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.
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 internal logic of capitalism has tainted our government's response to the pandemic. Corporate profits were preserved, while the interests of the working class were disregarded. Pandemic austerity and vaccine nationalism were the primary themes of government responses, and have grave consequences for the working class and health of humanity. An alternative solution, worker-ownership, is good public health policy as it would empower workers to create their own safe pandemic working conditions.
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.
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.
If we were to wonder about an alternate future in which the Conservative Party of Canada was in power during the current pandemic, we wouldn't need to use our imaginations to understand how they would govern. The track record of Conservatives currently in power speaks for itself.
It is easy to see why national policy on mask wearing has flip flopped during the initial months of the pandemic. Evidence was sparse, mixed, or inconclusive and public policy reflected that. But as new evidence is emerging that does support the use of face masks by the general population, so to, does public policy.
Even in Canada, the denial of the validity of transgender people's lived existence remains. Two out of the four leadership candidates for the Conservative Party of Canada want to remove protections for transgender people.
The problem is that they are so open-minded that their brains have fallen right out.