By Douglas Far­row on Sep­tem­ber 10, 2021N

Play­ing on fears, bri­bing and thre­ate­ning to pro­du­ce com­plian­ce is unconscionable


Dear Alber­ta Pre­mier Jason Kenney,


I’m sor­ry to be so frank to a man whom I admi­red for a long time and from whom I expec­ted good things.

I con­fess that in youn­ger days, when shut­tling betwe­en the Koote­nays and Cal­ga­ry, I tho­ught of Alber­tans main­ly as people who cor­ne­red too slow­ly on moun­ta­in roads. But I lear­ned, par­tly from you, that I must think much more of them than that.

At the moment, howe­ver, I’m strug­gling to make sen­se of your dri­ving. You seem to be spin­ning your limo in circ­les, making us all dizzy.

Back on May Day, when “Alber­ta is open for busi­ness” rever­ted to “Alber­ta is in lock­down,” I made a few notes to myself. By your government’s figu­res, the­re were acti­ve COVID-19 cases – not to be con­fu­sed with sick people, tho­ugh a few sick people the­re were – in eve­ry pro­vin­cial zone, at a testing pro­por­tion of 10 per cent. Of tho­se who had posi­ti­ve PCR results (which aren’t worth much in real terms), the­re were only 2.9 per cent in care and 0.7 per cent in inten­si­ve care. Of the­se, the vast majo­ri­ty were elder­ly or suf­fe­ring mul­ti­ple comorbidities.

Some 60 per cent of deaths in the pro­vin­ce had taken pla­ce insi­de long-term care units – whe­re, as we are now disco­ve­ring, mali­cio­us, even mur­de­ro­us, pro­to­cols were used in some juris­dic­tions (not in yours, I hope) at the very out­set of the pan­de­mic – and most of the others who died were also in the advan­ced-age category.

Your govern­ment – which by then had more than a year to cre­ate addi­tio­nal inten­si­ve care faci­li­ties it might need, at far less expen­se than lock­downs and with none of the col­la­te­ral dama­ge – had not done so, despi­te con­stant fus­sing abo­ut over­whel­med hospi­tals that (aga­in by your own figu­res) were not actu­al­ly overwhelmed.

Inste­ad, it deter­mi­ned that Alber­ta must rejo­in the para­de of pro­vin­ces that, rather than quaran­ti­ning tho­se who are genu­ine­ly sick, pre­fer­red to quaran­ti­ne eve­ry­one: an oxy­mo­ro­nic notion, medi­cal­ly and tac­ti­cal­ly absurd, as others poin­ted out to you. More­over, Alber­ta would per­sist in its dra­co­nian efforts to sup­press resi­stan­ce and incar­ce­ra­te its leaders.

What was true in Alber­ta was also true here in Quebec, whe­re I fol­lo­wed the offi­cial num­bers even more clo­se­ly. The cho­ice not to expand ICU capa­ci­ty dra­ma­ti­cal­ly had obvio­us impli­ca­tions in both pla­ces. Either the govern­ment didn’t real­ly belie­ve it was neces­sa­ry, in which case it was lying abo­ut the seve­ri­ty of the COVID thre­at; or it sup­po­sed the with­dra­wal of civil liber­ties, the lap­sing of routi­ne medi­cal care, and the destruc­tion of the eco­no­my more tole­ra­ble than allo­wing that tho­se extra beds might be neces­sa­ry; or it was wor­king to some dif­fe­rent agen­da altogether.

The first and the third of the­se options are ful­ly com­pa­ti­ble, of cour­se, whi­le the second sim­ply beg­gars belief. The low mor­ta­li­ty rate, the cate­go­ries in which deaths were occur­ring, and the futi­li­ty – nay, the destruc­ti­ve­ness and bru­ta­li­ty – of the “emer­gen­cy” measu­res being taken convin­ced me that the third requ­ired much more attention.

Sum­mer arri­ved and the inma­tes of Alberta’s pro­vin­ce­wi­de quaran­ti­ne camp soon rece­ived back from your govern­ment a few of the­ir rights in the form of tem­po­ra­ry pri­vi­le­ges, tho­ugh you didn’t call them that in your Open for Sum­mer pro­gram. Autumn is not quite here and tho­se pri­vi­le­ges are alre­ady being with­drawn. My May Day musings thus beca­me Labo­ur Day musings, which sug­ge­sts a review of the statistics.

At the begin­ning of May, Alber­ta had 21,385 acti­ve cases, 632 hospi­ta­li­za­tions, with 151 in inten­si­ve care. And at the begin­ning of Sep­tem­ber? The­re are 13,495 such cases, only 515 hospi­ta­li­za­tions, with 118 in inten­si­ve care. In the few fatal cases, the ave­ra­ge age at death is still in the 80s, as it has been all along.

