Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Guess Who Is “The Most Discriminated-Against Group” That She Has Ever Witnessed… her lifetime.

After being sworn in as the new premier of the province of Alberta in Canada yesterday, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, Danielle Smith held her first official press conference in which she pledged that she “will ensure as head of this government that those rights and freedoms are protected and will never be taken for granted again.”

Guess Who Is “The Most Discriminated-Against Group” That She Has Ever Witnessed…

Smith was referring to people who chose not to be vaccinated against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus over the past 2.5 years. The spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus led to a worldwide pandemic which was declared by the World Health Organization on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 and caused many parts of the planet to shut down in isolation or quarantine in an effort to contain the virus — which I still believe to this day went way too far.

In this video from the official YouTube site of Global News, a reporter from The Globe and Mail asked: “I have a question about vaccine choice and how you want to protect that under the Human Rights Act. I’m wondering how — um — a vaccine choice — um — how you see that as equal to something like race, gender, or sexuality, which we protect because those are not about choices.”

After pondering for a moment to collect her thoughts, Smith replied:

“Well, I guess the way I look at it is that the community that faced the most restrictions on their freedoms in the last year were those who made a choice not to being vaccinated. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a situation in my lifetime where a person was fired from their job or not allowed to watch their kids play hockey or not allowed to go visit a loved one in long-term care or hospital, or not allowed to get on a plane to either go across the country to see family or even travel across the border; so they have been the most discriminated-against group that I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime. That’s a pretty extreme level of discrimination that we have seen. I don’t take away any of the discrimination that I’ve seen in those other groups that you mentioned. But this has been an extraordinary time in the last — uh — year in particular, and I want people to know that I find that unacceptable — that we are not going to create a segregated society on the basis of a medical choice.”

Smith concluded her thoughts with the following statement:

“Vaccination really is for self-protection in this case, because you have to make your own choice about what your own medical status is, in conjunction with your own doctor and your own pre-existing medical conditions; and we have to stop trying to victimize a…a…a particular group because they make a — made a different choice. So I know that that‘s going to be — um — a little challenging for…for some people who hold a — who have been holding a different view for a long period of time. But if I need to make the point that this kind of discrimination is unacceptable, the best way to do it is by changing the Human Rights Act.”

A Look Back

Back on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, I wrote an article called Why I Am Not Getting a Vaccine At This Time, which became quite controversial. The point of the article was for people to choose whether or not they want to be vaccinated against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus based on the factual information which was available at the time. It was not meant as a statement — political, moral, ethical, or otherwise — in any way, shape, or form…

…and despite some readers posting some very thoughtful comments from both sides of the issue, I was astonished at how many people could not comprehend elementary school English with the last three words of that title: “at this time.” In the comments of that article, some people called me a coward. Some people called me brave. Some people who did not agree with my position or opinion respectfully disagreed with cogent arguments and information. Some people whom I have never met commented as if they know who I am as a person — and I can confirm that they have no idea who I am as a person. Some people took the opportunity to ride what they considered to be some kind of bandwagon on which to hop — mob mentality, you know — and insult me and The Gate. One person even wrote that if I contract the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and need medical care, I “should be denied it and left to suffer or die at home.”

Some people certainly can be unnecessarily vicious — but that ultimately did not cause me to waver.

Fellow so-called “bloggers” publicly condemned my position instead of discussing it rationally and intelligently — probably to get those oh-so-important sought-after “clicks”. One of them even misquoted me. Readers publicly vowed to no longer read articles posted by me here at The Gate.

Companies such as Delta Air Lines will still only consider hiring people who are fully vaccinated; and some other companies have that requirement even if the job position is remote. While I do not necessarily equate the discrimination of other groups to that of the unvaccinated, I cannot imagine anyone getting away with similar behaviors towards other groups.

That is what disappointed me the most about humanity: that some people always need to find a scapegoat of some kind and apply derogatory names when the chips are down and the going gets tough instead of being truly productive. I became that scapegoat for a while. It was not easy; but I believe I chose the right decision.

