"It is with a broken heart that I write this.”
“I never thought that I would be living this nightmare.”
“Since the announcement of Ontario’s passport system I have seen my mental health severely deteriorate, and unfortunately I do not see any end in sight.”
These words are from some of the messages I’ve received from unvaccinated people on how vaccine passports and mandates are affecting them.
Unvaccinated people in Canada are being coerced into choosing between getting vaccinated or getting pushed out of their jobs, colleges, and society. We’re forced to choose between something we don’t need — the COVID vaccine — and something we need: our livelihood.
Why are we being forced to lose our livelihoods over a vaccine that isn’t guaranteed to protect our lives? Vaccine passports do not make us more healthy, they make us more hopeless.
Hopelessness is the prevailing theme in many of the messages I’ve received from unvaccinated people:
“I have been under severe stress since the vaccine 'passport' was announced here in Ontario. I’m having difficulty sleeping, and difficulty focusing on work, or anything else.”
“I am submitting the following story on behalf of my 18-year-old cousin…I am heartbroken for him and what these mandates mean to his ability to earn a university degree and earn a living. He is currently unemployed and very discouraged by life.”
“I am having a lot of mental anguish about this passport and if I am forced I will have even more mental stress.”
“I feel constant anxiety about this ever-tightening situation and the situations that are yet to come.”
“Many many more sleepless, anxiety-filled nights to come I am sure…”
“I am depressed and cry every morning thinking about my future being ripped from me…I am so sad.”
“I hope we are able to change the way things are going, I personally am frightened and even more frightened by the people who just shrug and say it's no big deal.”
Many unvaccinated people have become aware that the significant majority of people who consistently boast about how much they care about people suffering from systemic discrimination and “mental health” issues are simply opportunistic frauds.
Nevertheless, we shouldn’t be frightened. We shouldn’t be anxious. And we shouldn’t be hopeless — we should be hopeful.
I hope the messages I’ve received on the vaccine passport change the Ontario government’s policies. When Ontario’s Advocate for Community Opportunities and I share these messages with policy makers, we’re hopeful it could make them end or at least restrain their oppressive policies.
However, I am not resting my hope on better policies by the government. I am not hoping for better politicians in government. My hope isn’t in people who are more concerned about securing their jobs than securing my rights.
My hope is in God.
Psalm 118: 5-9 says:
“In my distress I called to the LORD, and He answered and set me free. The LORD is on my side; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The LORD is on my side; He is my helper. Therefore I will look in triumph on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.”
If we’re distressed, we should pursue God in prayer. When the government oppresses us, God can set us free. If God is on my side, why should I be afraid of the government? Why should I be afraid of they can do to me? God is my helper. It is better to take refuge in God than to trust politicians. It is better to trust God than the government.
If we trust God, then we should be hopeful. However, if we don’t trust God — if we have not believed in Jesus Christ, we are hopeless: we do not have any basis for hope.
You’re not in danger if you’re unvaccinated, you’re in danger if you’re unrighteous. Your unvaccinated status isn’t a death sentence: your unrighteous status is.
Though we’re unrighteous by nature, we Christians have been declared righteous by God through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection — received by faith. Our hope rests in Christ, knowing that just as he ascended to heaven — soon, He’ll descend and return to earth.
Therefore, though some of us have been stripped of our rights over the vaccine — we know our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly anticipate the day when Jesus will return as the King of kings and Lord of lords to renew the world and establish justice forever.
That is our hope.
If you’re not a Christian, however, you do not have hope — not real hope. Who can you call at all times when you’re distressed? Who is on your side when you’re afraid? If God isn’t your helper, why shouldn’t you be afraid of what the government can do to you? If you don’t love Christ, how can you look in triumph on those who hate you?
But more than that, if you have not repented and trusted in Jesus Christ — you will suffer the wrath of God in hell forever. So above all, please hope in the gospel. Hope in Jesus Christ.
The reason why I am not hopeless despite my unvaccinated status is the same reason why I am not hopeless despite my unrighteous status: Jesus Christ.
Christ is the only real hope for unvaccinated and unrighteous people.
Therefore, in my distress, I will call to the LORD, and he will answer and set me free. The LORD is on my side; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The LORD is on my side; he is my helper.
That is the hope for unvaccinated people like me. I hope you can say the same.
Originally published at Slow to Write.
Samuel Sey is a Ghanaian-Canadian who lives in Brampton, a city just outside of Toronto. He is committed to addressing racial, cultural, and political issues with biblical theology, and always attempts to be quick to listen and slow to speak.