I don’t need to tell you that people do tend to pass away in the­ir 80s, if nothing takes them ear­lier. I’m sure I also don’t need to tell you that in Cana­da for many weeks now the COVID mor­ta­li­ty rate per 100,000 people has been sit­ting at or near zero. In other words, almost no one is dying, direc­tly or even indi­rec­tly, from COVID. Mean­whi­le, more than 70 per cent of Alber­tans over 12 years of age are ful­ly vaccinated.

But there’s the rub. The acti­ve case num­ber has drop­ped near­ly 40 per cent, as one would expect over the sum­mer, whi­le serio­us cases requ­iring hospi­ta­li­za­tion and some­ti­mes inten­si­ve care have come down by more than 20 per cent. The gene­ral infec­tion rate is rela­ti­ve­ly sta­ble. Most who are infec­ted bare­ly know it, if inde­ed they do know it. What will hap­pen this win­ter rema­ins to be seen.

Why then this latest 180-degree turn?

I will tell you why, or at least I will tell others why. It’s neces­sa­ry in order to obscu­re the fact that the so-cal­led vac­ci­nes are having very lit­tle posi­ti­ve effect and, as evi­den­ce from else­whe­re sug­ge­sts, may even be having a nega­ti­ve effect. Nega­ti­ve not in the sen­se that they are capa­ble of pro­du­cing serio­us adver­se reac­tions and deaths even among tho­se who were not at risk from COVID – some­thing govern­ments can’t deny but are not keen to admit – but rather in the sen­se that they don’t work very well at pre­ven­ting infec­tion and, in the most vul­ne­ra­ble, suf­fe­ring or even death. When the num­bers climb aga­in in the win­ter, this will beco­me appa­rent even to tho­se who have not yet noticed.

Tho­se who were pay­ing atten­tion alre­ady suspec­ted that. The much vaun­ted 85-to-95 per cent risk reduc­tion from ear­ly stu­dies of cer­ta­in of the­se mRNA tre­at­ments was only rela­ti­ve risk reduc­tion; abso­lu­te risk reduc­tion was clo­ser to on per cent, sin­ce most people aren’t at risk in the first pla­ce. But even the for­mer holds good only for a few weeks or mon­ths, unli­ke natu­ral­ly acqu­ired immu­ni­ty, which ordi­na­ri­ly is good for life.

Hen­ce the need for regu­lar booster shots, of which the autho­ri­ties were awa­re from the out­set. Did Pri­me Mini­ster Justin Tru­de­au not order or take options on sup­plies suf­fi­cient to jab each Cana­dian 10 times? In point of fact there’s no such thing as being ful­ly vac­ci­na­ted. There’s only such a thing as having been jab­bed as often as pre­sen­tly demanded.

What we didn’t know when orders were being pla­ced is how much dama­ge the­se jabs would do to the­ir reci­pients. We know more abo­ut that now and the sta­ti­stics aren’t at all pret­ty. No other pro­duct has ever survi­ved such adver­se event num­bers or been deploy­ed any­way with such deter­mi­na­tion, such despe­ra­tion – despi­te the low fata­li­ty rate of the patho­gen. And there’s much yet to find out abo­ut the­ir long-term effects, as people are her­ded back into the cli­nics and cubic­les eve­ry few mon­ths for yet ano­ther booster to the­ir new­ly acqu­ired arti­fi­cial immu­ne system.

But all this must be cove­red up. Sta­ti­stics aren’t being pro­per­ly kept and whe­re kept aren’t being pro­per­ly dis­se­mi­na­ted. Some hospi­tals are chan­ging refer­rals that men­tion possi­ble vac­ci­ne inju­ry to eli­de that pre­li­mi­na­ry dia­gno­sis. Autop­sies that ought to be done aren’t being done. Into the urns sym­bo­li­cal­ly pre­sent on Alberta’s sta­ti­sti­cal sum­ma­ry page all that evi­den­ce disap­pe­ars for good. Emer­gen­cy wor­kers, nur­ses, phy­si­cians and spe­cia­li­sts who insist on poin­ting out vac­ci­ne inju­ries, or who refu­se to be vac­ci­na­ted, are being disci­pli­ned or dismis­sed. Others, after honest questio­ning, are bemu­sed to the point whe­re they har­dly know what to think or say.

You, I now see, have resor­ted to the most calum­nio­us of cove­rups. You’ve taken up the nar­ra­ti­ve that was pre­pa­red for just this even­tu­ali­ty and is now in use inter­na­tio­nal­ly. You have sca­pe­go­ated the unvac­ci­na­ted, espe­cial­ly the young, as if they were the sour­ce of all the­se pro­blems and as if the­ir very exi­sten­ce justi­fied your harsh actions.

