In the last week or two, I have been watching on the news, footage of large, and at times, angry crowds, aggressively protesting in various cities across Canada, unhappy that they are being asked to get vaccinated in order to retain employment in some situations.
I’m a great proponent of the freedom to protest and the right to choose what one does with one’s body. These are rights that every citizen of a democratic country should have, and in Canada, they do. I cherish those rights for every one of us. I’m glad that the current protestors can be heard. It’s always good to know what your neighbour thinks, even if you choose to respectfully disagree with them. That way, working together, solutions can be found that may work for everyone.
But when I saw that healthcare professionals in certain BC health districts are being encouraged to not wear their scrubs on their way to work and to avoid having their hospital i.d.’s visible, in order to avoid any chance of being confronted by an aggressive protestor, I was taken aback.
For the past six years, I have worked with various healthcare groups as a volunteer patient partner/advisor to ensure that the patient’s point of view is always considered. Our goals are the same: to improve healthcare delivery for patients and to ensure a healthy environment for healthcare professionals delivering that healthcare.
Currently, I am part of a group trying to ensure better emergency care throughout our BC ER’s, the BC EM Network. I’ve been part of the team for almost five years. It is made up of ER physicians, nurses, researchers and other key support staff.
So when I see too many of the current protesters behaving in a mob-like manner at times, I immediately thought of this group of hardworking professionals. They help run, staff and support our BC ER’s, and as they are on their way to their workplaces, I would want them, as in the case of any healthcare worker, to not have to be concerned about accessing their workplaces. I think that it’s important that all of us realize that these are individuals trying their best, in these very complicated times, to deliver the healthcare that we all need and expect, when we, or our friends and families need it.
I feel frustrated that the voices of these protesters are only expressing one point of view, to the exclusion of the majority of Canadians. I thought: “how can I make sure that healthcare professionals everywhere, know that the majority of us support them? “. So I wrote this blog in order to express gratitude and support.
I want to thank all healthcare workers that continue to do their best to help us in such an unusually distressing time. A huge shout-out to all of you: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! We continue to support you.
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