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Letter: Protesters have a right to rally but...

'We all have rights, but I think the greatest is everyone’s right to a safe and healthy life'

Re:  Hundreds rally in Didsbury against COVID restrictions

First, protesters have a right to rally in hopes to have their businesses reopened, however, when they say that they can open safely, the photos make me wonder. 

I see few masks or social distancing which makes me question what kind of protocol they, their staff and customers will follow if they did open. 

If they had worn masks in their rally, it may have been more believable. I totally understand the financial difficulties so many small businesses are going through. 

Our ranching business went through financial demise for more than three years between 2001-2003 with Mad Cow (disease), grasshopper infestation, drought and no available local hay. What hay was available was hundreds of miles away and twice the normal price. Having to feed hay 10 months of the year rather than the normal five to six for a few years in a row nearly put us into bankruptcy. So, I do understand. 

But this pandemic is a matter of millions of peoples’ lives and health, as well as livelihoods. We all need to work together and act responsibly. We have had health protocols from the beginning in hopes of limiting COVID’s spread. 

Unfortunately, it is the many people worldwide who feel it compromises their freedom to follow these health guidelines of wearing a mask in public, social distancing and hand sanitizing that are continually increasing the spread and are in fact, the very people who cause these lockdowns and businesses to have to close their doors. 

We all have rights, but I think the greatest is everyone’s right to a safe and healthy life, which at this time means following health guidelines and government restrictions. 

I grew up in a time when kids got home from school and went outside to play with our “bubble” of neighborhood friends. We didn’t have to be involved in all kinds of organized sports or other activities. 

There were few fitness clubs. You went for a walk or rode your bike or gardened or shovelled snow to keep in shape. We didn’t have money to go to restaurants or travel to far away, sunny locations for holidays, and we survived. 

Secondly, my spiritual upbringing taught me that religion was based on love and caring for others. I assume that people of faith would be the first to follow health guidelines for they should “love their neighbour.” 

I don’t think that a God of love wants us to congregate when it is unsafe to do so if we are putting others at risk. People can still practise their faith and do the right thing for others by following safe health guidelines and help others in need. 

But to protest that religious freedom has been taken away because they can’t congregate unmasked but have the right to potentially spread an extremely contagious virus that has turned the entire world into turmoil and caused millions of deaths makes me lose faith in the faithful. 

Judy Haase,

Olds area resident