Counterpoint: Ottawans are waiting for their shot to resume a normal life

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The past few weeks have been difficult for this Ottawan who has lived happily in Cornwall for almost eight years.

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Watching daily coverage from the city where I was born, raised and raised has been mind-boggling. A group of people – almost all of whom seem to be honest, hard-working people – have managed to get co-opted by some of the worst fringe elements in our society, under the false pretense of “FREEDOM!!” [insert blaring truck horn here] It is a challenge to watch from afar.

The more I see, the more I read, the more I let it all get to me, the more convinced I am that it’s time for these licensed whiners to pack up and let Ottawans get back to their daily routines. Yes, titled, selfishly, are the best descriptors I can think of for those who led this siege, as well as those who accompanied the journey, supported and defended those still in Ottawa.

They drank the Kool-Aid, to the point that when faced with compelling evidence of the actions of a select few such as racist symbols, defacing of statues, desecration of the National War Memorial, harassment of residents, vandalism of public and private property, etc., they skip the part where they denounce what any reasonable person would consider unacceptable behavior and come to attacking the messenger and the credibility of the evidence.

As if what happens in Ottawa is limited exclusively to what they personally witness, or what those whose opinions they share witness to. As if the problem was the rest of us not seeing the love in those who clean up after a few idiots or stage street hockey games outside Parliament. As if it is not possible to condemn those who deserve to be condemned while recognizing that this is not a general statement.

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  1. Some of the crowd estimated at more than 200 people in St. Andrews West, welcoming and sending convoy participants.  Photo taken Saturday, January 29, 2022 in St. Andrews West, Ont. Todd Hambleton/Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network

    Point: People think this moment is a chance to have a normal life

  2. A warm start for the truckers on a very chilly morning.  Pictured on Saturday, January 29, 2022 in Cornwall, Ont. Todd Hambleton/Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network

    Opinion: The kettle was overflowing with pandemic anger on Saturday

Claims it’s finally democracy at work; of a silent majority finally liberated? Barely.

Opponents of the pandemic, its restrictions, vaccinations, etc., have never lacked oxygen, space, ink, pixels and other opportunities to speak out. Some of these opportunities were provided by this very publication, as we covered actions and events in our communities.

Their sense of entitlement fuels their insatiable need to be the ones who scream louder than anyone else, until they’re the only voices you hear, or the need for sanity leads to restrictions. who suppress all voices in order to reduce the volume of their own.

It’s not the majority. These are not the actions of the majority, for the true majority are those of us who have endured quietly.

While those who went to Ottawa threw a party they still don’t want to end at the cost of disruption and continued harassment of Ottawa residents (including the most vulnerable among them), you know what the true majority? In sufficient numbers to prove that the “freedom” convoy is in the minority?

Get vaccinated, and from the end of this same weekend, start supporting the companies most affected by this pandemic. In their daily lives, with every bit of freedom, one has the right to claim when their actions can infect and hurt others. My media colleague, John Michael McGrath of TVO, said it well when he wrote on February 1 that while, at most, less than 20,000 people were speaking and moving freely in Ottawa on the weekend Last weekend, almost 160,000 lined up to get a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. .

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In our region ? Since January 28, 10,419 people have received a dose of vaccine in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region, a number that is several times higher than any estimate of those who participated in or supported the convoy. of January 29, or the other convoy of February 5. .

Pandemic fatigue is real, and the impacts on our young people, their education, and our collective mental health are happening before our eyes and will continue to be seen for at least a generation. Those who support these occupiers? Many do not see their support as enabling these impacts to continue.

They want to be seen as heroes and saviors. They will want to take credit when the already planned and announced changes to the current restrictions are eased and hopefully lifted later this year.

Don’t let them.

Life will settle into its new normal because of those who have endured quietly, not the actions of a minority of whiners.

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