We find in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, repeated in the Quebec Charter, this statement: “Human rights and freedoms are inseparable from the rights and freedoms of others and from the general well-being”.

How can we do what we like as an individual when we live in society and have a responsibility to respect the freedom of others?

According to the English philosopher John Stuart Mill, as quoted in the Free opinion “Individual and collective rights in the face of the epidemic” published in The duty of August 14, “the individual is sovereign, but his sovereignty must not harm others”.

In the presence of a pandemic, any individual is likely to be infected and becomes a threat to the people he meets. Consequently, the refusal of vaccination on the pretext that it interferes with freedom is a threat to society and a failure to respect the freedom of those vaccinated, who must continue to protect themselves and display their vaccination passports.

Accepting the vaccine is a gesture of solidarity that should be natural and spontaneous in a democratic society […].

We are fortunate to have free access to highly effective vaccines, with an equally effective vaccination campaign. If the majority of Quebecers agreed to be vaccinated, we could achieve collective immunity which would make it possible to stop restrictive measures and protect our children under 12 who do not have access to the vaccine.

Unfortunately, because a significant percentage of people persistently refuse the vaccine for no good reason, the Delta virus may infiltrate and create a fourth wave. There will be sick people, people in hospital, people in intensive care and people who are going to die, while the treatment teams are already exhausted and decimated. Freedom has a cost that we should generously share and all together rediscover the freedom of the vaccinated.

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