Here we are, 14 months into this pandemic and yeah, nerves are frayed. While some people are doing their part to fight this disease despite that frustration, others continue to simply hurt the cause and do their level best to be the proverbial stick in the front wheel of our collective bicycle. I have empathy for people who have lost their businesses or jobs and believe that government should be doing everything within their power to help them.

But when it comes to those who spew lies, conspiracy theories or other junk, I have zero time for them. They are doing real harm to society and actually making things worse. They are creating more super spreader events that create new COVID spikes, more cases, leading to more deaths and force us to be in COVID measures even longer. So it was with that in mind that I noted something I hadn’t heard much about during this pandemic, a Cov-idiot protest back home in Kenora and folks, it’s worth noting:

Where to begin with this stupidity? First off, I’ll just note that one of the upsides to a protest like this in a smaller community is that you can easily identify the idiots taking part and shun the living hell out of them for years to come. And folks, there is some serious shunning merited from some of the quotes on the record here. Start with those who were yelling from the roadside “don’t get vaccinated.” That’s just dangerous crap, especially when to comes to vaccines that have been proved to be highly effective and safe.

But let’s continue the shunning to people like James Pencoff, who was quoted in the piece with a couple especially disgusting gems. Firstly he complained that the media “has been “parroting” what health experts and government officials have said about the COVID-19 pandemic.” Yeah, they’ve been reporting the facts. The facts and science speak loudly, and the experts follow that. So what exactly is he bitching about? That the media isn’t actively ignoring facts and science and isn’t trying to mislead people.

Yeah, that’s a priceless take but he didn’t stop there. He admitted on the record that he had the virus recently, which is disturbing given that he was out in public protesting. He actually said that “COVID-19 wasn’t that bad” and even went onto say that “people shouldn’t be scared of it.” To be perfectly honest, it was that last quote that sent me over the edge and pushed me to write this piece. It’s that kind of ignorance that is not only dangerous, it’s downright anti-social behaviour. And while I was reading this story earlier, I couldn’t help but note the following tweets come through my Twitter feed which really speak to why a quote like that upset me so much:

After more than a year of this, and thousands of Canadians dead from COVID, you’d think I shouldn’t need to say this now but clearly the likes of James Pencoff, the “give COVID a chance” idiot from back home, needs to hear this a bit more for it to sink in. Colleen and Kim were two health care professionals, risking their lives every day in this fight against COVID. You know, the disease that James Pencoff says “people shouldn’t be scared of”. That disease took both of their lives, a disease that they caught while trying to protect others from it. Kim was only 26 years old and according to media reports, was found dead in her apartment. Shee had no symptoms, but it killed her none the less.

It’s comments like those ignorant ones that really pisses me off something awful, especially when you see stories on a daily basis of people losing their damn lives trying to fight something idiots like that guy says is nothing to worry about. You know, someone like him could just as easily stayed home and said to himself “few, I got lucky” that COVID didn’t kill him or do any worse damage to him yet. But instead of that, he decides to go to the streets on a warm Saturday afternoon and tries to tell people to that “shouldn’t be scared” of COVID. He joins people who are trying to tell people not to get vaccinated, actively putting the lives of other innocent people at risk. He joined people peddling conspiracy theories, threatening a journalist and then posed for photos for said journalist that will go in the weekly paper and tell the whole community what a Cov-idiot he is.

So where am I going with this? Why write this piece? Well it’s simple really. When we finally get out of this pandemic and people are safe, I firmly believe that we must remember those who were actively fighting against public health measures in such irresponsible ways, who were actively spreading conspiracy theories and were actively putting the lives of their fellow citizens at risk. We must remember their names, their faces, ensure that they are shunned and made to wear their anti-social and dangerous behaviour going forward. In this moment of danger, we need to remember those who rose to the moment and did their part to help us all. But we also need to remember those cowardly idiots who decided to act selfishly and put the lives of other innocent people at risk.

We need to remember those people whose actions helped to spread COVID further, put more lives at risk, made these public health measures more necessary and caused more pain. It’s those people who are hurting small businesses and people who are struggling economically through this pandemic, because they are the ones, through their selfish acts, that are helping the disease spread. That’s on them, and while I believe in forgiveness, these cov-idiots cannot be allowed to escape the natural consequences that they should face. Because right now you’re either with fellow citizens or you’re with the disease. That handful of Cov-idiots who protested in Kenora yesterday are clearly not with their fellow citizens and we cannot forget them once we are out of this. Let them escape those consequences would be a terrible insult to brave people like Colleen and Kim, who lost their lives fighting a disease, that these cov-idiots continue to deny.