We were never “all in this together” — not even close.

Final Boarding Call

The sharp divide between people who are vaccinated against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and those who are not still exists today. Many people on both sides have taken what is a personal choice and politicized it — as well as spouted attempts at “virtue signaling” to pressure one side in joining the other. I guarantee that you will see some of that appear in the Comments section below the conclusion of this article.

The problem is that we cannot have a productive conversation about any issue as long as a person not only closes himself or herself off to new ideas and thoughts, but also engages in propaganda and nonsensical thoughts which have nothing to do with the core issue — even going so far as to threaten violence or death — and many social media channels have pushed hard to forward their agendas at the expense of suppressing others.

I do not read those “blogs” anymore. Readers are always welcome to read my articles at The Gate and comment at any time. Anyone who disagrees with whatever I write is welcome to opine in the Comments section below, which is not moderated — other than to eliminate “spam” — and that is rare to find these days; but I do it because I value your opinions and input, and I respect you and your civilized comments.

Whether you are vaccinated or not vaccinated — and regardless of what you think of me — may your life be healthy, productive, prosperous, filled with love and support, and full of wonderful travels as the world continues to open up once again.

Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

  1. Happy to see sanity returning to society.

    The rampant attacks on one another over personal medical choices coupled with the massive corporate and government punishments launched against its citizens were terrifying.

    Maybe those who blindly bought into the media frenzy will think a little deeper and more clearly before simply following the masses the next time?

      1. Oddly, today I was reminiscing about individuals that had espoused, in my opinion, irrational responses and actions. Don’t get vaccinated. But, please wear that mask. Reduce my chances of contacting your airborne buccal and nasal spray.

        And yes, inspite of being injected AstraZeneca 2x and two booster, I contacted the short version of Covid…One week infectious with all the classic symptoms. But, I was bed ridden. I suppose my inoculations spared me the worst and sometimes fatal version. I am in the most vulnerable age group.

        I describe my path to the infection. A 7 hour bus ride from my MX residence to Cancun. Of course exposure in the terminals. MX requires all individuals to mask in all enclosed public and private spaces. The father north I progressed in the US with a layover in PHX the less masking, except for the flights. In Vegas, my final destination, masking was very optional. But, I wore my mask as common courtesy.

        But the real thrust of my thoughts, for the poor panicked stricken individuals concerned about the erosion of personal freedoms and government interference, I yet to see any indication of extreme resistance to mandatory schoolchild inoculations.

        1. I am thankful that you were spared some of the worst of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Firstlast. I hope that you never get sick from it again.

          In my opinion, I believe that distancing is far more effective than masks — yes, there are times when that is virtually impossible to do — but then again, I have been distancing from people whenever possible long before the pandemic set in.

          I have no empirical evidence — scientific, medical, or otherwise — but that seems to have worked for me…

          1. Granted, 20 miles or 20 ft distance is certainly going to diminish contracting any airborne infection. An observation. Japan, a densely populated country have culturally accepted mask wearing in public for many decades, when an individual is infected with the common cold.

            1. You have no disagreement from me, Firstlast. I have been to Japan and other Asian countries where masks have been worn by their citizens years before the pandemic was officially declared…

              …but while I can certainly understand doing so in environments that are sensitive to health such as hospitals, I do not believe that the wearing of masks should be required or mandated in the general public. Anyone who wants to wear a mask — especially for medical reasons — should wear one anytime they like.

              As for me, I have not had even a sniffle in at least 16 years. I attribute that to a number of reasons — none of which I can definitively prove.

              I suppose I have been quite fortunate…

    1. What an idiotic comment. “Personal” medical choices? Everyone had a personal medical choice but your real beef is that there were actually legitimate safety related consequences to your medical choices. Media frenzy? Try expert scientific consensus. You were free to not get vaccinated. But the rest of were free to ensure that public spaces were made safe from those who pose a risk. The pandemic was immeasurably worse than it should have been and thousands upon thousands died because of people making “personal medical choices” and then deciding they had absolutely zero responsibility around those choices.

