OK. Fixed it. (Above, I got the links all messed up so I nuked that post).
We've got our share of vaccine hesitant and anti- here in Canada (to my surprise). They are enjoying a larger presence and impact at the moment because we're in the middle of a federal election campaign. Their protests against our campaigning PM have shut down at least three political events so far. I'm sure they're loving the bigger impact they're having with national news and news outlets from many provinces including their protests as part of election coverage.
Here are some of the comments in the news about the events they got cancelled last week:
Globe and Mail August 27, 2021https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/federal-election-2021/second-week-of-campaign-ends-with-trudeau-rally-cancelled-for-safety-concerns-1.5563503
“An outdoor event for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau near Toronto was cancelled on Friday due to security concerns prompted by protesters.
“A podium was set up for Mr. Trudeau to speak and circles were drawn on the ground for physical distancing for supporters attending the event. But prior to Mr. Trudeau’s arrival, a number of protesters, many of them opponents of COVID-19 vaccination, gathered and began to scream expletives. Some also waved flags and held signs.
“[There was] use of obscene and extreme language…
“Local police, as well as RCMP, were on site.
“... Mr. Trudeau said the event had to be cancelled because going ahead would have put supporters at risk.
“A number of demonstrators on the campaign trail have expressed reservations about vaccines, an issue that has been a key focus for Mr. Trudeau. He has often told protesters at other events to go and get vaccinated.
“He said he is not going to stop talking to Canadians, who are going to decide, not just how to end the pandemic, but how the country moves forward.
Trudeau: “We all had a difficult year. And those folks out protesting? They had a difficult year too.”
“Mr. Trudeau said over the past year with this pandemic there has been an increase in anxiety, anger, frustration, and sense of powerlessness. “I’ve never seen this intensity of anger on the campaign trail, or in Canada.”
“He said he won’t change his message that the way out of the pandemic is to get vaccinated.”
CTV article re the same event, August 27, 2021:https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/federal-election-2021/second-week-of-campaign-ends-with-trudeau-rally-cancelled-for-safety-concerns-1.5563503
“Dozens of protesters followed the Liberal campaign to the rally. They used expletives in chants, waved their middle fingers, and made references to the Nazis over megaphones as a line of police stood in front of them.
“It was the third such incident Friday where Trudeau was confronted by angry demonstrators upset with his government's push on vaccine passports and vaccine mandates for travellers.
“Protesters who oppose masks, vaccines and lockdown measures to fight COVID-19 have dogged the Liberal leader on the campaign trail, but he has usually politely waved back and often yelled through his mask, "get vaccinated."
“Some have brought their children to yell at Trudeau, with one on Friday night holding an orange sign that read "I need freedom." The crowd cheered when officials announced that Friday's event was cancelled.
“He said the current unrest and anger among parts of the population needed to be met with compassion, but added that science has pointed to vaccinations as the best way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have to stand strong for what we know to be true. Science is going to help us through this, it is going to be the path forward out of this," Trudeau said. "But we have to make sure we are hearing those real concerns and responding to them as best we can."
I'm surprised at the fury and potential violence at these protests. I know that politics elicits fervour from true believers in anything but this is a new one on us.
It's disheartening that people take their children to protests where the adults display anger and disrespect as well as non-cooperation with police and use of profane words and gestures.
Is that really how you want to teach your children to make a statement or express an opinion?
Too, the charge of being "Nazis" is so ridiculous it's hard to take people seriously when they resort to such slurs. However, the consequences can definitely be serious.
I think it may be somewhat helpful to acknowledge, as Trudeau does, that people who are vaccine hesitant, or even those who are vehemently anti-vax, are stressed and have struggled with the problems and repercussions of the pandemic just as the rest of us have. He called for compassion. That is how I usually feel to start with when people are hesitant or even outright refusing the vaccine, because going instantly to arguing just entrenches their position. Although, true enough, it's tough to avoid feeling impatient or angry in turn at vaccine refusal due to the stakes being so high, especially as the projections for the upcoming fourth wave of COVID are grim. Many physicians and nurses are speaking out about ICU and ERs already being at capacity, before the fourth wave, with many patients in some geographic areas having to be relocated due to capacity issues. Medical personnel also speak of their skyrocketing stress levels, potential burnout and dread at the prospect of what might be to come in the fall and winter seasons with the virus and variants.
I appreciate that after his events were cancelled due to anti-vaccine protestors Trudeau went on to say directly that science is what will end the pandemic so we can all get back to normal. I hope more people will respond to that concept. That has been the standard for as long as I know and it has been baffling to me why suddenly so many people choose to outright refuse to listen to the science and medicine folks who've always been there for us before. Of course, there are parents who have exempted their children from receiving routine vaccinations so their opinion about the COVID vax for themselves, and their children when/if the time comes, is already set in stone. They list several reasons for their position and religious belief is one of them.
