‘We had an election in Canada on Monday. Did anything change?
‘Nope,’ Camp said, ‘the same proportion of seats, the same liberal minority government, the same lackluster response from the voters. A $ 650 million cabinet shuffle as somebody said. Nobody got what they wanted: Definitely not Trudeau who wanted a majority, not the conservatives whose leader is at best a lacklustre opportunist with no plan and not the greens who lost seats and votes.’
We sipped our cold bears and reclined in the comfy new chairs in our usual corner.
‘You know what puzzles me Camp, is that we don’t treat those who are diagnosed with covid and prevent them from ending up in hospital or dead. Why is there no therapy or medication for those suffering from the virus? All they tell us is: go home and wait it out for two weeks. Nothing is offered to ease the suffering or treat the symptoms.’
‘You’ve been watching old U-tube videos promoting cures with hydroxychloroquine and favipiramir and claims of natural herd immunity as the way through this pandemic?
‘Well yes, I guess you’re right. The latest craze is this horse de-wormer. Desperate solutions for the misguided and ignorant.’
‘The bottom line is: there is no cure for the cold, the flu and other viral infections like covid and antibiotics don’t work since viruses are not lifeforms like bacteria. There are only preventative measures like social distancing, hand hygiene and masks and finally several vaccines. They’re the only way to hold the virus at bay, as the vast body of evidence and statistics from hospitals and centres for disease control bears out. Herd immunity will eventually be achieved when enough people have been vaccinated and recovered from covid. Ironically, the immune will also protect the unvaccinated.’
‘Many of those opposed to the vaccines see themselves as victims of discrimination,’ I said, knowing that this would get Camp’s attention.
‘This is the latest and most despicable form of self-delusion. The vaccines are a public health measure and neither they nor the virus discriminates against creed, religion, race or sexual orientation. It’s not worth discussing, it’s so disrespectful and myopic.’
‘Will the pandemic ever be over?’
‘Yes, we will get over this but it might take a few years and change everything from education, healthcare and mobility. This virus has already caused a paradigm shift; made many people more reserved, suspicious and wary. Administrative and management work has shifted to home offices as well as schooling. Many parents don’t send their young kids to school if they can teach them at home.’
‘And travel has become so much more cumbersome and uncomfortable. Between tests, vaccination certificate authentication and required quarantines, international travel has become a lot less attractive. Clare and I are even contemplating staying home this winter. Not something I’m looking forward to. We’re also checking out places like the Azores for a get-away since our usual winter destination – Grenada – is now in the midst of an uncontrolled Delta outbreak, thanks to the mostly unvaccinated and superstitious population.’
‘What about individual rights and self-management? Many people don’t trust the governments and see the vaxx-certificates as just another level of control and oversight,’ I said.
‘Don’t do it for yourself, do it for the community.’
‘Are you in favour of a universal vaccine mandate?’
‘Absolutely. All the restrictions are only still necessary because a minority segment of the population refuses to step up for the greater good an overload our hospitals and health systems.’
The vaccine is a public health measure which should apply to all.’
‘Yes, and those same people have no problem getting their young kids inoculated against mumps, tb, small pox, measles etc. and they use seatbelts and don’t smoke in public places. They use passports, health cards, IDs, credit and membership cards, smart phones and social media without hesitation. If you really want to be off the grid you need to move into a cave with a shoebox full of cash and throw away all gadgets, plastic cards and electronic devises, don’t drive a vehicle or pay taxes, don’t use health services or shop at the same places and most of all don’t talk to anybody who might ask awkward questions.’
‘I’m not concerned that all my activities from shopping to drinking beer are recorded and accessible because nobody is interested in us.’
‘Will that be cash or plastic?’ Vicky asked when she brought around the bill.
‘I’ve got some cash,’ Camp said, digging in his wallet. It’s been here for months but today seems like a good day to spend it.