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Rhino's Ramblings: Passports, masks and madness

An opinion piece about vaccine passports from Robert Thomas

Whether we like it or not the vaccine passports or I suppose I should say proof of vaccination is now upon us.

And you guessed it already the controversy is engulfing the community.

There are businesses who are telling me - restaurants mostly - how devastating the proof of vaccination requirements have been on their establishments.
People are staying away in droves when it comes to providing proof of being vaccinated.

Some of it is out of fear but for others it is a semi-organized backlash aimed at punishing Premier Scott Moe.

It is an unofficial but also semi-organized boycott where since they cannot eat inside at a table they are neither ordering curbside or delivery.

I have had more than a couple people tell me they feel bad it is hurting businesses, including their favorite restaurants, but once a few businesses go under and the economy begins to crash then Premier Moe will "finally listen to the majority."

I have heard some sit down restaurant owners saying their business has dropped by 30 - 40 percent.

While people at the fast food chains - where no proof of vaccination is required - tell me their business is noticeably up since the vaccination requirements came into effect.

One popular sit down restaurant had four customers for Sunday breakfast while the weekend before there was a line-up to sit down.

For the sit down restaurants, who were seeing a ray of hope over the Summer, and slowly getting their staff back, there must be a worry of laying their staff off again.

Some staff of one of the popular restaurant chains told me despite their not requiring to ask for vaccination proof the level of rudeness they endure is growing even more than when masks were re-mandated.

They simply take it and ignore the anger aimed their way.

In reality all they are doing is their jobs according to government policies but they are taking the brunt of it.

More than a few staffers tell me they want to find other jobs and quit.

"Pour your own effing coffee Sir," is the underlying feeling. But at least the restaurant workers are polite about it.

Others are telling me the entire vaccine passport policy makes no sense in so many other areas.

For example you can go into [some grocery stores] and run around spreading germs for hours but God help you if you want to enter the liquor store portion to buy a bottle of wine to cook with.

As you need a vaccine passport to enter.

While others tell me a person must prove they are vaccinated to enter the Yara Centre's fitness centre but you don't need a vaccination passport nor a mask to put on your bathing suit and exercise at the indoor pool.

None of it seems to make any sense and people tell me the numbers of people going out is dropping.

The anti-vaxxers or those who question the validity of the vaccine are way beyond totally angered.

Many are to the level of actually actively talking about resorting to force to stop what they believe is fascism.

They even had a secret unannounced rally here locally a couple of weeks ago with hundreds in attendance.

The pushback is strong, it is real and it is growing.

While those on the vaccinated side of the issue are likewise concerned about the restrictions seemingly half hearted approach.

Other people I know point to the seemingly "stupidest thing they ever heard of" rules when it comes to COVID and the schools.

A policy where a not fully vaccinated student who has been in close contact with someone who is contagious must isolate themselves from the community.

But at the same time they are suppose to be in community isolation they are allowed to attend in-person classes. So long as they self monitor.

As one parent told me all that is doing is potentially spreading the virus more in the schools.

Another parent pointed out to me the policy is proof positive the virus is really just a hoax.

And this is how the government is forcing kids to be vaccinated - by ostracizing them and taking away their extra-curricular programs.

Then there is this one from a local care home where they finally did a tally of residents' and their staff's vaccination status.
Out of the residents there are two people who are not vaccinated but they stay in and eat in their rooms.

But the shocking part is nine staff are at this time not vaccinated. And they are free to wander throughout the facility.

Now the staff have been told to be vaccinated within the next few weeks or they will be let go.

But here is the kicker; if all nine decide not to be vaccinated the care home has no idea where they can find replacements. A job fair is planned.

And it is not just in care homes.

I know of home care workers who likewise are not fully vaccinated and are on a daily basis going into the homes of those who are the most susceptible to the virus.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority Is just now trying to determine the vaccination status of their staff.

Or what about Saskatoon's mayor Charlie Clark asking for gathering restrictions based upon public health officials’ recommendations and the Premier turning him down?

Acting Mayor Dawn Luhning has said at more than one council meeting SUMA's City Mayor's caucus has been discussing what is coming COVID wise, so where is Moose Jaw's letter and plea to Premier Moe?

I will try to ask the question remotely this coming Tuesday.

The system is a total mess it seems.

But there are greater worries out in the community.

Business owners on the retail front who have a great hidden fear they will soon have to ask for proof of vaccination.

How do they enforce it? How do they keep up staff morale in the all too predictable backlash to follow?

What happens if shoppers then stay home during the all-important Christmas buying season?

My guess is local retailers are starting to fear if people start staying at home they are more prone to shop Amazon.

My one neighbor is now even buying most of his non-perishable foods off Amazon.

They tell me it is often cheaper than the local flyer sales and offers free delivery to their front door.

It is something I am not prepared to do.

That is the uncertainty this Fourth Wave has brought to me.

The world seems to be full of so many contradictions.

As one person told me, who is fully vaccinated and pro-mask, what needs to be done is the first person who complains in a restaurant they aren't asking to see vaccination passports needs to have 60 people beat that person up and then throw them naked in a ditch.

It leaves me thinking where are the Good Samaritans anymore? Has kindness finally fled humanity?

Do I dare ask people- Please Be Kind?

It is a very strange world out there in the New Normal.

One seemingly full of division, contradiction and more than a healthy dose of insanity.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.