Second Opinion

John Dorn is a retired tech entrepreneur who resides in Summerland.

I was way too optimistic in thinking the pro-disease anti-vaxxers had mostly gone away.

As I have written in the past, reasoning with anti-maskers/anti-vaxxers is like talking with zombies. You do not change their minds and they eventually eat your brain. Here we go again.

On a drive last week to Kelowna (yes it was essential travel), I noticed one of the fancy digital signs just before the bridge exhorted travellers to sign a petition to reverse the provincial health order for schoolchildren to wear masks.

Being curious by nature, I visited their website. Just over 3,000 people had signed the petition. It seems to be well funded to afford the digital advertising and a respectable website. Their goal is to reach 10,000 signatories.

Would not every parent’s goal be to keep their offspring safe? Everyone, including kids, inhale and exhale aerosol droplets containing all sorts of disease. Parents know students bring home colds and flu from school all the time. Do you not think a child’s mask would help lessen the risk of contracting and spreading COVID? Hopefully these same parents use car safety seats and force their children to wear bike and hockey helmets.

Every time the COVID virus changes hosts, it is an opportunity for that virus to mutate into a version which is either more transmissible or deadlier, possibly making current vaccines less effective.

Which brings us to the subject of a vaccine passport, which would be a government-issued document confirming the bearer is fully vaccinated. A passport could be used to allow access to restaurants, theatres, concerts and be required to use public transport including air travel.

Several top-ranked American universities will require a passport to enter their campuses. The pro-disease people can then make a choice between their right to avoid inoculation and everyone else’s right to enjoy life as normal.

Some have argued such a passport is not fair as it promotes inequality. A medical ethicist at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Judy Illes, stated: “What we want to be very careful about is not creating a situation which we’re discriminating against people who cannot have access to the vaccine because they choose to decline or wait or they can’t have it for medical reasons. It’s a careful balance."

There may be a tiny few who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, just as there are those who can medically justify not wearing a mask. Otherwise not getting vaccinated is a choice and if you make that choice, it is reasonable in it resulting in being refused access to places where you are a risk to infect others who are behaving responsibly.

For all you pro-disease people out there. If you would follow the rules and guidelines for a short period of time, we can all get back to normal. The more you attend protests, ignore the rules, spread the disease and infect your friends and relatives the longer your “so-called freedoms” will need to be curtailed. Follow the science and the logic.

This pandemic is a war.

My mother was a teenager in England during the Second World War.

She lived through food rationing and spent nights huddled in the back-garden Anderson Shelter with three other family members.

Travel was restricted as there was no petrol. A blackout was enforced to the point of wardens knocking on doors to remind families to close their drapes fully. Do you think anybody ignored the rules? Nobody complained about loosing their freedoms either, as the alternative was far worse.

In this pandemic, losing some rights needs to be balanced against winning the war.

John Dorn is a retired tech entrepreneuer who resides in Summerland.