Skip to comments.My mom says she’ll refuse the COVID-19 vaccine. Why? She was once neglected by Canada’s health system when she almost lost her life. How can she trust them now?
Posted on 01/25/2021 12:13:18 PM PST by nickcarraway
Two years ago, while on a hospital gurney, my mother told me that she had to be cynical to be Black and survive in this country.
With scent of antiseptic wafting in the air and alarms blaring out codes and directions, she took the hectic moment to explain that there was a part of you — or her, anyway — that would always want to feel safe here but expect to be disappointed. You would love to trust the law, even as the regularity of police brutality built up your reasons not to. And that someday you’d find a health care system that was indifferent to your pain, putting a stop to the belief that it was ever really designed for you.
That day, at the age of 66, my mom experienced a hypertensive crisis; a case when high blood pressure reaches the point of being fatal. Despite complaining of chest pains and severe headaches, my mom was neglected, and unattended until she vomited on a receptionist’s desk, and was rushed to an emergency room. To this day, I can’t forget how close she came to losing her life, and based on her most recent views — to refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine when her time comes — my mom hasn’t forgotten either.
Her distrust in government is an age-old story for Black and Indigenous people — one backed by a historical and everyday context. Far from the tired, disingenuous concerns of no-mask, tinfoil wearing anti-vaxxers, the 1932 U.S Tuskegee Syphilis Study did happen. In the late 19th and 20th centuries, the federal government of Canada operated “Indian Hospitals’’ where vaccine experimentation was conducted without consent. This is just one of many examples, and still, not much has changed. Fast forward to 2020, Joyce Echaquan, an Atikamekw woman, died in Quebec from equal parts racism, abuse and neglect. And violent policing against racialized groups remains a problem without an accepted solution.
All this — with claims of anti-racism and progressive tolerance in our nation — is incongruent to a country that says it cares for our lives. Because we’ve been told that fairy tale for some time now. And mom’s skepticism is just a byproduct of that lie; when Canada’s idealism doesn’t sound right, read right, or feel right.
There’s a limit to how much some of us can buy into a vaccine when we’re equipped with only so much information. My mom isn’t a medical professional, and when she strolls into a local hospital, she has to place a measure of trust in a country that, in connection to her experience, hasn’t prioritized her Black life.
On one hand, this government sees fit to provide an antigen that can save all lives. But on another, the fact that POC make up 83% of reported COVID-19 cases in Canada, means that my mom is economically more vulnerable in a way that could have been addressed, if someone cared. Actions around defunding the police in the interest of guarding her life would have happened by now, if someone cared. And this government would openly acknowledge racism as the core of her vaccine hesitancy, if they cared. All of these factors existed in concert with the reality that she’s been living with systemic racism, and has been more likely to die by it well before COVID-19 had ever been a thing.
When recently I spoke with Dr. Naheed Dosani, a palliative care physician and health justice advocate, about this very issue, he summed it up perfectly.
“At every step of the way, we’ve seen that a one size fits all approach to pandemic public health messaging doesn’t work,” he said. “There’s no greater time to take an anti-racist and equity informed approach to vaccine rollout. If we don’t address these systematic issues for the sake of people like your mom, there’s a chance that we won’t see the uptake we need to get us past COVID-19.”
Meanwhile, the best version of a government response is an avalanche of information with the dual purpose of avoidance. If I visit the front page of Ontario’s vaccine FAQ site for example, there won’t be information about implicit bias, or mentions of race. A lack of that data says less about this issue not existing and more about the stats they’ve time and again chosen to neglect.
My mom is the most important person in this world to me. Everything else can exist because she still does. But I can’t prove that what happened to her two years ago, rejected while pleading for help in the hospital, won’t happen again. I can’t soften her concerns when they aren’t acknowledged beyond empty statements. I can’t prove to her that a lifetime of eroded trust can be corrected without admittance.
As much as it pains me, I know that she’s acting on what she’s always felt she’s had to do on her own in Canada: survive.
I guess there are more snowflakes in Canada. The name of the doctor mentioned in the video argues against white racism.
I don’t blame her. We are supposed to trust the government that ran a 40 year syphilis study on men that could have been treated as early as 1947?
On a side note. In the Tuskegee Syphilis Study the men were initially told that the “study” was only going to last six months, but it was extended to 40 years from 1932–1972.
That was the year the Joe Biden was first elected to the Senate.
Too much “story-telling” here — I don’t really understand what the writer is trying to say other than “My mom is a victim” or something.
My best friend, Russ, his wife, and now their daughter have all reacted badly to the shot. Russ was bedridden with horrible symptoms for seven days. Their doctor told them that chances are, they will react worse to the next shot. Do we really know what the odds are of dying from the shot, as compared with the odds of dying from the illness? My problem is, Covid, and the treatments are so politicized I don’t believe any numbers. Not how many people have died, not how infectious it is, nothing. I also don’t trust that men like Bill Gates, who has talked about how horribly over populated the word is, are backing the treatments. I don’t trust liberal super rich men who apparently hate us little people to look out for our health.
I’ve never been a chemtrails, vaccinations cause autism conspiracy person. But given the present political atmosphere, when you can’t trust any media or any government agency, what are we supposed to think? How can we make an informed decision? We can’t. Which is why they are talking about making the shots mandatory. Want to get on a plane, where’s your vaccination passport? Okay, I have a huge problem now.
Incidentally, I had all the symptoms in March. I took the test and it came back negative. The nurse called me and said, “Yeah, it’s negative, but the test is totally unreliable. We simply don’t put any store in them.”
It’s an EXPERIMENTAL vaccine.....not interested. Covid has a 98%+ survival rate...especially if you practice healthy habits and supplement appropriately.
More vomiting forth of yet another wearying solicitation for victim status.
My only response would be to say “cry me a river”. And if his co-morbidity mother is infected and dies of COVID-19 after refusing offered vaccination then IT’S HER OWN FAULT.
Smart lady. Trust in government is not only foolish, it can be fatal. Democide (death by Government) was the 20th Century’s #1 cause of death. Should we expect the 21st century to be any different?
She’s not the only one in this world with a bad medical experience and race doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with it.
Nothing to do with being black. It’s socialized medicine.
She was neglected because she was 66 and no longer considered necessary to the state as a taxpayer. She was a sink, not a source, of state income.
At retirement age, you are flushed out of the matrix, albeit passively.
Canada rations care, we’ll have that soon for those 65+
“My problem is, Covid, and the treatments are so politicized I don’t believe any numbers. “
That’s my issue.
“...If you have an adverse reaction to the vaccine and die, what if every Freeper’s response is, “cry me a river”? Do you want us to say, IT’S YOUR OWN FAULT?...”
Feel free to say that because I’d agree. I do that out-of-fashion act of ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY ACTIONS. And my “cry me a river” comment was directed at the linked article’s writer and his dissertation on his being endlessly victimized (in his mind) by racism,
I’m not taking the shot for one simple fact. At this time we do not know what the long term side effects are. This could wind up as another thalidimide fiasco.
What I would like to know is what has been the percentage of deaths for people who took the vaccine. I’m wondering if it is higher than the number of people who got covid.
They already admitted they do not know if the vaccine is safe by passing laws that state they can not be sued for damages from the experimental vaccines. They can get back with me in about 5 -7 years.
I definitely would not want to get it in Canada with their healthcare system if you had an allergic reaction.
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