Wants alternatives

Dear Editor:

RE: “Fears for terminated staff,” Nov. 25.

The publishing of Joy Lippai’s bold, compassionate letter has re-ignited the divisive COVID-19 conversation.

The word “choice” is used by both sides. But where choice is truly needed is in making it possible for everyone to participate.  Where are the optional ways to contribute to what is a communal and urgent effort? Masking, distancing, daily testing should be an alternative.

None of us are identical.  Particularly as we move through life, our bodies, with their physical sensitivities and experiences all have different life histories. I know many people who are not “anti-vaxxers” as such, but who will not, or feel they cannot, in good conscience, take the vaccine themselves for personal and possibly very valid reasons that are not for some removed third party to judge .

  Most of these people would happily test regularly or obtain a home test-kit to use daily were one easily available. Nobody wants to be ill or to die, or to cause grief and affliction to another. Why should anyone with years of professional experience, in any field, be compelled to leave gainful employment without an optional way to contribute to a social cause?

Ostracizing people from public, community and cultural events  that may be part of their life-passion and livelihood is equivalent to a badly behaving schoolyard.

Where are all the alternatives to make it possible for unique individuals  (which we all are) to take part?  If 80% of the population become vaccinated and wish to take frequent booster shots, great!  They are doing their part in the “orchestra” of life. Another 15% to 20% of the nation’s people may be willing to go regularly to a fixed testing depot (and to socially isolate when and if needed). That’s great too! Others might wish to choose an affordable home test-kit. That  becomes their contribution. They are playing their part.

I appreciated the perspectives of all four responses, particularly those of Wayne Baker and the cautions he expressed regarding civil liberties.

We speak often these days about embracing diversity and of “allowing people to walk their own paths.” We need alternatives to a vaccine passport. We need to have other passport “stamps” or “designations” of safety measures willingly taken.

In a situation such as this pandemic, far more important than quibbles of who is right or wrong, are forward-moving results.  Socially respectful results.

Bronwen Stanley-Jones,