I first met Ravi at GraceLife Church months ago when I was there covering the government overreach that led to the pastor there, James Coates, being arrested and incarcerated for five weeks because he refused to comply with COVID rules contrary to the practice of his faith.
Ravi stopped me to explain what life was like — outside of the reprieve of GraceLife — for someone who cannot wear a mask because of a medical condition. People like Ravi live in a constant state of conflict, explaining to total strangers that they are medically mask exempt and forced to be on guard for self-appointed COVID scolds to make a scene or deny them service.
I ran into Ravi a few weeks ago at a protest in Edmonton in support of health-care workers who are resisting the vaccine mandate from Alberta Health Services and he told me about the troubles he was having trying to visit his ailing father in the hospital when he cannot wear a mask.
Ravi did the leg work and covered all his bases. He had a letter from his doctor. He had the latest health rules in hand from the chief medical officer, Deena Hinshaw, and yet he ended up in such a conflict with the staff at the hospital that he left rather than upset his dad or cause him any stress.
These rules are not just about masks and vax passes. These rules divide us from each other when we need to be together the most: when we are sick and suffering, lonely, facing unemployment and scared of what the future may bring. Vax passes and mask rules deny the humanity of our fellow Canadians. And I am proud to oppose them. We are helping people fight their mask tickets at www.FightTheFines.com, but luckily, Ravi doesn't have one yet.
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