Groups of pro-lockdown individuals held rallies in Alberta to show their opposition to Jason Kenney's UCP government's move to return to normal amid high vaccination rates.
On Wednesday, the Alberta government announced that the province would be transitioning into the endemic phase. This means ending isolation requirements, contact tracing, remaining mask mandates, and a normal return to school for students.
The Kenney government will also stop mass testing for the asymptomatic and those with mild symptoms. Only those with severe symptoms will be tested at a doctor's office or a hospital.
While most Albertans are relieved that the pandemic times are coming to an end, especially with 65 percent of eligible people fully vaccinated in the province, some pro-lockdown zealots and doctors are not.
This led to them leaving their homes to go congregate outside with others who are not members of their households, in order to let the government know that they want restrictions to stay.
The pro-lockdown protests were held outside the McDougall Centre in Calgary and in front of the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton.
Dr. Joe Vipond, who is the head of a pro-mask group called Masks4Canada, spoke at the rally in Calgary. He called on the Province's Chief Medical Officer, who came up with the back to normal plan, to resign, CBC reports.
"But if you sign your name on a document that says I'm going to expose every Albertan, including all of our children, to unknown risks, I'm afraid she needs to resign. I don't know what else."
"So all I can think of is we come out, we say that this is not right, you're not going to do this in my province," added Vipond. However, according to some of these same experts, coming out to congregate in large crowds could lead to viral transmission, especially with the “super contagious” Delta variant.
While some doctors and other pro-lockdown individuals are taking to the streets to share their fears of a respiratory virus which has a vaccine and a high recovery rate, other doctors are pleased with Alberta’s plan to put government imposed restrictions in the history books.
Dr. Sarah Fortune, chair of the department of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, praised Alberta’s move to return to normal.
"I think Alberta is taking reasonable steps in the face of having done a good job of bringing the viral numbers down and in the face of good vaccine coverage,” said Fortune on CBC Radio.
While the media and some doctors are raising concerns about the Delta variant, and calling it a cause to reimpose restrictions, vaccine data shows otherwise.
The variant that originated in India is more transmissible and breakthrough cases are possible, however the vaccines still provide great protection which squash any narrative of bringing back lockdowns.
A study from The New England Journal of Medicine found that the vaccines were highly effective, with the Pfizer vaccine being 93.7 percent effective against the variant. The vaccines are even more effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths.
However, that has not stopped the medical establishment and the mainstream corporate media from stoking fears into people about the variant and calling for restrictions to stay in place or be reinstated, something which is frustrating Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.
Kenney, and other conservative leaders in North America, say the media’s renewed fear mongering and calls for more restrictions will discourage the unvaccinated from getting the effective COVID-19 vaccine, as the return to normal is one of the greatest incentives for vaccination.
When restrictions were first introduced in March 2020, governments and even health experts said that they would be temporary. However, it seems like some want COVID-19 restrictions to remain in place forever, even though our world is able to deal with respiratory viruses, like the flu, without having to infringe on people’s freedoms and disrupt the economy.