Much is being made of the vaccine mandate in Manitoba. It’s created a whole new crop of "victims" who complain their rights are being stripped, and has fueled many protests.
Some, like one in Winkler that attracted more than 2,000 people feature a peculiar mix of religion and defiance to government. After all, what would Jesus do? Apparently not the thing that keeps Him and others safe. I mean, where does it really say we’re supposed to love our neighbours anyway?
A protest in Steinbach on Aug. 30 attracted hundreds. And although those protestors didn’t seem to mix in religion, they were staunchly opposed to what they call "forced vaccination". They also trotted out tired old anti-mask myths.
One claimed there is an issue with oxygen levels in a mask. That theory has been disproven so many times it’s difficult to take anything seriously from someone who is that gullible. Doctors performing lengthy surgeries are a great example of people who wear masks for extended periods of time.
Others claim children are mentally hurt by having to wear masks.
Children are more adaptable than adults, and that’s been proven in many situations. However, children will reflect adult’s thoughts and feelings.
If you as a parent refuse to do your job which is explaining to your children why masks are there to protect, and how it’s not a big deal to wear one, why would you expect different from your child?
This has much to do with the quality of parenting, and nothing to do with the health mandate itself.
But the main issue is the vaccine mandate.
After all, very few people believe that anyone should get something injected into them against their will.
But that’s simply not happening.
Some sectors in Manitoba do have an immunization requirement. However if people choose not to immunize they must be tested up to three times per week.
Monday’s event organizer Sheena Friesen claimed that’s not a choice.
But what she’s really saying is she doesn’t think there should be consequences for making a choice.
Yet there are consequences in life for every other decision.
A restaurant cannot force you to wear a tie, but they can refuse you service if you don’t.
Helmets are not forced on us, but if you want to go to the go-kart track, you have to wear one.
We need licenses (passports if you will) for driving, hunting, fishing, operating a boat and many other activities in society, but we can still make a choice whether or not we’ll do those things.
The same is true for vaccines.
We can do the right thing and care for ourselves and our fellow humans, or we can refuse the shot.
What’s indefensible is then claiming we’re victims because there are consequences to our choices.
So why do we have such a large block of people determined to avoid science based analysis in favour of conspiracy theories and fears?
Part of that may come down to leadership.
We have seen local officials step up to promote vaccines, and we’ve also seen some great leadership from our faith community and medical community.
But to this day we have politicians who feel it’s better to pander then to tell the truth.
Last week Josh Guenter, PC MLA for Borderland and James Teitsma, PC MLA for Radisson released an open letter to then Premier Brian Pallister.
They both state they are fully vaccinated and believe in the efficacy of vaccines. However they claim to be upset over a vaccine mandate.
In a lengthy letter they bemoan what they say is the government creating two classes of people.
"I fundamentally believe the government has no moral authority to dictate who can receive services, go to church, see their loved ones in a personal care home and who can’t," Guenter wrote.
He went on to say he opposes the expansion of services and activities available only to immunized residents.
Imagine if instead of taking advantage of the fact that Pallister was on his way out, to score political points with much of his base, Guenter would have tried real leadership.
He could have explained to his base that this mandate is not comfortable for anyone. However it is the inevitable result of people not doing the right thing.
He should have blasted his supporters for their childish objections, their immature protests and their lack of caring for their fellow humans.
He should have scoffed at those who claim to be guided by religion, yet act as if they’ve never heard of Jesus.
But most importantly he should use his position to advocate for people to get immunized. There is still time to do the right thing.
Whatever you feel about vaccine mandates and mask use is irrelevant.
Talk to your doctor or medical professional, and learn the facts about the vaccines. Get the jab to protect yourself and be there for your loved ones. It really is that easy.