‘The responsible majority of citizens are fed up to their locked-down ears with the anti-vax tail wagging the dog.’
Reason hasn’t worked. Statistics haven’t worked. Pleading, begging, scolding and shaming haven’t worked.
Those refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 are doing great harm to the majority of responsible citizens, to Canada’s health-care system, to the overburdened men and women who work in it.
It is their irresponsibility that is largely to blame for the restraints under which Canadians are currently required to live.
It is no surprise, then, and largely to be applauded, that exasperated jurisdictions from Quebec to countries in Europe have opted to raise the cost of demonstrably anti-social behaviour.
The responsible majority of citizens are fed up to their locked-down ears with the tail wagging the dog.
In Quebec, the province’s health minister Christian Dubé announced this past week that, as of Jan. 18, Quebecers will have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to access provincial liquor and cannabis stores.
“If they can’t protect themselves, we will protect them against themselves,” said Dubé. “And we will make sure that they understand very clearly that if they don’t want to be vaccinated, they just stay home.”
“I hope this will be an additional incentive for some to go get their first dose,” he said, adding that the measures might be extended to other non-essential products.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron used more colourful language to express a similar sentiment and plan of action.
Macron told the newspaper Le Parisien that he wants to “piss off” unvaccinated people by making their lives so complicated that they’ll relent and accept the vaccine. The unvaccinated, he said, are reneging on the obligations of citizenship.
Other European countries are getting tougher with the unvaxxed. Italy requires proof of vaccination – or of having recovered from COVID — for entry to a host of public spaces. Greece is levying a monthly fine (called a “health fee”) of 100 euros ($144) on people over 60 who won’t get their shots.
Some of those frustrated with the intransigence of the anti-vaxx minority propose cutting them off from all social services. That would be too extreme.
But there’s no human right to the pleasures of life — to entertainment, libations, recreational drugs — and requiring vaccination as the price of admission is entirely reasonable.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has put himself firmly on the wrong side of this issue. He said he prefers a gentler approach, accepting the fact some Canadians will never get vaccinated and finding ways to work around it.
“That doesn’t mean I don’t think that people shouldn’t be vaccinated,” he said. “It means we have to deal with the reality of the fact that there will be a small number unvaccinated.”
But right now the responsible majority are paying an enormous price for the stubbornness of the recalcitrant – and it is not the former who should be asked to make endless accommodations.
O’Toole should understand that to give comfort to the unvaccinated is to support the ongoing necessity of lockdowns.
Epidemiologists have already called this “a pandemic of the unvaccinated” – a minority about five times more likely to be infected, 10 times more likely to end up in hospital and 25 times more likely to end up filling scarce ICU beds.
The majority of people who “did the right thing” and got vaccinated are effectively being held hostage to the selfishness of the few. At this point it’s entirely reasonable to raise the price of irresponsibility, and make life more difficult for those who won’t get their shots.
Ontario and other provinces should follow Quebec’s example and turn the screws further on the unvaxxed.
Article From: The Star
Author: Star Editorial Board