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Letter: Why make the choice to horrify?

A rallying slogan and “catchphrase” that sign maker admits would leave a Holocaust victim “horrified”

Re: Letter: 'Crime against humanity' sign distributor responds

By her own admission, Mary Flemming agrees that victims of the Holocaust would be “horrified by the comparison” that she makes between the Jewish extermination in Germany to that of the stress experienced by Canadian entrepreneurs during mid-pandemic lockdowns in 2021. 

If this is true, then why did she make the choice to horrify?

“It all began in the 1930s by government overreach….”, she writes, drawing a comparison between the Nazi takeover in 1930’s Germany with actions taken by current Canadian government officials and police officers restricting the actions of Canadians today.

Seems like a bit of a stretch. Is this supposed to legitimize the Holocaust reference? 

She goes on to say that, “most Albertans are accepting of what fate has handed them ‘with grace, fortitude and perseverance’. And at the same time believing it is all BS.” 

“BS”? What are the chances that the irony is intended?

She says, “I have gone everywhere I can to meet as many people as I can over the past year, mostly without a mask. One might say I am inviting disaster. Perhaps I will die of COVID – I will die of something – but I will not die cringing.”

Hmm . . . Purposely interacting without a mask in the midst of a pandemic. How does that old saying go? There is no “I” in the word “team”. 

This reminds me of the classic newscast where they are reporting the death of a wing-suit-wearing cliff jumper (insert any high risk, selfish, and totally unnecessary activity). The reporter sadly tells us that the beloved husband, and dedicated father of three, heart-broken children, died doing what HE loved.

It certainly is not about the loved ones. No, instead, it’s all about the individual . . . not the team.

The writer tells us that she knows why we have, by her accounting, such a “low death rate.” She arbitrarily rules out masks and lockdowns as contributing factors in reducing COVID infections. 

She implies that our impressive statistics are such because we social distance “when needed”, we have been increasing our cleanliness to the point that we are even killing “healthy” germs, and, lastly, the overall good health of the general population. 

Our sign maker has painted a pretty rosy picture of the Alberta COVID-19 situation.

Mary Flemming then makes a point of telling us that most of the deaths are people over 80. 

The suggestion is that if you are over 80 you shouldn’t really expect much from society – or your neighbours - and that your death may not be as significant as the death of someone younger. 

Should we not ask why someone would emphasize the age of those who are dying?

I have a sister who is 81, close friends in Innisfail who are 84, 86, 90 and 92, and a wonderful friend in Red Deer who will be 102 this summer. 

Every one of them have been lifelong contributors to their communities and, just like the young and vibrant 20 year olds, every one of them deserves to be protected by their government and each one of us – their neighbours.

I think it is very important to revisit Mary Flemming’s statements because they underline the depth of commitment some people make to disregarding the health guidelines and regulatory measures created by elected government officials and educated medical professionals. 

These actions also underline a serious commitment to endangering the lives of our Albertan neighbours (the team) who may suffer and die after being exposed to and contracting COVID-19 thanks to carelessness by the individual (the “I” that is not in team).

It seems as though some people don’t care very much about those who are weaker, those who have already died of COVID-19 and those family members who are mourning the death of loved ones. And what about the health-care workers, some of whom have already given their lives?

All in all, the ideas presented in Flemming’s letter are not surprising. 

They are consistent with the ideas of someone who would take it upon herself to come up with the “Lockdowns are a crime against humanity” catchphrase.

A rallying slogan and “catchphrase” that she admits would leave a Holocaust victim “horrified”. 

At least we now know where the signs originated.

Mary Flemming actually said that she “did think long and hard about that particular catchphrase."

From my perspective, it is shamefully disappointing that she neglected to think more deeply.

Bruce Madore,