If I feel good about my parenting, I have no interest in judging other people’s choices. If I feel good about my body, I don’t go around making fun of other people’s weight or appearance. We’re hard on each other because we’re using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived deficiency.” – Brene Brown

 

Do you believe that another parent has a say in how you should raise your children? 

Do you believe that a governing body has the right to parent your children? 

 

Or do you know them best? 

 

In the past, most of you would never judge another parent for how they parented. What they fed to their kids, what they read to their kids, what religion they practiced, or even if they chose to have measles vaccines or not. Or at least, it was never a source of hate and encouraged punishment.

 

We are in a dangerous and fragile time of life. In a society where allegedly discrimination is no longer tolerated, vaccine mandates have given people an outlet for their frustration. An outlet where one group can establish dominance over a vaguely defined group of “others” without fear of reprisal or social ostracism. 

 

If you wouldn’t encourage homophobia, anti-abortion, transphobia, racism, sexism, ageism or any other kind of hateful “other-ing,” why would you encourage and applaud the punishment of parents. Parents losing their jobs. Their kids being kicked out of schools, kicked out of all activities, social activities and their lives in general. 

 

We are in a time where It is encouraged to shame people, punish them and ostracise them for their personal medical decisions. Their personal parenting decisions. Before you get angry and stop reading because you know where this is going,  please push on. There might be something you are missing. 

 

I work with many individuals, many parents, who have been shamed into silence and omitted from society because they choose to say no to these brand new vaccines. Some of them say not now. Some of them say never. Some of them have every single other childhood vaccine. Some of them have always said no to vaccines. There are many unique situations that require unique considerations.

 

I ask you here, when in history, was a single solitary medical procedure right and safe for 7 billion people without exemption? Without fault?  And believe me when I say there are no exemptions because I know many who are in that boat.

 

Many of you, most of you, have never looked deeply into this (some of you are in fact very well informed on both sides). The side that is choosing to wait or forgo these injections have very logical and practical reasons for saying no. And those reasons are not that they are selfish, uneducated or misinformed. 

 

I personally know many families who have experienced serious vaccine injuries. I know families with pre-existing health conditions who are not allowed to get exemptions. I know people here, locally, who have been hurt and who have been told to never share their stories with others. They are real.

 

The last two years have brought with it fear, anxiety and financial loss and this group of “others” have become the outlet to release this pain on. They are punished, and silenced and shamed. They are blamed.

 

“Blame has an inverse relationship with accountability. Accountability by definition is a vulnerable process..Blaming is one the reasons we miss our opportunities for empathy.” – Brene Brown

 

It’s not right. It’s not ethical or logical and it goes against everything in our Canadian Constitution. We have a spiritual duty to point out what is unjust and to fight for what is right. What is right always includes what is most compassionate. It’s a desire to seek out the middle path. To listen to all sides and seek to do no harm. 

 

Now back to parenting. Do you believe that we should punish parents for how they parent? Do you believe that the state knows best, or that the parent knows best? Do you believe that the state should dictate what people put in their bodies without exemption? 

 

People feel justified in hating and punishing the other because there is a belief there that their choices affect you, that they affect society. 

 

The argument that they need to vaccinate their kids, to protect your kids (or grandma or the world) does not hold up when you see that

 

  1. Statistically healthy children have a 0% chance of dying from covid (this is a BLESSING to be celebrated by the way)
  2. These vaccines do not prevent transmission and that is clear and written documentation from the CDC and our own Ontario Health Minister 

 

If the vaccines do not prevent transmission, and children will not end up in hospitals without it, then where is the justification for mandates and social shaming?

 

You know someone who died of covid?

They know someone who is vaccine injured.

You have someone in your house who is immune compromised?

They have a child who is immune compromised and in danger of both covid and the injection. 

 

This is not a black and white situation.

 

It is every parent’s right to choose what goes into their children’s bodies. That this is a personal medical decision and has no effect on public health when it comes to children as children are not a strain on the health care system when they get covid. That a non-immunizing vaccine does not justify mandates and passports. That social shaming and punishment of parents for being concerned for their children’s health is immoral and illogical. 

 

All children deserve to go to school and play. That it is not a “choice” when you take everything away from a child or force them to take something risky, in order to participate in society. 

 

That risk is up to each and every parent to determine for themselves. Every body, every family is uniquely different. And it goes both ways. If you are against vaccines, it is not up to you to judge those who  take it. 

 

Whether you took it, or didn’t take it, I respect your decision. 

If you can make your decision and create space for others to make their own, without hate, fear, blame or shame, then you are doing the “right thing.”

 

Remember that in the past two years there was a huge awakening and emphasis on inclusivity. On creating systems that deconstruct fear and hate and discrimination. We forgot tha here. We have given ourselves permission here, to discriminate without fear of reprisal. If we can remember our humanity, if we can remember that each and every individual has a very unique personal, spiritual, medical and historical situation…..then we can create room for empathy. Don’t let this pandemic take that away from you. If we’ve lost our humanity, we’ve lost everything. 

 

With grace and grit,

Karla Joy Treadway