Every choice we make has consequences.
All along this pandemic’s stretch, Canadians have been divided when it comes to policy. Those who wear masks, and those who refuse. Those who social distance, and those who gather. With Ontario’s implementation of vaccine passports on Sept. 22, a new divide has grown between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
While vaccinated Canadians may continue life as usual, unvaccinated Canadians now find their options limited. There are reports of protests against the system in city streets, in front of hospitals, as well as the restaurants now requiring proof of vaccination.
This all points to one frustrating problem: people who choose not to get the vaccine do not want to accept the consequences of that choice.
COVID isn’t over.
The virus is infecting hundreds of people each day in Ontario. According to a release by Public Health Ontario released on Sept. 4, unvaccinated Canadians accounted for 94 per cent of all COVID cases from December 2020, to September 2021.
Cases among fully vaccinated people are only 1.4 per cent. This same trend holds true for both hospitalizations. Six per cent of intensive care cases are fully vaccinated, opposed to the 86 per cent of unvaccinated cases.
In spite of this information, there are those who choose to remain unvaccinated. That is their choice to make. A government cannot, and should, not force injections into unwilling members of its society. It does, however, have a duty to all its citizens to protect them from harm.
The purpose of the vaccine passport is to protect everyone.
The choice to be vaccinated or not is one most people are free to make on their own but when someone makes a choice, they need to accept the consequences. Unvaccinated people should stay home. Unvaccinated people should not gather.
This is not oppression. It is the consequence of a decision made.
Why? If someone chooses to remain unvaccinated, then surely they accept the risks of getting sick. Surely, they should be able to keep living just as normally as everyone who did get the shot, right?
The vaccine is a choice most people have. Most.
People with health conditions, people with allergies, children and adolescents not yet eligible to receive the vaccine, they don’t get that choice. They get vulnerability to a virus that can cause death and chronic illness.
When someone chooses not to get vaccinated, it means people who can’t have another landmine in their daily lives.
Instead of complaining and protesting about all the things an unvaccinated person can’t do because of their own choice, an unvaccinated person should remember they have the freedom to make that choice in the first place.
They have the freedom to regulate what goes into their bodies. They do not have the freedom to put holes in other people’s families.
This isn’t about creating division, or saying one side is better than the other. It’s about empathy. It’s about responsibility.