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Journey through COVID to elect new premier

Connecting the Dots: There's no vaccine card required to participate in democracy at the polling stations, just wear a mask and follow instructions there. However, masking was not good enough at a meet-and -greet at Oak Lake with the candidate running to become Manitoba's premier.
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Anne Davison

Last night I travelled to Oak Lake to take in the Heather Stefanson meet and greet in the Oak Lake Hall.

I had heard, second-hand, of her tour to Westman which included Oak Lake. Try as I might I could not find any campaign info of that appearance, so I finally phoned someone in the area whom I knew and sure enough, they were on the way to her meeting, so I knew it was on.

The meeting was in full swing when I arrived. I had a few questions regarding education and the like that I planned to ask this candidate for the premier’s chair.

The vote coming up for the leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservative party is for party members only. Given that conservatism has been strong in Westman, this is the time for folks to take out a $20 membership and vote on October 30. The selection committee has determined that two of the four candidates that announced their candidacy had not met all “requirements as set out in the rules established by the Party’s Executive Council” for inclusion in the race. There are now two candidates and information is important.

I was turned away from that meeting by an apologetic, nicely suited fellow because I don't have a vaccine card.

I have had a single shot some months ago. Initially, Premier Pallister (and Stefanson, then newly appointed to the health portfolio) presented the vaccine campaign saying there would be doses for those who wanted it. That narrative changed to become one of – get the vaccine! We’ll reward you, or we’ll punish you.

Connecting the Dots is simply a column. I am not purporting to represent the Empire-Advance nor our parent newspaper’s position. I am simply sharing my perspective, right or wrong.

I went from a point of trust, to skepticism in our government-linked doctors and in Manitoba’s premier. I began to find research into medicines and treatment drugs from elsewhere in the world that were never mentioned on the government YouTube presentations or in printed material.

By the time I asked Dr. Roussin and later, the premier, about such treatments there had been many COVID deaths and Manitoba’s ICU service was bulging.

Was our province using every kind of weapon in the war against COVID? My questions were swept under the rug, no follow-up.

I was hoping to hear that Manitoba was pulling out all the tools to help our people live through COVID-19. I was hoping the medical system would arm us with broad information.

Hand washing, keeping our distance, and wearing a mask was important and still is. Quarantine for positive cases and close contacts makes sense. But that’s about all we heard.

There’s been nothing about home nursing care. Neither has there been official information from our government about adverse responses to the inoculations, or where these should be reported.

Now, I continue to have questions about COVID-19 as there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight with booster shots and child vaccinations in progress and although vaccines are effective, masks are still required. Personal choice and free speech, cornerstones of democracy seem to be slipping away.

When my questions have satisfactory answers I am prepared to make a new decision. That’s my right and my responsibility.