By Allison Donnelly
WE ARE ALL FACING HARDSHIPS, lockdowns, positive covid cases and job loss but that doesn’t change the fact that your individual rights don’t matter.
We decided a long time ago that communal rights (the rights of Canadians as a whole) are more important than individual rights (you, personally, the reader).
To allow our society to function we have to put Canadians first. That means every time you pay your taxes, every time you pay a speeding ticket and every time you vote, you are saying, “I believe we need to work together to allow society to function.”
No ‘right’ to risk harming others
Here’s why I care if you decide it’s your “right” to not get vaccinated.
In Ontario, you have the right to drive, presuming you carry an Ontario Driver’s Licence. With that licence comes responsibility and a set of rules. This responsibility is to ensure the safety of all driving Canadians.
But what if you want to have a drink and then drive? You have the right to drink, you have the right to drive but you do not have the right to drink and then drive because it’s unsafe and can put other peoples lives at risk. Your one, brief, ignorant decision can literally cost someone their life.
The vaccine catch: it takes us all
Here’s where vaccines come in to play.
Vaccines are only effective against eliminating Covid-19 when a substantial portion of the population is vaccinated. We call this herd immunity. Either we are all protected or none of us are protected.
When you decide not to get vaccinated you are saying, “fuck my fellow Canadians, my personal choice is more important than the well being of the entire nation.”
You can see how this is problematic.
Let me tell you another story. One time, pre-pandemic I was flying the four hour flight from Vancouver to Ottawa. A woman, in front of me, made a personal decision to bring her cat on the plane. I’m allergic to cats. The entire flight was agony as my sinuses filled up and my eyes watered. This cat was making me sick. This woman had decided that her personal comfort was more important than mine and every other person on that flight.
Fuck that woman and fuck her cat.
EACH AND EVERY FREEDOM we have in this great country comes with a responsibility, otherwise we’d be living in chaos.
The biggest mistake our government has made in the fight against COVID-19 is NOT providing clear messaging around COVID-19 safety measures and vaccines.
In this world, social media is king. It is where most people get their information. You can have the most factual, up-to-date research on COVID-19 but unless you clearly market your ideas on social media no one will hear about it.
This is a numbers game: if Russia spends two million on advertising that red skittles are the best and the Canadian government spends one million on green skittles, RED WINS EVERY TIME.
Listen, this is public Health Policy 101: educate the public and you will have success with your public health measures. We must put more effort and money into positive advertising around COVID-19 safety measures and vaccines.
So ya...the government is responsible for getting you your vaccine and they are responsible for convincing you to get it.
We only enjoy our rights as Canadians because we work together. These rights are a privilege and should be respected.
Put others first. Get vaccinated. Share what you learn with others.
Allison (Amrita) Donnelly is a 29-year-old yoga instructor, wife, mother of two and small business owner living in Arnprior, Ontario. She ran Arnprior Yoga until the COVID-19 restrictions forced her to close.
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