As advertised, Saturday’s (November 21) “freedom” protest was hosted by local organizer Caitlyn Richer and promoters at The Line Canada.
Duly masked, I attended the rally portion with 5 or 6 other masked observers. Speakers, organizers and protesters totalled a crowd of @150 people. As per Caitlyn Richer’s observation: many of our “local protesters” were “from out of town”. Why?
In her opening comments, Caitlyn Richer looked at us 5-6 “masked” observers and cautioned her protesters to not “engage with the antagonists. That’s what they want” “we’ll let the police deal with it”. I almost fainted from the drama! (Not).
Ms. Richer’s 8-minute long “about me” intro, included a long list of those she was fighting forincluding vets and others in LTC homes, those dying alone, oppressed nurses who stay silent to keep their jobs, children mistreated by teachers and peers who are not allowing exemptions, police officers who must uphold mandates that violate the Canadian Charter of Rights, PTSD sufferers who are reacting to fear, small businesses who are suffering etc. She concluded that these tribulations were all happening due to “the risk of catching a cold with a 99% survival rate”.
Ms. Richer fails to grasp the bigger picture: Covid-19 is not a cold or flu. Many survivors experience long-term health difficulties. Every death represents many more patients hospitalized, to be cared for by medical personnel. When health systems are overloaded things like surgeries, treatments and cancer screenings get cancelled, resulting in more deaths.
Fact: According to the CDC: “The World Health Organization estimates that 1 billion people worldwide get the flu every year” with “290,000 to 650,000”people dying of flu-related causes. Mortality rate: 0.029% -0.065%. In 10 months of spread, Covid-19 has resulted in 58,958,399 reported cases and 1,393,138 deaths. Mortality rate: @2.36%.
At 13, Phoenix Scott was arguably the best public speaker of the lot. She spoke sincerely about her kid-run program “Project Phoenix”; helping the hungry and cold with donations of food, clothing and other necessities. While I found her charming, I couldn’t help but feel that she is a tool used by the protest organizers to illustrate their civic mindedness and good intentions.
From Stand up Canada, Paula Tucci spent 10-15 minutes educating us about our “God Given” civil rights as laid out by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. She claimed that we are “under attack from our own government” but offered no proof. Stand up Canada is a brand new “civil rights” group whose sole focus is Covid-19 issues. What civil rights experience do they have? Did they exist at all before Covid-19? Why should I listen to her? “God”, “God-given” and “God Bless” comments peppered her speech.
The “God is on our side” claim is the ultimate endorsement grab that regularly paves the way for oppressive tyrants, chauvinistic “leaders” and war-mongers. Our Charter of Rights is a social contract drawn up by human beings. As a friend noted: “Thou shall have a Charter of Rights wasn’t in the bible”.
Randy Hillier, the MPP from Kingston, (up for re-election in spring 2022), began by noting that the Standard Freeholder had not asked for his comments and he concluded: “like every other mainstream media” it is a “propaganda machine for Covid”. And yet, less than 2 weeks ago Caitlyn Richer praised the factual reporting in the Freeholder: “Thank God there are a few reporters who take their job seriously and can actually write a decent article with factual points”. What changed? Perhaps a letter to the editor in the Freeholder?
Hillier focused on the pain experienced by those who are kept apart because of sanitary measures: “people who were full of dread and fear and terror and anguish over not being allowed to commemorate the life of a loved one who has passed away.”
Later, he sought to educate us while dismissing the seriousness of Covid-19 “…it shares about 80% of the same properties as every other coronavirus; including the common cold. But somehow this coronavirus was mystical, it was powerful, it was super, it was a Supervirus. It could be transmitted by people who weren’t infectious. It could be communicated through glass windows. Asymptomatic people were a danger to us all. And we took on these magical properties of this Supervirus. And we said it was unlike any other coronavirus.”
The long and winding road of Mr. Hillier’s comments sidesteps the fact that Covid-19 itself is a new virus that we have no immunity to. Covid-19 is spread by people who have it, even if they are asymptomatic.
Surrounded by cries of “Yeah!” “Hear Hear!” “Right On!”, I don’t believe they were actually listening.
Last but not least, we heard from Pastor Henry Hildebrandt of the fundamentalist Church of God in Aylmer, On. His statement “..no way [he’s] gonna close the church! You’ll have to fine me!; you’ll have to handcuff me!; me and God are pretty powerful you see”, highlights his fear that the government will close his church. I see no persecution here. The government is not preventing anyone from praying to any God they choose. But for the moment, do it safely; at home, via online services or in the drive through church model popular in the 1950s. (He is not the founder of this as he asserts).
He concludes his comments with “Jesus went out of town, where the contagious folks were. He went there without a mask!”
I believe the “contagious” were lepers. Hm.. I wonder. How infectious IS leprosy?
Well! According to the CDC : “Prolonged, close contact with someone with untreated leprosy over many months is needed to catch the disease.”
Protesters are spreading their many fears including a global conspiracy to depopulate the planet, forced vaccinations, government control through citizen panic or micro-chipping (via vaccination). These are fears with no credible facts to back them up. Even at the best of times, countries and governments don’t agree, how could a global conspiracy even happen?! Forced vaccinations – I doubt it. As for controlling populations, if you have a cell phone and a computer and if you’re on social media “they” already do.
In conclusion: “Sheeple” is an intended insult lobbed back and forth between sides. In reality, we are all “sheeple”. At the risk of sounding biblical, we simply follow different shepherds. I prefer mine to be educated, informed and cautious.