• By: Ryan Lythall

Why this is an important time for all Canadians, and how you can play a positive role

This is an important week for both Canada and the Province of Ontario.

By the time this article comes out, it’ll be Federal Election Day. For those who missed it, last week, I talked about this election and its relation to people with disabilities. I encourage you all to please check it out if you haven’t.

I also strongly encourage you all to vote if you’re legally able to. By all accounts, voters in advance polls did increase, which is great to hear. I know that there are tons of people who aren’t happy with our current leader. So what better way to channel that energy than to have your say by voting?

Myself, I voted last Sunday, so I’m all set. I do plan on watching at least some of the live coverage on Monday night.

On the provincial front, on September 22nd, vaccine passports take effect. This means that you’ll need to show proof that you’ve received both vaccines before you go to any non-essential place.

If the news and social media are accurate, I just made many people angry with that last sentence.

But wait, there’s more.

I disagree that vaccine passports are bad or that they’re an invasion of privacy.

If you’re going to a mall, restaurant, theatre etc., you’re all taking a risk in potentially getting Covid or perhaps giving it to someone else. The pandemic is still very real and happening. I feel that we deserve to know that you did your part in protecting us.

Also, If you want to be part of society, you need to be prepared and accept that you will never have 100 per cent privacy. This is also true anytime you’re online or sending a text message. Total privacy simply no longer exists, and it’s been that way for a long time.

So, why are so many people having a hard time with this?

I think the bigger picture is that people are tired of Covid and the way it’s been handled by all levels of government.

On that, I completely agree with you. As a person with a disability, I can honestly say that we feel ignored. Our main issue was and still is the severe lack of financial assistance during the pandemic. Also, the fact that people with disabilities weren’t a top priority during the initial vaccine rollout.

And I know the list of concerns/issues regarding people with disabilities is very long.

As I said, if you’re upset with our current situation, get out and vote.

The other thing that I want to talk about are the people protesting vaccines being mandatory for all hospital staff.

Before I share my thoughts, allow me to share a story.

As some of you know, I lived at the Childrens Hospital Of Eastern Ontario for nineteen years. While I was living there, I spent a lot of time in the cafeteria. Back in the 80s, they didn’t have a separate room for smokers. I’d often see Nurses, Doctors, Respiratory techs, and other staff smoking. This was always very confusing to me.

The main part of their job was to take care of their patients and help them get better. With that in mind, why are they harming themselves and their health by smoking?

It seemed pretty hypocritical to me, even at a young age.

Eventually, it dawned on me that they’re also human. Just for the record, I fully realized that I was, in fact raised by humans.

I’m trying to make the point that all humans have bad habits, and each of us deals with stress differently.

The other important thing to remember is that we didn’t know much about the harmful effects of second-hand smoke back in the eighties. So, many smokers didn’t understand.

Fast forward to 2021.

We’re still in a pandemic. Covid vaccines have been approved, with many people receiving them. There is now more research and statistics stating that vaccines help protect against Covid. Maybe not 100 per cent, but far better compared to not getting the vaccine.

With that said, if you’re a health care worker, it should be mandatory to be vaccinated. If you aren’t vaccinated and refuse to be vaccinated, you should be fired on the spot.

If you have a medical reason for not receiving the shot, my apologies, but I have the same opinion.

When you work in healthcare, you will encounter people with fragile immune systems for various reasons. This also includes people with disabilities, the elderly, and transplant recipients.

And the list goes on.

To those refusing to get vaccinated simply because you can, think about your parents, grandparents, kids, and even your household pet. None of them would be alive without vaccines.

In the medical profession, it’s your job to ensure the health and safety of your patients. If you’re not willing to, that’s you’re choice.

However, we as humans have the right to receive care from people that genuinely care about our health and well-being.

Please get vaccinated if you can, and stop putting others at risk.