Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry receives a dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Victoria last week. (Island Health photo)

LETTER – Dr. Henry’s vaccine photo op was wrong on many levels

Seeing the picture of Dr. Henry receiving the COVID-19 vaccine filled my heart with sadness and left me feeling even more discouraged and depressed – not happy.

Dr. Henry is a young and healthy woman, and although I have been grateful for her leadership in B.C. during the difficult times we face, there are many others who need to receive this vaccine first. Dr. Henry is not working on the front lines and risking getting this virus every day, as so many of our front line workers in our hospitals are. (And I do not mean just the doctors and nurses, I mean all the workers.)

I have friends who are going through cancer treatments, who are forced to use the hospital ( a COVID-19 vector) for treatments because public health can not work out how to move these extremely vulnerable people to a safer location to receive their treatments. I think these people deserve to receive vaccines first – don’t you?

I am not naive. I realize that many politicians, bureaucrats, and public health bureaucrats who do not work on the front lines will receive this vaccine, and already are getting vaccinated, before those I feel are far more deserving will ever see this vaccine. It is still wrong – just because it is being done, does not make it the right thing to do.

What about those who have to work, and make it possible for us to buy our groceries and fill our cars with gas? Are they ‘disposable’ too?

If we allow that it is OK for this kind of behavior to continue – can you imagine what it will be like if we experience an even more dangerous infectious disease? I would like to hope we can learn from our mistakes now, to be ready for the next time.

In an ideal world, healthy and not at-risk individuals who are offered a first chance to be vaccinated would refuse and insist that so many others who are at greater risk be vaccinated first.

This is one of the reasons I have little faith or trust in those in charge of all this -to really be there for us. Let’s take a holiday for Christmas and stop vaccinating, and let’s make sure those not in the same need get first vaccines – just because they think they get to come first.

In the meantime, we will (hopefully) keep doing the things we are being told to do. It is just common sense – to wear masks in all public places, practice social distancing, wash our hands frequently and do not gather in groups. Most of us will be lucky to see a vaccine by late summer or early fall.

Just an aside: thank you to the news and media outlets (even if too much sometimes) for the information they provide to us – at least we can figure out what people are doing because of this information.

Teresa Chaney,

Courtenay

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