      1. The unvaccinated posed no additional risk to the public. The vaccines did not stop the spread. The unvaccinated did not spread COVID any more or less than anyone else. The lies are finally being exposed… but some people can just not admit they were taken and continue to spew incorrect information. Wake up!

  2. She’s absolutely right. Freedom means bodily autonomy and deciding what you put into your body, not the government. It’s not freedom when 51% of voters can vote away your right to bodily autonomy and self determination nor when bureaucrats can. As much as we can blame politicians, judges, and bureaucrats, the ones who deserve 100% of the blame are cops who enforced Covid rules, laws, and orders. They choose to side with tyranny instead of refuse to violate freedom. Just following orders is not an excuse. They are the ones with guns and use force. Politicians don’t. Same for cops enforcing speech laws or drug laws. There either is freedom or there isn’t.

    This newly elected politician says the right thing here but nothing will change until all cops are fired and replaced with people who won’t enforce laws or orders which violate freedom.

  3. Your logic is internally inconsistent.
    Anti vax when there are good solid facts to support decisions to vaccinate ourselves, our carers…in an ongoing pandemic?
    Vaccine saved me. And many of my loved ones and coworkers.
    KThksbai. Sometimes the sorrow of parting is sweet.

    1. Huh? Good solid facts to support decisions to vax?
      Pfizer and Moderna lied though their teeth about the efficacy of these “vaccines”.
      World govts lied about how dangerous Covid was.
      In the US, Moderna/Pfizer bribed a lot of congressmen from both parties.
      In the end, fear and euphoria trumped common sense.

      And I didnt get to the obvious: The CDC had to change their definition of a “vaccine”, plenty of injuries/deaths stemming from the cl0t sh0t, Fauci getting rich off the lockdowns, etx.

      BTW – the “vaccine” didnt save you. A lot of deaths wouldve been prevented had the US doctors not take the exact same approach as the CCP did with their patients (using ventilators and not prescribing ivermectin, the TRUE covid drug that worked).

    2. I have never advocated not getting the vaccine, Chris; but I am glad that the vaccine saved you and many of your loved ones and co-workers. I sincerely mean that…

      …but since you already left — which you believe is the answer simply because you disagree with my point of view — you will not read this response to your comment anyway…

  4. Now that we know that the vaccine does not prevent spreading of the disease, you have to wonder how anyone can defend forcing others to vaccinate. Do it for yourself if you so please, but don’t force others. You can get the virus from vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Pfizer this week admitted they never even tested if the vaccine would stop the spread. So lockdowns post vaccine were erroneous—some people knew that prospectively and lied by omission or commision-shame on them. But to not say the lockdowns post vaccine were an error NOW is nonsensical.

    1. Not only did Pfizer admit earlier this week that they never even tested if the vaccine would stop the spread, Gina; but Johns Hopkins University & Medicine quietly changed how they track the 2019 Novel Coronavirus:

      A substantial number of errors — some of them truly careless — were committed by many entities who were supposed to be the most trusted sources of information in medicine and science…

  5. Well, if you call being an idiot and being a threat to society “discrimination,” then anti vaxxers are dumber than even I thought. Basically saying IO WANT TO BE AS STUPID and UNEDUCATED is fine when it comes to random facts but when it endangers others, you are a menace to society.

    But sure, if you isolate yourself in some cabin away from the rest of us or join a commune of others, great but don’t think society wants you around -you bring. down the collective IQ. You are simply not qualified to get the benefits of present day community. Not sure why you expect others to excise you for being so uneducated. That is your choice. Join society or go elsewhere. It’s a big state and country, there are plenty of places to go and be away from us.

    1. You are welcome to vaccinate yourself if you feel it will protect you. But surely you are not still recycling the tired and erroneous argument that the unvaccinated are actually hurting someone else?

