The pandemic is over in little La Crete Alberta, a northern town with a 14-hour round trip from the capital city of Edmonton. It's over because La Crete never let the coronavirus — or the government in Edmonton — decide how the residents live their lives.
La Crete, population 3,500 on a good day, never forced anyone to abide by restrictions. Wear a mask or don't. Restrict capacity in your church or don't. Vax card your customers before a burger or don't.
COVID came and went without dividing the community, devastating the healthcare system and causing economic and civil liberties carnage. All this, in the one region with the lowest rate of vaccination in the whole province at just 35 per cent. Surely a doomsday was in La Crete's future, but, to the chagrin of the media, it never came.
The La Crete Chamber of Commerce, a rarity in the country, actually stood for free enterprise and organized the town to be mass tested for COVID antibodies by a private company called Ichor in Edmonton. In mid-December, 1,200 residents paid a fee to have their blood collected and sent out of the country to be examined for the spike proteins indicating if they had been exposed to the coronavirus and developed a resident natural immunity.
And wouldn't you know it; 89 per cent of the unvaccinated population up there tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibody.
It was distance and a sense of community that saved them from tyranny. They were too far to send in an outside army of cops to do what the local ones would not: force them to lock up businesses, barge into churches to check for COVID compliance and shutter people away from friends and family in their homes.
Instead, the largely Mennonite town of La Crete did what people do in small-town Alberta: they minded their own business, they respected other people's choices and they helped their neighbours.
You won't hear the story of La Crete trumpeted in the mainstream media. That little town at the end of the road up north showed us all there was another way forward that didn't involve closed churches, empty dining rooms, families separated through the politics of vaccines, and masked kids.
Will anyone who locked us down ever acknowledge their mistake?