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trying to talk to an anti-vaxxer – sigh

Blowing own horn department: feedback from the master class week was wonderful. Nice to be a “lovely lady”!

The essay book went to a printer this morning, so I can edit it on paper. And then, on to beta-readers, to give me feedback before it goes out to find a publisher. Interested? 

Last night, Annie and I listened to the magnetic Hal Wake interview Omar El Akkad, an Egyptian-Canadian writer whose novel about the lives of immigrants won the Giller this year. Both men are thoughtful, clever, learned; a mesmerizing hour. Then we watched Around the World and All Creatures on PBS. All Creatures is delicious, so utterly sweet and beautiful, I want to crawl inside my TV set and live on the Yorkshire dales. If the lead actor’s there with me, so much the better. 

The Covid mandate battle gets worse, Canada flailing, humiliated on the world stage. I tried writing to a rabid anti-vax conspiracy theorist whose husband is, or was, a dear friend of mine. I don’t want to lose his friendship, but perhaps it’s hopeless. I wrote her that I understood there are ordinary people in Ottawa simply concerned about this particular vaccine, but that hiding beneath is the violent, dangerous far right out to destroy Canadian democracy. 

I got back a long screed: They are ALL ordinary people. The few “others”, ‘agent provocateurs’ were reported to the police and removed. Of course, leave it to the legacy media to give it another spin and turn it into lies. They have a constitutional right to protest peacefully, which they are doing. Trudeau is using our tax dollars to weaponize our police force against us, trying to provoke the protesters. Still, they remain peaceful. 

Trying to provoke the protesters – when exactly was that? If only! 

I wrote, Their hatred for law and order is a cancer doing incalculable harm to our country. 

She replied, I don’t believe it’s a hatred of law and order that is the cancer. It is the tyrannical authoritarian mentality that seems to be pushing out democracy. That is the cancer. 
I told her that in Paris, at an anti-vaccine passport demonstration on Saturday, the police came in with tear gas, arresting protesters with handcuffs and towing vehicles. End of story. The French don’t play nice. And Canada is tyrannical and authoritarian! It is to laugh. 

As a final word, I sent her this, from Twitter: Dr. Faisal Moola@faisal_moola

Just got off the phone w my elderly dad who fought in resistance against Apartheid in S. Africa. He asked me what freedoms have #FluTruxKlan lost? – are they banned from public places because of their skin colour? arrested & tortured in prison? homes raided? loved ones murdered?

Good questions.

Another anti-vax acquaintance told me that at a demonstration in Winnipeg, the demonstrators were really police officers disguised as protesters, to give the cause a bad name. OH yes, right. For the first time, I see Fox “News” is available not on cable but on a local channel. This is all terrifying. The US far right, the Trumpers, are here. Their money is here. Let’s not even think about Ukraine and the thousand other things politicians should be dealing with, as these bullies throw a tantrum that paralyzes our country. How sad that, speaking of weaponizing, they’ve weaponized our flag.

A smart friend told me she doesn’t think the protests are about mandates at all, but about income inequality, by a group in society who feel unjustly marginalized and rudderless. A good point; I can see that. 

The sun is shining. It’s bitterly cold, but the sun is shining. Let me hang onto the feeling of that warmth on my face, as the world disintegrates.

Just picked up the manuscript. 116 pages. Now, full of trepidation, to read. Thank God for work, and words. 



4 Responses to “trying to talk to an anti-vaxxer – sigh”

  1. Trevor says:

    Hi Beth – my two cents (from an expatriate Canadian who became a Canadian when PET was prime minister – declaration of bias) – Justin's father didn't play nice either. There are A-holes in every society, doesn't matter how nice the society – we need to be aware and to not be naive. I share your views. Look forward to reading your essays

  2. beth says:

    I just heard Carol Off wonder if this was Justin's "Just watch me" moment. It's about time! I will put you on my list of beta-readers, Trevor. Thanks!

  3. theresa says:

    I heard a doctor say that he wished we'd called the rules around Covid "protections" rather than "restrictions". They made — and make — sense to me and although of course I wish for travel again and dinner parties and unlimited concerts, etc., I am entirely willing to listen to those we've tasked with analyzing information and working to keep us as safe as possible. The convoys, though — what exactly are they protesting? The whole thing seems to be about toppling the government and if they'd paid attention in social studies classes or civics classes, they'd know that there are ways to change governments. It takes work. It takes concerted effort. It takes patience and resolve. It almost never involves honking horns for days in downtown Ottawa and burning fuel in a climate emergency.I've been waiting for real action from the federal government and I hope this works. I'm behind it 100%.

  4. beth says:

    Agree totally, Theresa. Obviously we've all had disagreements with friends before, but this time we're staring across what seems to be an impassible canyon. "Protections" – brilliant.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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