Over the past few weeks, we have watched public discourse around vaccination and other public health measures rapidly devolve. This reached fever pitch, last week, as a small but vocal minority protested outside hospitals, disrupting access to vital care. More recently, we’ve seen federal election candidates attacked and their campaign signs defaced.
Even the nursing community hasn’t been spared from the vitriol. Too many of our colleagues have been subjected to baseless attacks and accused of being dishonest actors engaged in a global conspiracy.
This cannot continue.
In the early days of this pandemic, we saw a very difficult situation bring out the best in people. Just 18 months ago, the common refrain was: “We are all in this together”. Kids placed homemade rainbows in the windows of their home. People took to their porches and balconies to cheer health care workers each night. Local businesses emptied their stockpiles of PPE and delivered them to hospitals. Canadians stayed home and isolated to keep their neighbours safe.
It was a beautiful reflection of what makes us Canadian. It kept us going.
And while health care workers battled COVID-19 in ICUs, long-term care homes and across all sectors of care, dedicated scientists and researchers worked tirelessly to come up with vaccines that would give us a fighting chance of beating the virus once and for all.
Vaccines remain our best hope of ending this global pandemic and stopping the ever-rising death count. With the more transmissible Delta variant quickly gaining ground, we are urging everyone to roll up their sleeves to protect themselves, their neighbours and our nation’s children.
The CFNU and our colleagues at the CNA have consistently advocated for evidence-based public health measures to stem the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing, masking and vaccination. These layers of protection are vital in our effort to overcome this global pandemic.
Sadly, the vast majority of nurses across this country have seen firsthand the devastating effects of COVID-19. Nurses were also among the first in line for the vaccine and they took the jab willingly. For many of them, this was a bittersweet moment. Too many have lost patients, some of whom were their own colleagues. Countless more were forced to work untenable hours of overtime to keep our health care system from collapsing under the weight of this global pandemic. Still to this day, COVID-19 is overwhelming our health care system, leading to more canceled surgeries and treatments and disrupting our ability to provide much needed care.
We are tired and we need your support.
As we continue to fight this pandemic together, we must tap into the collaborative spirit that got us through those very tense early months of the pandemic.
If you haven’t already, please get vaccinated. By doing so, you won’t just be keeping yourself and others safe, you’ll be actively supporting the nurses who have shouldered a tremendous burden since the pandemic began. If you are hesitant about the vaccine – if you have questions or concerns – please reach out to us. We promise we will meet your questions with understanding, reassurance and facts.
For more information, please consult our position statement on vaccination and our more recent position statement on the issue of mandatory vaccination.