Editorial—Here We Go Again (2021)

So, it turns out Alberta is not seeing the expected reduction in hospitalizations from the number of cases, at least, according to the recent annoucement from Dr. Hinshaw, which is why she’s now putting a “pause” on some of the governments latest reduction in COVID-19 restrictions here in the province.

If only somebody could have predicted that.

Of course, it’s fun to point out predictions where I’m right, and I’ll simply avoid drawing your attention to the ones where I’ve been wrong, but this one, to me, seems like it should have been fairly basic and picked up by someone in the medical  community.

So, here we go again, with the too-slow reimposition of restrictions that leave us in a constant state of having to react to the disease instead of actively getting in front of it and cutting it off.

I’m particularly focused on COVID-19 this week because it turns out I have a close relative who’s strongly against taking the vaccination, and rolling out all the standard rhetoric those against it have been putting forth for weeks now, even though it’s all been thoroughly debunked by the medical community at large.  She still prefers to put her faith in the notion of the lone outsider struggling against the system, whose reports are being “suppressed” (to which I asked, “how could you have found them if they’re being suppressed?”)

Maybe there’s some romanticism in it for some reason, but much as I don’t trust the single mechanic who tells me I need a whole new braking system when several others tell me I need to fix the indicator light, neither do I trust these lone outliers in the medical community (who it seems are often not any sort of viral specialists, and sometimes not even doctors for humans, but rather veteranarians) when the vast majority are explaining how the vaccines are safe.

She also rolled out the “it hasn’t even been fully approved”, line.  Something that is technically true, and probably will be so for about another two weeks, but which even the FDA (who is the one who hasn’t approved it) says is more a technicality with how it conducts its approval process that also require indepth factory inspections to ensure that they reach appropriate levels of cleanliness for vaccine production.

But why should I care, right? It’s her choice, and, very likely, she won’t get sick at all.  After all, the worst COVID mortality rate is still less than 10% of all cases, with it generally being less than 4% even in the worst affected countries. The answer is simply that I can’t afford to go see her in person now.  Because I know too many people who really can’t take the vaccine and are immuno-compromised, I can’t take the chance that I’ll pick it up from someone who just thinks COVID isn’t that bad a risk and end up spreading it elsewhere.  So don’t buy the argument that the unvaccinated only hurt themselves.  Her choice affects my ability to see my family.  That doesn’t just hurt her.

In other news though, we’ve got a short issue for you this week, but I actually think it’s quite a good one, as our regular columnists have, coincidentally, stepped up with some writing that I think is above their usual standard.  Enjoy the read!

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