No one cares - Shawn Loughlin editorial
It really was just a matter of time until our newspapers, social media and broadcasts were flooded with stories of businesses openly defying the provincial government’s proof of vaccination system. Every day it was a new story about this dinky restaurant in Oakville or that crappy gym in Sarnia refusing to comply with so-called vaccine passports and I have to say that I couldn’t care less.
As some people are turning the COVID-19 pandemic into their own personal Battle of Waterloo - whether it be with lockdowns, which largely appear to be a thing of the past, or vaccinations, mandatory or otherwise - in the very simplest of terms, I’m over it, man.
I don’t care who is planning on defying government orders under the guise of “not discriminating” and I certainly don’t care about the reasons being given in the story.
But, there they are every day - we even have some local ones - making a big show in the newspaper, online or on T.V., seeking attention because they’ve decided not to follow a rule. They have opted to pander to the 15 per cent of people who have chosen not to be vaccinated, rather than the 85 per cent who have shown that their health and the health of others is important to them. Sheer economics show these businesses will fail. Take 15 cents out of every dollar and put it into one bank account and the other 85 cents and put it into another and tell me which one fills up first.
We’re all seeing these stories. While many small businesses are finding ways to make it work, struggling with a shortage of employees and bending over backwards to create an environment where even the most cautious consumer can feel safe, the media (yes, we can be to blame sometimes) is more apt to tell you the story of a defiant idiot breaking the law.
But wait! Won’t it include impassioned quotes from the aforementioned idiot about why he/she is doing what he/she is doing? You bet it will and I can assure you that they’ll be exactly as interesting and intelligent as any sane person would expect them to be. Plus, it’s almost always offered with a side of some special gesture or product just to show how damn defiant and unique they really are. (Try the “Don’t Tread On Me” burger with a side of “F... Trudeau” fries, plus every kids’ meal comes with a small “Nuremberg Code” soda - with a fun, dare I say, experimental flavour formula - and a free Charter of Rights and Freedoms placemat!)
No, thank you. I am worn down to a nub with this stuff. Maybe turning a blind eye is just as bad, but, like certain debates that have filled these pages recently, I’ll be thankful to never have them cross my desk again.
Last week, the Toronto Star was kind enough to report that hundreds of provincial businesses are openly defying government legislation. The story also detailed efforts to create a sort of database of these businesses for the unvaccinated to know where to put their dollars. There have also been efforts the other way, with people trying to stop such a database from being created. Furthermore, some fully vaccinated Ontarians have been using the list as a kind of anti-Zagat Survey, leading them to avoid these “inclusive” businesses so they can feel safe eating, working out, etc.
These stories are boring and unnecessary, but maybe they get clicks or incite arguments in the comment section. Like coverage of anti-vaccine protests in front of hospitals (their mothers must be so proud), these stories create a false equivalency at a time when the majority of Ontarians are quietly and conscientiously doing the right thing, looking after each other.