All animals are equal

To the Expositor:

It was with sadness and dismay that I read the article in the December 15 paper titled ‘All MHC staff has gotten vaccine shots.’ In particular, in response to Paula Fields stating “we had to terminate two employees (who refused to be vaccinated). They were not part of the nursing team; there would have been a concern if they had been two nursing team employees.” I am shockingly reminded of a quote from George Orwell’s Animal Farm. “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”

This hierarchical view seems so archaic in today’s era. It’s as though these two staff members were deemed to be the “untouchables” and that their loss would not be noted.  For shame.  As a veterinarian in a clinical setting, I know how important each member is to the smooth functioning of the practice and that a loss of any receptionist, registered technician, kennel attendant, or veterinarian quickly reduces the efficiency of a well-oiled unit. A well-oiled unit provides good service to its clientele/customers and such a break in the chain can quickly ruin the morale and machinations of remaining employees and thus the service they provide. All roles are essential, and if you have good employees, it is wise to do one’s best to keep them employed. As a leader, Ms. Field’s comments would be demoralizing to those staff members that may not be nurses. Was it just not yesteryear, that all health care workers, whether it be nurse, hospital custodian, laboratory technician, or doctor, were publicly decreed heroes? Yet suddenly, in one year, if they cannot be dictated into receiving a medical procedure, they are disposed of, just to keep a 5 star rating, or to get a public “like. There must be extremely good reasons, ie. health concerns, that they would risk being unemployed without any pay, support or compensation. Do we ever hear those sides of the story? Unfortunately, no.

I would be curious as well with regards to how many hospital staff members retired before the vaccine mandates came to play.  Our health care system was struggling before COVID, and any hospital member loss will cripple our medical system even further. Didn’t Doug Ford himself proclaim at the beginning of November that he would not mandate COVID 19 vaccines for hospital workers for that same reason of “jeopardizing the delivery of care to millions of Ontarians”?  Who is controlling our publicly funded health care system these days? Who calls the shots?  Do we taxpayers, who pay their salaries, get a say before it’s too late?

All I know is that there are victims…a loss of one or two health care workers in our corner may not seem much to you, but this is happening at all hospitals across Canada.  We are losing good people that want to work, and yet despite following all the “rules” so far and refusing a vaccine that appears to not be very effective, they have fallen into a shunned class and appear to have no democratic rights.  We are sadly witnessing, through Ms. Fields example, the development of a new Canadian governing way “my way or the highway”….a totalitarian way. And in this way, we all lose.


Dr. Janice Mitchell