The fear and anger caused by misunderstandings about COVID-19 vaccines and public health measures is deeply regrettable.
Consider the multitude of inaccuracies in just one sentence from a recent letter to The Grapevine: “Consider how you will become subject to the same…punitive measures…when you perhaps refuse to be injected every 3 months, refusing to suffer the inevitable repercussions of cumulative toxins in your body.”
The vaccines don’t contain toxins and they don’t remain in the body – they “do their job” teaching cells how to respond to the COVID-19 virus and then are shed after a few days. They aren’t required every three months: two doses of the mRNA vaccines are required initially for maximum protection and then we’ll probably have to have booster shots once a year as we do to protect ourselves from the flu.
The idea that pandemic public health measures are punitive and encroaching on individual rights is another misunderstanding. Freedom and rights are not the same thing. Everyone has the freedom to decide to get vaccinated or not but no one has the right to place others at risk due to their choices.
Ironically, unvaccinated people are the ones best protected by pubic health measures requiring masking and – in some cases – proof of vaccination. The situations where proof is required – such as indoor dining, recreation and entertainment – are conditions in which unvaccinated people are at greatest risk.
Vaccination requirements for workers are in place where employees might put others at risk. Strange that the recent letter writer decried these requirements for Denman ferry workers when this group experienced the first outbreak of COVID-19 on the island. Their close indoor crew quarters put each other at risk – not ferry travelers.
Comparisons of public health measures to fascism, Nazism, and totalitarianism are as wrong as they are offensive. In response, I offer a one-word edit to the poster text quoted in the Nov. 18 letter: “Your ignorance is prolonging this nightmare.”
Or how about this one: “Freedom – how you can reject modern medicine and die like a medieval peasant”.