OPINION: Grow up! Mask up! Vax up!

Nov 19, 2021 | Opinion

It feels like an eternity since March 13, 2020. Yet here we are, more than 18 months later, still battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

When we went into lockdown it meant stepping into the unknown, entering an unprecedented world that no previous generation of post-secondary students had ever known. We had no idea what it would involve, what the consequences of new safety protocols would be, or how long the campaign against COVID would last.

Governments across the world asked citizens to put on masks and for the most part people abided by the request for our own well-being and that of people around us.

However, there are some who have resisted masks and vaccines in the face of scientific evidence and overwhelming death tolls and debilitating illnesses. Such resistance to the well-being of people around them — especially from working in healthcare — astounds me.

That there are nurses, doctors, firefighters, paramedics and police officers willing to put themselves, their families and those in the community at risk for their own selfish reasons is quite frankly a joke.

At the mass temper tantrums they call protests, those in attendance believe it is a violation of rights to make people get a vaccine and wear a mask. It is so hard to wrap my head around the thought processes of why it is a violation of rights to keep yourself and those around you safe.

The government’s decision to make masks and vaccine proof mandatory to help Canadians live a sense of normalcy again was a smart decision. It helped case counts go down and restrictions to ease. Countries around the world that did not have such mandates, have been once again thrown into complete lockdowns. Austria for example just announced a full lockdown due to low vaccination rates and high case counts. They now require all citizens to be vaccinated before February 2022.

Being able to safely go see family and participate in somewhat normal pastimes must not be something they want to do. If you have a family member who is in a long-term care home, not getting vaccinated and not wearing a mask will keep you from seeing them. I would be very upset if I weren’t able to see my grandmother.

I cannot understand the logic and thought behind the anti-mask and anti-vaccination movements. I have seen children not complain when putting on a mask, and it’s not just because their parents told them to, but it is because they see the people around them doing it and they see it as the right thing to do.

I have seen grown-ups come into establishments, yelling and screaming that they are “exempt”. If you do not have doctor-approved proof you cannot get a vaccine, get out of the establishment or let someone you know who is vaccinated and masked go get what you need.

If you cannot breathe with a mask on, wear a shield or if you have concerns about breathing maybe you shouldn’t be going outside. Better yet, to solve your problems, get your vaccine.