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What to do with the cognitive dissonance created by the messaging?

CONNECTING the DOTS: I don't think this needs to be as troubling as it has become. This is my opinion, not the position of the Empire-Advance.
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Anne Davison

In order for democracy to function, information must flow freely and opinions must be allowed to be expressed. So as we see the COVID-19 climate evolving, here’s some things to think about.

Headlines in the Globe and Mail on Wednesday read: “Trudeau defends vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers amid supply chain concerns.”

Meanwhile there’s a huge convoy of trucks going Canada-wide, in protest of vaccine mandates for their industry. Convoy For Freedom at https://canada-unity.com/bearhug/ They are said to be heading for Brandon on Jan.23.

With thousands, not hundreds, of Manitobans testing positive for the Omicron variant daily, hospitalizations have risen to 15 in the middle of the past week, similar to when there was a swell with some 475 cases in late Fall of 2020. So many more cases, seemingly less severe (by hospital counts) and able to dodge vaccine immunity in many instances.

Throughout the world, the general response, including the quarantine time requirement, seems to be changing. But not in the eyes of our prime minister, apparently.

In headlines from the Globe and Mail, England’s Boris Johnson announces an end to masking and vaccine mandates.

The Lancet headlines this Wednesday read: “COVID-19 will continue but the end of the pandemic is near” by Christopher J L Murray.

In an interview with Freddie Sayers (UnHerd), Professor Cyrille Cohen, head of immunology at Bar Ilan University and a member of the advisory committee for vaccines for the Israeli Government said the Green Pass (vaccine passport) was no longer relevant in the Omicron era. He expects it to be phased out shortly in Israel. He advocates for vaccines saying that while the vaccines do not stop infections or transmission, they reduce the likelihood of disease severity.

Our Manitoba government is working on increasing our hospital capacity. A good thing since it has been an issue for some years.

So, more and more people will be wrestling through cognitive dissonance as more and more voices around the world advocate for a change in pandemic response while some, like Canada’s prime minister and some Canadian media continue to beat the same old drum.

Cognitive dissonance is uncomfortable, but it’s probably a necessary evil in the world of science and medicine as new facts and ideas are constantly unveiled (if that’s allowed). After all, one of the keys to medical advancement lies in creating theories, hypothesis and a willingness to bat about serious questions.

Let’s look around a little more.

A recent SubStack writer, Vinay Prasad MD MPH revealed that through a freedom of information request the NIH Director Francis Collins was implicated in an attempt “to stop a needed scientific debate.” WHAT? Yes, that’s what I said.

Prasad’s opinion piece posted on Dec. 23, 2021 is titled “At a time when the U.S. needed Covid-19 dialogue between scientists, Francis Collins moved to shut it down.” Prasad, an American hematologist-oncologist and health researcher does not warrant the ominous anti-vax blacklist either.

Substack, an email-based subscription newsletter, https://substack.com first came to my attention with the news in early January that a CBC producer Tara Henley had quit and is publishing on Substack. Her work, Lean Out was titled “Speaking Freely,” with the subtitle, “Why I resigned from the Canadian Broadcasting Company.”

Reading Trudeau’s latest push for even more control, perhaps we should keep in mind that this is the same prime minister who attempted a WeDay scheme, allegedly to pad pockets of friends and family. He tossed Jody Wilson-Raybould under the bus in the SNC Lavalin affair, and did not hold a public inquiry into the more recent Winnipeg lab scandal where two Chinese lab workers were eventually fired and sent back home – this with a declared pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China, think Wuhan laboratory.

This is the prime minister who has uttered hateful things about Canadians who choose not to receive COVID-19 vaccines, scapegoating them as if vaccines prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2, which they clearly do not. To quote Canada’s long-time broadcaster Rex Murphy, “he painted ‘these people,’ the anti-vaxxers, as “often” being women-haters, racists and science-deniers…” https://nationalpost.com/opinion/rex-murphy-justin-trudeaus-blind-hatred-of-anti-vaxxers

All the while suggestive headlines and public health officials imply this is a disease of the unvaxxed (who haven’t been to a hockey arena or restaurant for

months and haven’t spread anything at council meetings or libraries where they cannot go).

I will set aside the prime minister’s words and live through cognitive dissonance while the messaging changes, as it must, to heal the heart of our nation. We need unity not division, but that does not require shutting down debate and discussion.