    2. …so in addition to the generous use of derogatory comments and “discrimination”, jbelkin, you also champion segregation as a solution?

    3. The only threat to you is your own mind. Thank God we’re not in this (stupidity) together anymore. Why cant you pro- vaxxers and lockdown supporters just admit you all overreacted and got sold a bag of lies and empty truth. Meanwhile, the anti-vaxxers who were branded as “uneducated” and “conspiracy theorists” back then were actually right about how “dangerous” Covid really was (given the unending amount of evidence that the CDC/NIH and world governments couldn’t differentiate from their right hand or their left).

      In other words, Brian was right back then – and he still is now. Meanwhile, make sure your “educated” mind gets the 4th booster shot…then the 5th… then the 6th.. then the…

      And stop the BS about how young people who die nowadays suddenly didnt die from the cl0tsh0t.

  6. Certain vaccinations have been required for school or for travel. For travel, one of the vaccines is for yellow fever.

    Countries with high vaccination rates tend to have fewer Covid cases. Vaccination is part of an overall plan to reduce illness, long Covid, and death.

    It’s my impression that those who resist vaccination often do not compensate by other means, such as reducing public contact or wearing N95 masks. For this reason, I believe those who are unvaccinated are not making good decisions or better alternate decisions.

    What countries have had generally good practices and results? Unfortunately, the US is not one of them. Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia are among countries with lower Covid rates and high vaccination rates. That suggests that vaccination does reduce Covid transmission. However, one can act like a lawyer and demand that it be proven in court. By the time that happens, it will be too late as is the case with many legal battles.

    1. One thing I have always appreciated about you has been your concern for my health, derek.

      Despite our disagreements on this issue, you have no idea how much that means to me — and I truly value your opinions.

      I hope that you are staying healthy as well.

    2. “Countries with high vaccination rates tend to have fewer Covid cases.”

      Selective memory. Totally untrue statement, esp when the Biden administration finally modified the PCR tests when he took office in order to have less false positives. In addition, all the “vax” did is delay the covid outbreak in these “vaxxed” countries, not eradicate it. Of course the majority of news outlets never mentioned that pertinent fact – it only reported on the areas with known unvaxxed populations (in the hopes to embarass the smart ones who knew the “vax” was basically a big experiment).

      What’s next – you going to say the “vaccine” saved your life even though Omnicron is a pretty mild flu? Please… don’t. The “vax” was just a big push to drive vaccine passports and mail in voting. Period

      1. To John L, omnicron is what President Biden said when he had a senior moment. Omicron is what doctors and scientists says.

        Omicron is not “pretty mild flu”. Thousands of people die of omicron in the US every week, more than the number of people who died on 9/11. Many more suffer from long covid, including one person that I know.

        There is no single silver bullet. Like many diseases, attacking it from multiple angles makes a better defense. What that means is vaccination only and doing nothing else is sub-optimal. So is not getting vaccination and acting like the pandemic is over.

        I generally think that politicians don’t make great medical decisions. That’s why I do not base my planning on what politicians want. Even if they have the best of intentions, they are geared to public health and health of a population, not what is best for me as an individual. That is why when restrictions ended, I didn’t rip off my mask and have a wild orgy.

  7. Finally some commonsense is starting to prevail, people are waking up to the fraud and racism that is the mad radical lefties and greenies. Look out Trudeau, you’re next Daddy’s Boy, then we’re after Biden & Son and we can all go back to living our lives the way we want to without Lefties and Greenies telling us what we shuld say and how we should think.

  8. Some of the commenters then, as now, mostly took issue with your use of a travel blog to push a specific political agenda. When it also involves complex medical and public health questions, for which are not trained, it is a very valid criticism. If I want public health/science information I will visit Eric Topol or a similarly informed professional‘s site. If I want to learn about a Travelodge in Utah, I will consult yours.

