Both of these memes were posted by people from Manitoba I connect with on Facebook. I think they represent the varying views people in our province have about vaccination.
The first meme definitely advocates for the rights of those who don’t wish to receive a vaccination. The message is that if unvaccinated people can’t access the services of government-supported businesses they shouldn’t have to pay taxes.
And I guess they have a point since casinos are operated by a Crown Corporation of the province of Manitoba, the Blue Bombers have received government money for the construction and repairs to their stadium and many restaurants and theatres have been the recipients of government funding to help keep them in business during the pandemic. All these services are being restricted at least somewhat for unvaccinated people in our province.
However, with 90% or more of the patient load in Manitoba critical care wards being composed of people who aren’t vaccinated, it would seem the cost of their increased presence and thus expense to our medical system would probably balance out the price of their loss of services at the football stadium or casino.
The second meme posted by a Manitoban definitely advocates for a belief in science which the unvaccinated seem unwilling to accept. Could this at least partially be the result of a long campaign by former prime minister Stephen Harper, who although he supports vaccines, did so much to discredit the scientific community in Canada, by closing science libraries, making drastic cuts to scientific research, and censoring scientists so they couldn’t freely share their work with the public?
Could it be the result of having an American president who knew little about science but believed he was more of an expert than the scientists in his own country? I realize there are a substantial number of Manitobans who were Trump fans. Has that influenced their ideas about vaccinations? The impact of journalism outlets like Fox News, and social media platforms that haven’t always regulated misinformation the way they should have, can help explain why some people have developed a low opinion of the science of vaccines. I know that education, political preferences, and one’s choice of social media can greatly influence whether you believe the scientists advocating for vaccinations.
I mentioned that both memes in this post come from Manitobans I know, and yet they represent very different points of view. I think by now almost everyone is personally aware of someone opposed to vaccines or someone who simply refuses to have one, and that can make things difficult. I have heard from many people that this disparity of opinion about vaccinations is causing all kinds of friction between friends, family members, neighbors, church members, and colleagues.
My word for the year is acceptance and I know I need to try and accept and understand people whose views are so very different from mine, whose decisions about vaccination have the potential to cause so much harm to themselves and others. But I admit doing that is hard. Very hard!