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What We Learned From Hating the Unvaccinated

16 Views· 27-08-22

⁣Written by Susan Dunham | 100 Percent Fed Up

The battlefield is still warm, following Canada’s war on the unvaccinated. The mandates have
let up, and both sides stumble back into something that looks like the old normal — except
that there is a fresh and present injury done to the people we tried to break. And no one
wants to talk about it.

Only weeks ago, it was the admitted goal of our own leaders to make life unlivable for the
unvaccinated. And as a deputized collective, we force-multiplied that pain, taking the fight
into our families, friendships, and workplaces. Today, we face the hard truth that none of it
was justified — and, in doing that, uncover a precious lesson.

It was a quick slide from righteousness to cruelty, and however much we might blame our
leaders for the push, we’re accountable for stepping into the trap despite better judgment.

We knew that waning immunity put vast numbers of the fully vaccinated on par with the
shrinking minority of unvaccinated, yet we marked them for special persecution. We said
they hadn’t “done the right thing” by turning their bodies over to state care — even though
we knew that principled opposition to such a thing is priceless in any circumstance. And we
truly let ourselves believe that going into another ineffectual lockdown would be their fault,
not the fault of toxic policy.

⁣And so it was by the willful ignorance of science, civics, and politics that we squeezed the
unvaccinated to the degree that we did.

We invented a new rubric for the good citizen and — failing to be one ourselves — took
pleasure in scapegoating anyone who didn’t measure up. After months of engineered
lockdowns, having someone to blame and to burn simply felt good.

So we cannot hold our heads high, as if believing we had logic, love, or truth on our side while
we viciously wished death upon the unvaccinated. The best we can do is sit in the awareness
of our rabid inhumanity for having cast so many aside.

Most of us who pilloried the noncompliant did it because it seemed like certain victory, like
the unvaccinated would never make it through unbroken. Indeed, the promised new normal
looked unbeatable, so we sided with it and made punching bags out of the holdouts.

But betting against them has been a scathing embarrassment for many of us who’ve now
learned that the mandates only had the power we gave them. It was not through quiet
compliance that we avoided endless domination by pharmaceutical companies and medical
checkpoints at every doorway. It was thanks to the people we tried to tear down.

⁣So for those of us not among the hopeless few that pray for the return of mandates, we
might find some inner gratitude for the unvaccinated. We took the bait by hating them, but
their perseverance bought us the time to see we were wrong.

It seems right now like the mandates will return, but this time there’s hope that more of us
will see them for what they are: a rising authoritarianism that has no concern for our
wellbeing. If there’s an enemy, it’s the confidence game of state power and the transparent
attempt to tear us apart. Heeding that looks like our best shot at redemption.

⁣Written by Susan Dunham.

⁣Susan Dunham can be found on Instagram @susankaydunham and at Susan Dunham on Medium.

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