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This article was published 29/5/2021 (188 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Light rain didn’t stop more than 40 people from lining up for their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Osborne Village Saturday.
The line stretched from the Shoppers Drug Mart on Osborne Street past the Liquor Mart and curled around the sitting area in front of it. Many propped open umbrellas or pulled their hoods up against the rain.
"I’m excited," said Jordan Chimuk, 38, as he stood in line.
Chimuk’s two-year-old son suffers from hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a birth defect that affects blood flow through the heart. His son has already had five cardiac arrests and two open-heart surgeries, and while the child is now stable, Chimuk is anxious to take every measure to lower the risk to his son. Though children are generally at lesser risk than older people, those with heart conditions may be more likely to end up with severe illness if they contract COVID-19.
It’s not a gamble the father is willing to make.
"When someone makes a decision for their own personal enjoyment, and it doesn’t impact anybody, that’s their business," he said. "But when you make a selfish decision and it has impact on other people in a potentially fatal way, that’s not okay."
As a financial advisor and business owner, Chimuk is well aware of the monetary impacts shutting down businesses can have, and he’s sympathetic. Still, he said he’d have preferred to see the province implement stricter restrictions sooner.
"I can appreciate that you’re trying to juggle an economic aspect with the dangers that are happening within the society," he said. "But there’s a fine line there where you have to check your value system at a certain point, and when people’s lives are starting to become endangered, you have to be willing to give up some money."
Even so, the restrictions have been tough to deal with for him and his family, he said. With his son newly stable after two years in and out of hospitals, Chimuk has been looking forward to introducing him to new people and places during a formative period of his life. However, Chimuk said he knows there are families struggling just as much and more than his.
Darlene Campbell, 64, also stood in line to get her second dose Saturday morning.
"I’m very happy," she said. "When I heard on the news that they were doing it here, I was thrilled, and I set my alarm based on being able to come and get it."
No amount of rain would’ve stopped her from coming, she said. Campbell said she’s eagerly looking forward to seeing friends again, having a glass of wine with them on a patio and simply giving people hugs, and she believes getting fully vaccinated brings her one step closer to being able to do so.
On Saturday, the province announced three new deaths due to COVID-19, including two Winnipeg men in their 20s. The other was a man in his 70s from the Prairie Mountain Health region. There have now been 1,045 deaths in Manitoba. The province’s case count continued to climb rapidly, with 357 new cases boosting the total number of active cases to 4,635 after two cases were removed for data correction. The five-day positivity rate in the province is 12.4 per cent. Winnipeg’s rate, recorded at 14 per cent yesterday, was not included in the bulletin, nor was specific information on the locations of positive cases. The province said the limited data was due to technical issues and the information will be updated soon.
Cody Sellar is the reporter/photographer for The Times. He is a lifelong Winnipegger. He is a journalist, writer, sleuth, sloth, reader of books and lover of terse biographies.