In a CTV News article in October 2019 (so, before the pandemic took hold in 2020) the writer stated the following re religious objections to vaccines in general:https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/scholars-say-religious-vaccine-objections-can-t-be-traced-to-biblical-sources-1.4643508
"Toronto Public Health is now asking Ontario to no longer allow people to opt-out [of getting a vaccination] for religious or philosophical reasons -- objections that some scholars claim can't actually be traced to Biblical or academic sources.
"The truth is, no major religion objects to vaccines," says University of Guelph philosophy professor Maya Goldenberg, who has written a book on vaccine hesitancy due in 2020.
"There are sects within the major religions, like some evangelical churches, or even sects of Judaism and other religions that have determined that they do not vaccinate but it's not grounded in religious doctrine, it's more about the interpretation of doctrine."
"Nor does Goldenberg believe there are philosophical objections if that's understood to mean ideas "grounded in some kind of philosophical framework." She prefers to describe such views as "personal beliefs" or "conscientious objections."
"It might be grounded in some philosophical ideas about nature and privileging of naturalness over artificial medical intervention, but there isn't really a philosophy of vaccine refusal."
"In Ontario, provincial data does not specify which exemptions are based on religion versus personal beliefs, but together they vastly outnumber exemptions based on medical reasons.
"Len Riemersma, a pastor at Maranatha Christian Reformed Church in Bowmanville, Ont., says he'd prefer the word "religious" not be associated with exemptions at all, since he, too, knows of no Biblical reason to oppose vaccines.
"While he believes God uses many different means to bring about healing -- including medicine -- he says others believe they should "rely only on God."
"It's the small little groupings here on the outskirts and on the margins that say, 'Oh, it's this way.' And then somehow it becomes a religious issue when in most cases, it's not -- it's an interpretation issue. And to lump it all as religious is kind of unfair to the mainstream groups," says Riemersma.
"Nevertheless, he cautions against the province wading into religion, worrying it could be a "slippery slope" to infringing on religious and other Charter rights.
"For one institution to say, 'Well, we can tell the religious community what they can and cannot do,' then where does that stop? I'm a little afraid of that," he says. "As soon as one says, 'Well, we can dictate what's going on,' then you're on dangerous ground as far as I'm concerned."
Vaccine Choice Canada states "Vaccine mandates ignore our right to informed consent, security of the person, self-autonomy and bodily integrity, which includes the fundamental human right to decide what one allows, or doesn't allow, into oneself and one's children."
The article goes on: "Many also fear acknowledged risks of getting vaccines, which have included rare instances of serious adverse reactions, while religious concerns include claims that vaccines include aborted fetal tissue, a spokeswoman added by email.”
"The medical community has debunked widely disseminated claims that vaccines involve human tissue."
So, not all anti-vax choices are based in religious objections. Some are and I’m interested in ferreting out the reasons for that. I know that some EV churches here in B.C. have refused to follow public health guidelines or even mandates (about curtailing or closing church services) since early on and some of them, as well as individual pastors, have been subject to warnings and fines as well as negative publicity. Some of them chose to proclaim that their freedom of worship was being infringed upon. Most, though, and the ones I consider mainstream, have followed all public health recommendations.
What is challenging is that the ideas based in religious belief are notoriously difficult to uproot. Even if you can allay some objections (such as the “aborted fetus” one) people seem to still double down on their original stance anyway. Indeed, we’ve seen in discussion here at RfM that some who said they were holding off on getting the vaccine because it hadn’t been approved by the FDA still maintained their anti- position following announcement that the FDA has given “full approval” to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. So maybe some of those holding out weren’t intending to receive a vaccine at all anyway or who knows what.
Still, I’m amazed that famously passive Canadians (not a 100% accurate depiction!) hear a call to arms for the vaccine controversy. As the PM said, ““I’ve never seen this intensity of anger … in Canada.” It’s as if people all over have simultaneously lost inhibitions and decorum, not to mention a consensus about the most basic of scientific principles and our general way of being.
There is always hope, though (until there isn’t) as many here are now flocking to the pop-up vaccine clinics all around and about, some explaining that they’re doing so due to the upcoming vaccine certificate (“passport”) that is mandated (starting in a couple of weeks) for much of the business of daily living that we’re all engaged in. One man said this morning “I want to be able to go out and enjoy my life”. That’s as good a reason as any to follow expert medical advice for one’s own sake and the sake of others. We all want to get through this thing. Together is better. Go team. ‘N all that.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/02/2021 03:49PM by Nightingale.