An anti-vaccine card event drew a small crowd outside Vancouver City Hall Monday afternoon.
Monday was the first day B.C.’s vaccine card goes into effect, meaning everyone 12 years of age and older will need to show their card to access non-essential businesses and services.
The group organizing the event, Canadian Frontline Nurses, had originally listed the location as Vancouver General Hospital. Two days prior, a post on their Facebook page said the event would instead be a “silent vigil” at city hall.
Attendees were being asked to bring a flower and note to represent someone “affected by COVID-19 measures.”
This is the second event this group planned, after the first one outside the Vancouver hospital, with about 5,000 people at its peak.
Meanwhile, experts are raising concern over “moral injury” among health-care workers suddenly targeted over the vaccine cards.
The military term describes the plight of soldiers experiencing an extreme violation of their moral values, but Elizabeth Peter, a nursing professor at the University of Toronto, told The Canadian Press it’s fitting for exhausted health-care workers who are trying to save lives against the backdrop of protesters opposed to scientifically proven COVID-19 vaccines.
Doctors of BC President Dr. Matthew Chow told Global News that Sept. 1 was a very difficult day for health-care staff — the first rally outside Vancouver’s hospital.
“There is distress — a feeling that this was just beyond the pale in terms of the nature of the protests and where they happened,” he said.
Workers inside the hospital said they could hear crowds chanting “lock her up,” in reference to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
“People were spat at, cursed at, yelled at, women had misogynist comments directed at them, people were being yelled at through megaphones,” Chow said. “It just compounded the sense of fatigue and burnout people have been having.”