Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s Chief Medical Health official announced on Friday that Manitoba was re-imposing significant instructions on the unvaccinated that would take effect today. Was that fair? Some people have suggested they have been surprised by the amount of hatred shown by people who are vaccinated to the small number of people people who are not unvaccinated.
I am not in favor of hate. That never helps. I renounce hatred and do not want be in the camp of the haters.
But I do want to explain that I think people who have been resistant to vaccines are unwise and causing significant risk of harm to themselves and others. It’s all right if they expose themselves to risks of harm; it is not all right to expose others to such risks without their express consent.
Dr. Roussin commented that the new restrictions are only onerous on the unvaccinated. The people who are vaccinated are enjoying the benefits of taking the vaccines. In particular these new restrictions are designed to protect our health care system. Currently 30,000 medical procedures and surgeries have been postponed and are getting urgent, so that Manitoba could protect its Intensive Care Units in case they are needed.
With Chris finally having had surgery after waiting for more than 6 months, we were overjoyed that surgeries were available again. That might have saved her life. It certainly, eased her mind tremendously. Every day she thought her brain aneurysm might burst. That is a lot of psychological baggage to carry around. It was a great relief to get it done.
The province released an astounding statistic. They reported that, “As of Friday, all Covid-19 patients in ICU were not fully vaccinated, and half of those were from southern health.” That one sentence tells a big story. No on currently in an Intensive Care Unit in Manitoba for Covid-19 has been vaccinated! Not one. How can people say the vaccines are not effective? Secondly, half of the people in ICU for Covid-19 have come from southern Manitoba, where we live. Southern Health district has the lowest percentage of people who have been fully vaccinated, and has only about 15% of the population of Manitoba, but has half of the people who are in those ICUs with Covid-19. Who can deny that regions with a high vaccine rate are not getting a huge benefit from the vaccines?
Dr. Roussin also had a comment on Manitoba’s strategy. He said, “We also believe there’s a need to ensure that we minimize the impact to non-Covid care for the majority of Manitobans by reducing the surges and Covid demands on our system.”
In other words, people who resist taking Covid-19 vaccines are causing significant harm not just to themselves but others who have a right to be protected from the actions of the people who are refusing to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated matters, for people who have been vaccinated and those who have not. As a result, as Dr. Roussin said, “We are quite intent on our need to preserve surgical capacity at this time and ensure that Manitobans have timely access to care, and especially those who cannot postpone their surgeries any longer.” Until Friday, that included my wife Chris. That’s why for me this issue was personal.
As a result, Dr. Roussin when he says actions against people who are not vaccinated are not matters of “blaming and shaming. They are matters of public health. The actions are taken to protect the public. No matter what people who are opposed to restrictions say, such restrictions are justified to protect people, not just from Covid-19, but many other conditions.