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Good news versus public policy failure

In an opinion piece, the writer talks about public policy during the pandemic and the dawn of Omicron.

Dear Editor:

There is finally some good news with regard to the pandemic, although you wouldn’t know it if you get your information from TV, radio, big city newspapers or public health publications. It appears that the Omicron mutation is spreading rapidly, even through fully vaccinated people, and for the most part is causing only mild common cold symptoms. I believe that this is acting like the old attenuated virus vaccines (measles, mumps, rubella) and is our key to herd immunity.  I think our best pathway forward is for public health officials to remove all restrictions on all but the most vulnerable, and let this natural vaccination happen.

The Covid vaccines are still authorized only under emergency use authorization and have not been fully tested. All who have been vaccinated have been participants in a very large scale experimental trial, without the usual stringent controls. Most have been willing participants, but some have been coerced into taking part under threat of losing their jobs or their right to participate in most aspects of society. This is just really, really wrong! It is a violation of the Nuremberg Code. The Nuremberg Code was developed after World War 11 in response to the atrocities committed by Nazi doctors against concentration camp prisoners. It was signed on to by all the Allied nations. The relevant section is that no one can be forced to take part in a medical experiment without their voluntary consent. My father risked his life during multiple bombing missions to fight against this sort of tyranny.

In my opinion the public health bureaucrats should never have been charged with managing the response to the pandemic. They have no training or expertise in crisis management and it has sure showed in the arbitrary, nonsensical and ever changing restrictions. I believe that someone with training in crisis management should have been put in charge, with advice taken not only from public health officials, but also from experts in the private medical field, frontline healthcare workers, mental health workers, economists, business people and teachers. One egregious example of a foolish restriction is the mask mandate in school children. I know from my previous veterinary training that viruses are so small that they can only be seen by powerful electron microscopes. I believe that trying to stop a virus from going through these masks we have been using is like trying to stop a mosquito from flying through a chain-link fence. I also know from public health data that people under 20 have a minuscule chance of a bad outcome from infection, even with earlier more pathogenic versions of the virus.

The excuse for this massive infringement on our civil liberties has been to not overwhelm our healthcare system. For years now we have heard reports about big city hospitals being overwhelmed during flu season – long before the pandemic. In my opinion, the real issue is the pitiful state of our socialized top down healthcare system. It is top-heavy in administration and bureaucracy and light on frontline staff and facilities. If throwing more money at it was going to fix it, it would have happened by now. It needs to be completely reformed, from the Canada Health Act on down.

Brian Peckford, former premier of Newfoundland and the last living framer of and signatory to our 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms, has stated in several interviews that the lockdown restrictions are a clear violation of several sections of the Charter. In my opinion vaccine mandates are a violation of privacy laws.

I think that this has primarily been a pandemic of fear and authoritarian control. We have certainly not been “all in this together”. Federal MPs have had two generous pay raises and no civil servants have lost their jobs. Many small businesses have gone bankrupt and most others are struggling. Many workers, especially in the hospitality industry have lost their jobs. The Winnipeg Jets have continued to play hockey while minor sports have been cancelled for extended periods.

In my opinion, this has been the greatest public policy failure in the history of Canada.

Don Armitage, Miniota, Manitoba