This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 novel coronavirus. (CDC photo)

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 novel coronavirus. (CDC photo)

LETTER: Questions keeping Fort Langley woman from getting vaccine

Local letter writer says health-care workers not scared of the COVID virus

Dear Editor,

I admit it. I was a rote-learner for almost 30 years. I regurgitated whatever the school wanted because it pleased my teachers or authorities.

And then in my 30s something changed – my health. It took a bit of digging, but I discovered that the food I had been told to eat – low-fat, high carbohydrate – was making me ill. I changed my diet and my lifestyle in order to improve my quality of life – it worked well and I have sustained it since. The realisation that not everything I had been told was necessarily correct led me to begin – what educators for the last two decades have encouraged – asking questions.

Which has led me to a rather precarious position in the current social climate. For those with blinkers on and not of the question-asking variety, I suggest you move along to the next article. For those who recognise that asking questions is how we improve and progress as a society, keep reading:

In the last week or more there have been protests held outside hospitals denouncing vaccine mandates. These protests in the mainstream media have been portrayed as “bullying”, “violent” and “selfish” (I do have questions over the mainstream media’s use of headline-grabbing language the past two years, but I won’t go there).

And yet no mention of the fact that the protests were in support of medical staff (you know “front-line workers”) whose jobs are threatened by vaccine mandates, who – having been witness to all this past year of “COVID horror” – do not want to take the vaccine. That’s right – they are not scared of the virus.

Next query: Since COVID cropped up 18 months ago 168,325 people in B.C. (as of 3 Sept. 2021) have knowingly caught this virus – from a population of 4.9 million (that’s 3.5 per cent of the population catching this highly contagious virus). Of those cases 1,827 people have unfortunately died (1.1 per cent of overall cases). Of those 1,827 deaths more than 80 per cent have been in the over-65 age group – or in those with co-morbidities, in particular obesity or metabolic syndrome.

I am not a statistician – these are numbers directly from B.C. updates. (I would love to get accurate case numbers of the flu in the community in the past but usually we all knew it was the flu and just suffered at home until it passed; I think of the kids at school who in 2019 had more than half the class off sick with the flu… and yet with all that increased hand-washing my kids have hardly been sick at all the past 20 months).

A person over the age of 60 who has not taken intentional steps to better improve immune health may be at risk of more severe COVID symptoms. I can see taking the vaccine might be a smart bet in that case.

What about those who are obese or with metabolic syndrome? Could we, say, mandate that they be denied access to sugar and excessive amounts of carbs? Could we mandate that they move their bodies outside more to get their lymph systems moving to improve immune health (and mental health)?

Could we mandate that all individuals take a minimum amount of Vitamin D through the year so they are not deficient (you won’t read it much but vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased illness from COVID)?

Am I convincing you enough that the word “mandate” should be used with great caution? Yet I see and read little in mainstream media which tells us of easy, natural ways to improve our immune health – to stave off not just COVID but any other of the many scary bugs lurking on our countertops or in enclosed spaces.

Another query: In just the past two weeks information from Israel (one of the first countries to get the majority of their population vaccinated) has emerged which clearly shows the antibodies prompted by the vaccine decline considerably after six months.

This contrasts with those people who did not get vaccinated but had previously been infected with the virus – their antibodies (ie. natural immunity) persisted.

So if you have had the virus and have more persistent antibodies than those of vaccinated people, why should you: 1. Need a vaccine? 2. Not be allowed your own “medical exemption” when it comes to this notion of a vaccine passport? If I were to, say, get the vaccine and then catch COVID, will I get that stronger natural immunity which means I can waive my next mandated booster shot? (Genuine question – anyone got an answer on antibodies in this case?)

I should mention that of the 168 325 COVID cases in B.C., 6230 people are still recovering from the virus. That’s around 3.8 per cent of COVID cases which still have persisting symptoms. There are news articles which discuss these long-haulers and long-haul clinics have been set up to address these.

To think that persisting symptoms after a virus is a new thing is incorrect. Not to minimise the suffering of “COVID long-haulers” but for some people it can take months to recover from other viruses such as pneumonia or the flu.

Here’s another query: How did we evolve as a species without being exposed to viruses? Is the last 100 years of medicine to be the only answer to our current dilemma or can we be courageous enough to believe we are capable of looking outside that box?

If you have made it this far then I thank you for reading. I wonder if some of the above provokes questions for you? I do not think them thoughtless. I do not think I am selfish for wondering. Perhaps you might.

The above is just a few of the questions I have and are the reason why I have not yet chosen to get the COVID vaccine.

Yet my career – which doesn’t even involve me interacting with more than a few people – is in jeopardy because I dare to hold my ground with my questions.

I appreciate that some of you have considered the facts and chosen to get the vaccine, kudos to you. Please resist the urge to judge and demonise or stereotype those of us with questions – or who hold our ground (for now).

As Dr Henry has said, time and time again – “Be Kind. Be Calm. Be Safe.” I would also add: “Be Curious.”

Michelle Campbell, Fort Langley


• READ MORE: History shows influenza’s real potential

• READ MORE: What the World Health Organization pandemic declaration means

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