandemic. Every time there’s a significant event (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc) where larger crowds have gathered, case counts increase. Consider the fact that Canada has experienced 34,000 Covid deaths. Our mortality rate is around 1%. If the masks have any minuscule effect on the infection rate, they have prevented the complete meltdown of our healthcare system. Consider the USA, where masks and social distancing are rarely enforced, if even recommended. Their infection rate and death rate (by population) is triple ours. Masks are more harmful? Doesn’t sound like it.

4) Freedom of choice. He states ‘if you want it go for it….but do not force anyone to get it.’ No one is being forced to be vaccinated. Certain jobs require vaccination, usually for obvious reasons. If you don’t want it, work elsewhere. The job market is plentiful. You have a choice. Whether we agree with the choices in life, we at least all have choices.

5) Protests have been peaceful. Protesters in Ottawa have been found to posses smoke bombs (which they have used towards police), and wearing body armour. (I don’t usually wear body armour to a peaceful discussion, personally.) Some protesters have been arrested after throwing items at police or police horses. Impounded vehicles have yielded fireworks and more smoke bombs. Apparently Mr. Bell and I have a different concept of ‘peaceful’.

Mr. Bell states that the convoy was one of his proudest moments as a Canadian. The results of this convoy has been a protest which has morphed into an illegal occupation, with the participants also occupying local businesses (without masks, forcing them to close), utilizing private property and war memorials as washrooms, and keeping the centre of a large city awake with noise and a haze of exhaust which must be difficult to breathe through by now. I’m not sure how anyone can feel any pride in that.

Bill Cameron, Bognor

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