I attended a protest this past Wednesday evening that took place outside Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, Ontario. A group of nurses and other hospital staff gathered opposite the hospital, alongside friends and supporters, to protest the vaccine mandate being imposed by the hospital as ordered by the Ontario government.
Most hospital employees with whom I spoke said that they have now been placed on an unpaid leave for refusing to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. If they continue with their refusal to provide proof of vaccination, their employment with the hospital will be terminated.
While I was out speaking with the protesting hospital staff, a patient from the hospital came out to the edge of hospital property and signalled to us from across the road, trying to get our attention to share with us her story.
She did not want to speak publicly at first and asked that we keep her anonymous because she was afraid of repercussions from the hospital staff who are responsible for treating her. It was absolutely heart-wrenching to hear from her about the current conditions inside of the hospital, and the terrible treatment that she has received in the midst of a severe shortage in nursing staff.
I also interviewed another woman as she was leaving the facility, who spoke further to the harrowing state of affairs inside the hospital.
I would ask you to take a moment and consider the heartbreaking stories of these healthcare professionals who are facing termination.
Consider all of the health care staff who took this vaccine — not because they decided it was the best choice for them— but because they were coerced into taking it under threat of losing their jobs.
Consider the testimonies of the women I interviewed who spoke of the miserable state of patient care currently in the hospital.
And I ask you: Is this right? Do you think we are doing the right thing?
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