    1. This health issue may be a political agenda to you, JohnnyBoy, but it is not one to me — and I am not pushing it. I am not advising people to not be vaccinated; and I have never advocated that anyone else not get a vaccine. I have never insulted or ridiculed anyone who decided to get vaccinated. This is meant to be a thoughtful discussion to learn from each other — not the pushing of a political agenda.

      This pandemic had everything to do with travel. It arguably affected travel more than any other industry. It still significantly affects travel today.

      It is as much of a viable travel topic — which affects you, me, and all travelers — as a trip report or elite status.

      As to complex medical and public health questions, science is meant to be questioned — not blindly followed — in my opinion. That is how science advances…

      …and I do not believe one needs to be an expert in medicine or science to question it. To me, that smacks of elitism.

      1. Science is meant to be questioned by OTHER SCIENTISTS, not some guy on the internet with no training and obvious financial and political biases in how it is interpreted. You really show your political stripes with this response. People like you who claim that it is OK to question science or medicine that they don’t agree with is an age-old ploy. Remember a guy named Galileo?
        Time to hang it up Brian.

        1. “Political stripes”? “Obvious financial and political biases”? “Some guy on the Internet with no training”?

          I have no idea what you are talking about, JohnnyBoy.

          You are entitled to your opinions — you are also entitled to question me, if you like — but please don’t pretend that you know me as a person, my qualifications, my experience, my education, or what I believe by coming to your own conclusions. Doing so, ironically, diminishes and counters your argument of only scientists being allowed to question science.

          I stand by my original statement to you: “As to complex medical and public health questions, science is meant to be questioned — not blindly followed — in my opinion. That is how science advances…

          “…and I do not believe one needs to be an expert in medicine or science to question it. To me, that smacks of elitism.”

        2. So everyone who’s not a scientist has no choice but to click their heels and salute? And I seem to remember actual scientists who did question what was going on getting the same treatment as unvaxxed people.

  9. I’m all for being vaccinated and have been several times for Covid-19. I get a flu shot every year, etc. but she is right. It will be seen as a mistake as history reflects on this event. Oh and this isn’t really very travel-related.

  10. Mr. Cohen,
    I hope my comment finds you well. I haven’t read your blog in sometime, but I will patron it more often simply because of this well measured take. Reading some of the comments all but confirms my view on Our human nature. If the heavily propagandized had any self-respect they’d admit to themselves that they have been fooled (The narrative collapse is evident). Then they ought to ask themselves WHY they were so easy to fool. This will not happen for several reasons, one being that it’s harder to convince a man he’s been fooled than it is to fool him to begin with, but it’s mostly due to the bio-chemistry and neural structure of these people…the highly suggestible, highly gullible, the easily hypnotized/brainwashed. Rather than advancing empirical evidentiary data to a final Truism, these individuals generally seek to advance a desired moral outcome (re: How it makes them feel), an outcome typically undergirded by GroupThink…which is further underlaid by a normative or “acceptable” viewpoint (Overton window) established by “the powers that be” that moralize EVERY issue (“Do you want to kill grandma!?”) as a mechanism of engineering consent. These people are wholly unaware of their place in this game. The compliant amongst us find obedience as a social virtue and will support whatever the Current Thing is. This large swathe of people rarely spend the time to perform his or her own research, but instead outsource their brain to a cadre of “experts” of the credentialed class….where orthodoxy is a must and the occupational racket was most certainty established by TPTB, especially the “Doctoring” class (see Flexner Report). The deferment to, or obedience to, perceived “authority” is a major Achilles Heel in our human nature and the psycho/sociopath persons the comprise TPTB know this very well (see Edward Barnays). The easily duped have a suboptimal heuristic checklist. It does not occur to them what exactly is 1) the nature of the power apparatus that seeks to enslave them nor 2) the motivations/incentives consistent with that nature. Unfortunately we are bound with these fools, but on the positive side….they have made themselves easy to identify.

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