This nar­ra­ti­ve that we now face “a pan­de­mic of the unvac­ci­na­ted” is based on no scien­ce what­so­ever. It’s evi­dent in still more high­ly-vac­ci­na­ted coun­tries, from Isra­el to Ice­land, that the virus spre­ads among and betwe­en the vac­ci­na­ted. But by inces­sant pro­pa­gan­da, by coer­ci­ve measu­res, by cash awards such as you’ve just anno­un­ced, the pro­spect of over­co­ming this coro­na­vi­rus as we over­co­me others – by weathe­ring the storm thro­ugh robust natu­ral immu­ni­ty – is disappearing.

At some level, the­re seems to be a gene­ral inkling of that. Why other­wi­se would people rema­in so fearful?

Pla­in­ly they don’t trust the very tre­at­ments they’re taking to pro­tect them­se­lves, and in the­ir pro­pa­gan­di­zed sta­te they’re quite wil­ling to turn on tho­se who haven’t seen fit to fol­low the­ir own exam­ple. Play­ing on tho­se fears to pro­du­ce com­plian­ce is uncon­scio­na­ble. Bri­bing people to pro­du­ce com­plian­ce is uncon­scio­na­ble. Thre­ate­ning people is uncon­scio­na­ble. Coer­ci­ve man­da­tes are immo­ral and uncon­sti­tu­tio­nal. Even con­ti­nu­ing to appro­ve the­se pro­ducts is deeply pro­ble­ma­tic, at moral and legal levels.

Of the pri­ma­ry means now being deploy­ed to coer­ce vac­ci­na­tion, the so-cal­led vac­ci­ne pas­sport, it’s quite obvio­us that the who­le exer­ci­se, from start to finish, has as its goal the pas­sport sys­tem. That’s why it has been pedal to the metal and the whe­el hard left on this diz­zy­ing drive.

Recen­tly you began intro­du­cing Alber­tans, very coy­ly, to the idea of a QR-coded socie­ty and a pas­sport sys­tem. You are, I fear, being quite disin­ge­nu­ous by sug­ge­sting it will be volun­ta­ry, pro­vi­ded only for tho­se who want it. You aren’t leading Alber­ta down any other path than the one being taken by your coun­ter­part in Bri­tish Colum­bia, by our pri­me mini­ster, and by the pre­miers of Onta­rio and of Quebec, which is well out in front of you.

Let Alber­tans query you very care­ful­ly on that! But I too have some questions for you.

In your pro­vin­ce, as in B.C., a few deran­ged or hate­ful people have respon­ded to misin­for­ma­tion abo­ut the resi­den­tial scho­ols by bur­ning chur­ches. To your cre­dit, you have cal­led that out as a com­ple­te­ly unac­cep­ta­ble respon­se. Yet you have thre­ate­ned to come after the unvac­ci­na­ted, in as yet unspe­ci­fied ways. You’ve alre­ady defa­ced dis­sen­ting chur­ches with fen­ces and locks. You’re stan­ding by whi­le people lose the­ir liber­ties and live­li­ho­ods. What kind of exam­ple are you set­ting? When the sca­pe­go­ating gets out of hand, when people start van­da­li­zing or bur­ning the homes or chur­ches of the unvac­ci­na­ted, will you accept any respon­si­bi­li­ty for that?

Wha­te­ver the real reasons for the gro­wing tyran­ny in the West – pan­de­mics, thro­ugh which many of us have lived befo­re, are not the reason but only the excu­se – we would like to be told hone­stly abo­ut them. We would like to have a hand in sha­ping solu­tions to the pro­blems that tyrants and tech­no­crats think they alo­ne sho­uld solve. We would like to be at liber­ty to get on with our lives as best we can. We wish to be free.

Mr. Ken­ney, what I say to you I say to all our poli­ti­cal leaders: Your poli­cy dough­nuts on the tar­mac of our daily lives are an outra­ge for which you will be held acco­un­ta­ble. Don’t mista­ke us for fools. Not only do we gra­te at the dama­ge you’re doing us, we reco­gni­ze that a smo­ke­scre­en is being laid down for some­thing vastly more tro­ubling than a mere coronavirus.

Douglas Far­row is pro­fes­sor of The­olo­gy and Ethics at McGill Uni­ver­si­ty. He wri­tes here for the Haul­ta­in Rese­arch Institute.

Douglas is a Troy Media Tho­ught Leader. For inte­rview requ­ests, click here.

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