Truckers, Moe, and COVID – oh my!

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Who needs masks when chaos can reign as king? Jievani Weerasin via Unsplash

Doing what is best should take precedent over your discomfort

Attention! Yes, attention please! Can I get a show of hands for those of you who want to do everything that you can to keep Saskatchewan residents safe? No, no, put your hand down Scott Moe, you have disappointed us one too many times with your false claims.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the state of unrest regarding the pandemic in our province and the country overall, let me catch you up quick. Ex-truck drivers from all over Canada took to their equipment to rally over…something. To be frank their message has gotten lost and translated so many times in so many different ways that I don’t think they really know what they’re rallying for. It was originally the ten per cent of truck drivers who are not vaccinated trying to advocate for the ability to choose if they received their vaccinations or not, not wanting it to be mandated for their occupation. Along the way, they became affiliated with Nazis among other groups, and everything has become quite the display. Meanwhile, Scott Moe has released a video discussing his plans to end the mandate for showing proof of vaccination and is planning to continue forward with the plan of ending most, if not all, government mandates soon. He has noted that the government should not be holding such a strong grip over the lives of its citizens and thinks that it is time to do away with these restrictions.

Now that you’re all caught up, let us talk about how absolutely terrifying this is, shall we? Even Nazis aside, things are not looking that great if you ask me. There are still people who don’t think that they need to get vaccinated, who are going to continue to put themselves at risk, and as a result will continue to weigh down our healthcare system as they will require more extreme measures to recover than those who went and received their vaccinations and booster shots. If you don’t have to prove that you have these lifesaving doses, then there is nothing possibly left to motivate these people who already don’t want them with the mandates in place. To be frank, those of us who have accepted the science and done the thing are not raising a fuss about this because it really doesn’t matter. Having to wait an extra minute or two before sitting down at a restaurant while they check and scan your vaccination QR code is not the end of the world. There are much bigger fish to fry before being concerned about that.

It is not the idea of people no longer needing to prove that they’re vaccinated that frightens me. What scares me more than anything is everything that will snowball after this. Once you lift one thing of this magnitude, there is no putting it back in place. Look at the threats that we were going to have a second lockdown. They fought tooth and nail for that plan to never see the light of day.

After lifting this restriction, I imagine that the snowball effect is going to happen in ways that we don’t want. More of these restrictions are going to be lifted as the idea of “COVID Zero” leaves the minds of people and the idea that we just need to get used to the reality that we might get COVID becomes normalized. Social distancing, masks, and intensive sanitation practices will start to be phased out. We will be transported back to 2019 when these concepts did not exist, and we could go about our daily business without a care in the world.

What about those of us who will be unable to go back to the way things used to be? What societal abuse will we be forced to undergo if we cannot bring ourselves to take the mask off? When the ideas from how we used to live sound so outdated and far-fetched, but the ideas of what might be considered normal now sound just as foreign and unappealing – where are you supposed to go? How do you move forward without wanting to collapse from exhaustion at a moment’s notice?

I don’t know what this looks like, but I really wish I did. I wish I knew how I’d feel walking out of the house without checking for keys, phone, wallet, mask. If only I could predicate how it would feel meeting someone for the first time and not immediately wondering if they’re vaccinated or if their lifestyle choices will put me at risk of being a close contact. Can I be sure that I won’t freak out walking through a crowded hallway, with the risk of others bumping into me? I don’t even like grocery shopping in a semi-busy store, I can’t imagine trying to make my way through full hallways at the university once again.

Long story short, there is so much that we can be nervous and unsure about. It will not be uncommon to be wary of the removal of these restrictions, especially when they have proved over and over that they help keep us and our loved ones safe and healthy. I don’t know how I’m going to respond to these changes and it’s alright if you don’t either. The only thing that we can be certain of is our own uncertainty.

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