January 22nd, 2022

Letter: At-home rapid tests creating more problems than they solve

By Letter to the Editor on January 14, 2022.

Dear editor,

I’d like to share my experience with COVID-19. I recently attended a birthday party and because it was held in a pub, as an unvaccinated person, I had to produce a negative rapid test at my expense. Three days later, I had a sore throat and runny nose. Two days after that, I got a phone call from a friend who was also at the party and had tested positive for COVID. My fully-vaccinated friend was sick the day of the party, but because his home rapid test came back negative, assumed he just had a cold. It ended up that at least five of us tested positive from that party.

The AHS staff I spoke to over the phone were amazing, very comforting and calming. But the fear-mongering perpetuated by the AHS ads was more damaging to my mental well-being than the fear of dying from COVID.

My story is meant to highlight a few things: 1. The inaccuracy of home rapid tests (AHS states not to use them if you are sick); 2. Vaccine passports do nothing to protect anybody from getting COVID. If you’re sick, stay home! These passports create a two-tier society, coercing people into getting the shots so they have a privilege instead of what used to be freedom; 3. Vaccines don’t prevent getting or spreading COVID. I was the only unvaccinated one in the lot. Of the five of us who got the virus, one had already been on kidney dialysis for some time, and the results could have been fatal.

Because of the propaganda being pumped out ad nauseam by AHS (and before I found out which variant I had), I really did worry I was going to die. The fear-mongering perpetuated by unelected health officials who have never treated a COVID patient was far more damaging to my mental well-being than the virus.

I can’t weigh in on whether or not being vaccinated cuts down on the severity or duration of symptoms of COVID. However, I believe our immune systems can play a major role in the severity of any infection. If a person has numerous pre-existing conditions, these vaccinations are probably your best short-term defense.

To set the story straight: I’m not an anti-vaxxer. I have consented to numerous shots in my lifetime, but I’ve never had a flu shot. If you want to give me a label, then call me vaccine-hesitant. I’m willing to wait and see how this one plays out, but I’ve kind of been like that all my life.

As an aside, it makes no sense to me that I have to pay to sit in a restaurant, while the people working in these restaurants don’t require passports or regular testing. If these passports were really about protecting people, that wouldn’t be the case.

Judi Coombes

Medicine Hat

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