Doug Ford’s Gen-X vaccine bribe

(reposted from Twitter)

I’m 48 and I’ve registered for my AZ shot. The sooner everyone’s vaccinated the better. But that doesn’t make @fordnation’s opening AZ to the 40-plus anything less than an attempt to buy off Gen-Xers to avoid helping the most vulnerable. Here’s why:

The Sunday announcement is clearly part of the government’s attempt to deal with the nuclear fallout from its disastrous Friday doomfest. Remember, that “plan” involved a slew of actions whose common feature was their irrelevance to actually getting the pandemic under control.Almost immediately, they rolled back the playground ban and their papers-please police policy. Which, great, but still does nothing to actually save lives. And the rest of the outdoors is still pretty much closed.

Then on Sunday – who announces carefully considered major policy changes on a Sunday? – we get the AZ announcement. Yay, Gen X finally gets something! But of course, there’s a catch.

If lowering the AZ age threshold were part of a consistent or coordinated plan, it would’ve targeted the most at-risk communities. It would’ve been announced alongside #PaidSickDays and the many other things medical professionals have been screaming about for months now.

Instead, they made yet another conscious choice. Rather than help those that need it most, or implement the detailed advice from his science advisors, Doug Ford just threw open the AZ doors.. That it’s being done in the absence of anything else tells us that it’s only happening so Doug Ford can avoid actually helping the most affected by (gasp!) providing #PaidSickDays.

To put it bluntly, I’m being bumped to the front of the line because Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservatives are feeling politically pressured and really, really don’t want to help the most affected.

We’re all scared. We all need the vaccine. But we need to confront the politics at play here. This government is making choices. The PC government is betting that this will be enough to calm people down, so it doesn’t actually have to do what all the experts say it needs to.

To be crystal clear: This is reprehensible because it’s being done in the absence of other needed actions. It’s being done, eg, to avoid or postpone giving workers desperately needed #PaidSickDays. It’s being treated as a (completely unnecessary, entirely political) tradeoff.

It takes a certain type of awfulness to play this type of pandemic brinkmanship. But we should all be aware enough to realize that while all 40-somethings should get their AZ when offered, we’re still being played. And people will still needlessly die because this government thought it could bargain its way out of a pandemic.

So, I’m going to get my shot as soon as I can. But I’m also not going to forget that this government is still refusing to do what it needs to do to keep Ontarians safe, and that it tried to buy me off with a life-saving vaccine. And @fordnation needs to immediately turn over all pandemic planning to actual experts and to stop playing politics with a pandemic that doesn’t care about his poll numbers. Fin.

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