COVID-19 has filled our news feeds and dominated our lives throughout the past year. However, most of the stories have been from Toronto, or New York, or even further afield. So, given our local focus, we chose to take a different angle, and bring the truth of the pandemic home.
Groups ranging from the sadly misguided to the dangerously disturbed have spewed unfounded claims and just ridiculous conspiracy theories via the Internet, including fanciful stories of microchips in vaccines, and claims of surveillance schemes funded by billionaires who evidently have nothing better to do than watch us all go shopping.
One such group, Hugs Over Masks, chose to force their views onto the people of Barrie through unwelcome rallies on the waterfront that were abruptly brought to an end after we exposed their activities. Their claims, that were being delivered by an obvious supporter of the now disgraced and disproven QAnon conspiracy, were apparently shut down by the City of Barrie when our followers questioned if the group had a permit to use the publicly funded beach for their socially destructive agenda.
We also went right to the source for a first-had local account of both fighting and surviving COVID-19. Christie N Stephe Lawson are an Innisfil couple who continue to deal with long-term health repercussions after husband and father Stephe battle the virus in May of June of 2020. This man, who was extremely health and fitness conscious, went from lifting heavy weights and walking several kilometres every day at work to struggling to lift a bag of milk and climbing a set of stairs. As they will tell you, COVID-19 is not just the flu, and if the virus chooses you, the long-term effects can be devastating.
Finally, we addressed the issue of the vaccine by once again speaking with two local professionals from the long-term care industry who rolled up their sleeves to be first in line for the inoculation. Mary Harris and Kim Pettit were not motivated by a desire for attention, but by a deeply rooted desire to protect both the residents of the care facilities in which they work and also their families. They told us the truth about the vaccine, and how it has freed them from the feeling of ongoing dread that we have all come to accept now as just being part of our daily lives.
This video is a little longer than most of our productions, but it is time well spent to learn the truth of this virus from people living within our very own community. Their stories are personal, genuine, and authentic. We wish to thank all participants for their candour and for showing the bravery to speak with us and to you.
We would like to thank the following sponsors of the Ontario Community Awareness Network. These businesses show they care about our shared community by helping us to provide a locally-focused truly local voice to you and your neighbours. They also enable our crew to be able to continue providing donated services to promote local benevolent community groups and charities based in The City of Barrie, the Town of Innisfil, and the Township of Oro-Medonte.
Assisting You Social - Social Media Management
Backcountry K9 Kennel - Day Care, Overnight, and Grooming
BarterPay Simcoe County - Business Promotion
Beauty & Babes - Salon and Spa
Checkered Door - Transition to Adult ASD
Enterprise Mechanical Inc. - Heating and Air Conditioning
Family TLC - Family Counselling and Therapy
Fionn MacCool's Barrie - Pub
Growing Minds Learning Centre - Daycare Centre
Hwear Plus/Canadian Toggle - Personal Protection
Imagine Laserworks Barrie - Laser Acupuncture Services
Jack’s Urban Jungle - Indoor Adventure Park
Latchman Insurance Brokers Limited - Providing All Types
LiceSquad.com Barrie South Simcoe - Lice Removal
Michael Enterprise Audio & Visual
Northlink General Contracting
Still Moving Osteopathy - People and Pets
Theatre By The Bay - Live Performances
3B Solutions - Video and Media
For more information about how your business can benefit from membership in the Ontario Community Awareness Network, please visit www.cityofbarrie.net
Videography by John Ironside and Tiffany Scott
Script and Post-production by John Ironside