Last week, an acquaintance of mine asked "What do you do when you find out one of your BFFs from forever is an anti-vaxxer?"
She then added that "They are contemplating giving ivermectin to their kid! I feel like I should do something … but what?"
Also last week, we all saw images of children at anti-vax rallies across the country, holding placards, yelling and being yelled at. I saw adults and children holding anti-vax placards outside the Midway Madness event at the Keystone Centre. People driving by on 18th Street were yelling profanities at them and giving them the finger.
There have also been numerous protests at Trudeau campaign events over the past week, at which there has been no shortage of anger, combined with the palpable threat of violence. In one case, rocks were thrown at the PM. Children were in the angry mob.
Kids, being used as pawns by adults who should know better.
The Canadian Red Cross defines child abuse as "any form of physical, emotional and/or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that causes injury or emotional damage to a child or youth. The misuse of power and/or a breach of trust are part of all types of child abuse."
An adult’s decision to give a child unprescribed ivermectin in order to protect that child from COVID-19 is child abuse. Full stop. The evidence is clear when it comes to the danger posed by that drug.
Indeed, Health Canada has released a safety alert that includes the following:
"Health Canada is advising Canadians not to use either the veterinary or human drug versions of ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19. There is no evidence that ivermectin in either formulation is safe or effective when used for those purposes. The human version of ivermectin is authorized for sale in Canada only for the treatment of parasitic worm infections in people.
"The veterinary version of ivermectin, especially at high doses, can be dangerous for humans and may cause serious health problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, allergic reactions, dizziness, seizures, coma and even death."
Yesterday, news reports revealed that a study has found that 85 per cent of all male patients examined, who had been recently treated with ivermectin, have developed various forms, grades and degrees of sperm dysfunction. In other words, sterilization.
When it comes to adults taking young children to loud, angry and potentially violent protests, consider the situation from the child’s perspective. Just imagine how six-year-olds would experience and perceive a situation where angry people around them (including their caregivers) are yelling obscenities, and having obscenities yelled at them.
Imagine the terror they would feel at that moment, and the impact it could have on them. Now multiply that by each time they are taken to such rallies — used as props for the cameras, and as human shields against the verbal abuse directed against them and their fellow protesters. The potential for lasting emotional harm is immense.
As Manitobans who are witnessing this happen — seeing kids being given unprescribed ivermectin, or forced to participate in these protests — what are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to keep quiet, look the other way and pretend it isn’t happening?
No, we aren’t. No, we can’t.
In Manitoba, the law is clear. It is everyone’s obligation to report suspected child abuse. If, in your honest judgment, you believe that a child may not be safe, you are legally required to report it to a CFS agency. If the child is in immediate danger, you must report it to the police. It is an offence to not report suspected abuse.
Nobody wants to tell parents how to raise their kids, but we have a shared duty as a community, province and nation to ensure that all children are safe and free from abuse.
If you are thinking of giving your child ivermectin as protection against COVID-19, don’t do it. It doesn’t prevent COVID, and it could kill your child.
If you’re thinking of taking your children to an anti-vax "freedom rally," express your opinion as loudly and rudely as you like, but leave the kids at home.
Don’t force your friends, your family or your neighbour to pick up the phone.