EDITORIAL – 3 years later, refuseniks can thank the science on COVID

(Image: TheDigitalArtist, Pixabay)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

IT’S BEEN A YEAR since the Ottawa convoy. Three years ago, we were just beginning our experience with COVID-19. We didn’t even know what to call it yet.

Saturday was the anniversary of B.C.’s first confirmed case of 2019-nCOV, in a man returning from Wuhan city in China.

Health officials told us not to bother with any special precautions beyond what we usually did with respiratory viruses in winter.

Masks? Of no particular value, they said.

But as the new virus spread like wildfire, masks became not only recommended but mandatory in some situations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s daily updates became a regular part of our TV watching. Dr. Bonnie Henry became famous, revered even, as she and Health Minister Adrian Dix kept us up to speed on the battle against this frightening new enemy.

Bars and restaurants were shut down. Working from home was suddenly normal. We hoarded toilet paper. Hand sanitizers were in short supply, too.

We went through massive travel restrictions, vaccine cards and a host of other measures in an attempt to slow the pandemic and, yet, our hospitals were clogged with patients, many of them dying. Nurses and doctors faced burnout from impossibly heavy workloads.

At first, pretty much everyone was united in the fight. Until, of course, people began to tire of it. Even after vaccines were developed at lightning speed, the numbers of refuseniks grew.

While it’s rare to see anyone wearing a mask these days, COVID-19 is still very much with us. Thousands are still dying from it every day.

The cry-Freedom crowd shouts “I told you so,” but many more would have died, and would be dying, without all those drastic measures and the vaccines that have given us at least a measure of immunity.

No matter what the skeptics say, we can be thankful for the science that has allowed most of us — including them — to survive and continue the fight.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, alternate TNRD director and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9489 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – 3 years later, refuseniks can thank the science on COVID

  1. It’s become too easy to forget the images of mass graves and people wearing protective suits to handle the dead bodies when the pandemic was at the deadliest phase.
    Was it Hart Island, near Manhattan, where so many were buried having died from Covid-19?
    Unless, of course, for people who believe those events were staged.

  2. I got the vaccines and wore a mask when required and so did the rest of the family. Regardless we all got sick at different times but with rest and basic care we all rebounded 100%. I know people who also got similarly sick and also rebounded 100%. Did the vaccines truly made a difference?
    I get it the authorities did not know at the time the exact severity of the disease and arguably did their best. However the disruptions to our lives created unintended side effects which caused anxiety, depressive symptoms and episodes, economic distress and further political instability through and through.

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