True North, a conservative-leaning news site, has published a highly misleading article that seems to attempt to undermine vaccine effectiveness. It's actually kind of shocking how bad it is. Putting True North's own numbers into context tells an entirely different story than the story its readers have heard. According to government data, the rates of hospitalizations and ICU visits are dramatically lower for fully vaccinated individuals. On average, unvaccinated individuals are going to the hospital 5.5 times more than vaccinated individuals. They are also going to the ICU 12 times more than vaccinated individuals.
Aside from needless greenhouse gas emissions, the only accomplishment of the so-called Truckers for Freedom convoy is further consolidation and recruitment of the far-right. Whatever your stance on vaccines or vaccine mandate, the growth of these far-right conspiracy movements and the inevitable violence that goes along with it should be alarming.
Justin Trudeau has chosen to place all of the blame on the unvaccinated for the current spike in cases and hospitalizations. The problem is, this is only a half-truth. It is political scapegoating. The other half of the problem is Trudeau himself - and the rest of Canada's political elites who have declined to improve Canada's public health system for decades. There is so much more that our political leaders could have done to prevent, or at least mitigate, the current surge in Omicron cases and hospitalizations.
The Left has always had a strong tradition of emphasizing the importance of science and empirical understanding of the world. Remember that foundational socialists such as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels considered their approach to economics as "scientific socialism." Marx himself admired the scientific advances made possible by Capitalism. As Leftists, we should not dismiss the labour of the workers of these pharmaceutical companies, nor should we align with conspiracists, conservatives, or fascists.
What strikes me the most about the claims made by this coalition of covid-conspiracists, including anti-vaccine adherents, is just how close some of them are to understanding what is really going on. Some of them are actually on the brink of grasping broader left-wing ideas of class dynamics in society. Capitalism itself is not a conspiracy, obviously. What Covid-conspiracists miss though, is the collective class interest of these networks of powerful individuals.
Remember that the current vaccine passport system is an alternative to another lockdown situation. It is the opposite of a lockdown - lockdowns shut down society, the vaccine passport is an attempt to reopen society and get back to normal. The tiny minority of anti-vaxxers are the ones keeping this pandemic going; it's time for them to get out of the way.
Historically, vaccines have arguably been one of the biggest success stories of the human race - and the story of Covid-19 will be no different. Despite this, there is a relatively small (yet loud) class of people who would like to see us reach herd immunity through "natural infection" which would result in untold amounts of harm to Canadians. I'm looking at you, anti-vaxxers and supporters of the so-called Great Barrington Declaration.
There are glaring parallels between conservatism and modern conspiracy theories. With far-right ideologies on the rise and even promoted by the White House, this is a problem that must be taken seriously
What used to be an identifier of alt-right communities has become indisputably mainstream.
Surely, mandating masks and social distancing during a once in a lifetime pandemic is not an overreach of government. Lock downs, hard as they may be for all of us, are not and overreach either. They are a last resort needed to ensure public heath once cases have overrun contact tracing.