Trying to save money, improve your health and simplify your life? BC’s ‘proof of vaccination required’ list just might help

Instead of downloading the BC Government’s vaccine passport app, I’m just going to avoid the places the Provincial Health Officer has ordered the passport be shown.

When the BC Vaccination Passport was announced last week, along with the list of venues where people would be required to show it, I realized right away that a lot of money, time, and complication could be avoided by simply staying away from those places.

I also noticed the Order was focussed primarily on events, social, and cultural activities that exist in the commercial sector of the economy.

Here is the text of the order on the BC government’s “Get the BC Vaccine Card” website:

By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), proof of vaccination is required to access some events, services and businesses. Starting September 13, you must have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. By October 24, you must be fully vaccinated. The requirement is in place until January 31, 2022 and could be extended. “

The requirement applies to all people born in 2009 or earlier (12+) and covers:

Indoor ticketed sporting events

Indoor concerts, theatre, dance and symphony events

Licensed restaurants and restaurants that offer table service (indoor and patio dining)

Pubs, bars and lounges (indoor and patio dining)

Nightclubs, casinos and movie theatres

Gyms, exercise facilities/studios and recreation facilities

Businesses offering indoor group exercise

Indoor adult group and team sports for people 19 years old or older

Indoor organized events with 50 or more people. For example: Wedding receptions, organized parties, conferences and workshops

Indoor organized group recreational classes and activities like pottery, art and choir

Post-secondary on-campus student housing

Of the dozen or so venues where a vaccine passport will be required after today, September 13th, the first two, “indoor ticketed sporting events” and “indoor concerts, theatre, dance and symphony events” will also be easy to avoid, especially for those who reside in rural areas and people who have no discretionary money to spend.

Likewise, licensed restaurants and restaurants that offer table service and pubs, bars and lounges with indoor and patio dining are already fairly expensive places to eat and drink.

Up to three quarters of the Canadian population is already overweight or obese. Avoiding bars, restaurants and pubs and opting to eat healthful, simply-prepared, nutritious food, mainly at home could be a smart alternative for many looking to conserve cash by reducing discretionary spending, reduce risk of infection, and increase personal resilience.

Attendance at nightclubs, casinos and movie theatres are completely optional; they too are options for which less expensive, healthier and perfectly reasonable alternatives already exist.

Maybe it’s time to acknowledge these venues for what they are: expensive commercial and government gambling concerns that promote over-consumption of food and drink, with a higher-than-necessary density of people who may or may not be carriers of an infectious variant of the Sars 2 Corona virus.

Similarly, the BC vaccine passport restrictions limit access to businesses offering indoor exercise. Again, it’s probably easier and less risky for individuals to avoid these places, especially when opportunities to exercise outdoors are so plentiful in BC, year round.

Just going for a brisk, half hour walk most days meets the minimum recommended standard for fitness, and is easily achieved, even in more densely populated centres. When walking is supplemented with strength and flexibility training such as intentionally lifting, carrying, setting-down and picking up heavy objects, BC’s vaccine passport becomes completely redundant, and the very idea of paying a business to exercise quickly evaporates.

Lately, I’ve been spending time loading mill-end logs into my truck, hauling them home, then splitting and stacking the pieces by hand. I’m doing this even though I don’t burn wood for heat, but I do need the exercise that splitting and stacking wood affords. Besides I’ll have a ready store of dry firewood to share with people hereabout who might need it.

Indoor adult group and team sports for people 19 years old or older is another area where BC’s Vaccine Passport will be required after today. While team sports are often played indoors, not all of them are. Some of these indoor sports can be easily taken outside. The indoor, often commercial spaces that are rented and booked hour by hour to an array of age-groupings: children, adolescents and adults.

If the main purpose of the BC vaccine passport to limit the spread of #Covid-19? How effective will these new measures be especially where fully-vaccinated adults vye with unvaccinated children and adolescents for use of these spaces?

Might the BC vaccine passport will prove less effective as a measure to limit the spread of infectious disease but remain an effective way to monitor the movement of people?

The BC government order also requires people attending events with 50 or more people to produce their vaccine passport. Attendance at wedding receptions, organized parties, conferences, meetings and workshops are cited in the government order as some but by no means all of the examples given.

Are there other examples of gathers of people in groups of greater than 50 also required where monitoring of their vaccine passport will also be required?

A curious example of an organized group mentioned in the BC government Order is the inclusion of some, but not all organized group recreational classes and activities: pottery, art and choir offered as three examples.

It has been a long time time since I have attempted pottery, taken a studio art class or sung in a choir, but once again, I wonder how effective the government’s monitoring the vaccine status of amateur potters, artists and singers will be in limiting the spread of Covid-19?

All it takes is one virus-shedding individual, (who may or may not have been vaccinated) to exhale enough of the virus to be inhaled by many others in the room. No government Order nor vaccine app has so far proven itself capable of limiting infectious spread nor of deciding who or who might not be a carrier, or at risk of infection.

As of today, The BC government’s order also requires individuals seeking admission to post-secondary on-campus student housing to show proof of vaccination using the government app.

To whom will this requirement apply? Only to the students occupying the dorm rooms, shared kitchen and living and recreational facilities, or will it also apply to visitors and guests, coming and going at all hours of the day and night?

Good luck to to any government or computer-based vaccine-checking application who would monitor all of that!

As for myself, for now, I shall hold off in downloading or registering for The BC government’s mandated vaccine passport.

I’m quite willing and able to avoid all of the venues and social gatherings covered by it; I’m ready to do without it.

In fact, my taking an increased measure of personal responsibility for my own and others’ health, by avoiding unnecessary spending, exercising, and not carrying an electronic device everywhere I go, I believe that I will be doing everything I reasonably can to limit the spread of the Sars2Corona virus — at least until the BC government’s vaccine App Order expires on January 31, 2022.

Until then, I’ll continue to carry my own proof of vaccination wallet card which I will be happy to show to almost anyone who has a good reason for asking.

I think one unintended consequence of the BC vaccine passport and others like it is to describe a boundary or fault line that describes more than those who have or do not have a mandated government proof of vaccination; it also describes two populations of citizens in British Columbia: those who may have easy access combined with the desire to engage in lots of discretionary spending, and those who cannot, for a variety of social and economic reasons.

For now, let me say that I have a few abiding concerns about the BC vaccine app. In solidarity with those who are less likely to be able to patronize the businesses and mainly commercial enterprises being monitored, I won’t be downloading it.

By Paul David Steer

Wu wei the live-long day.

One reply on “Trying to save money, improve your health and simplify your life? BC’s ‘proof of vaccination required’ list just might help”

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