ZWAAGSTRA: Universities’ draconian pandemic guidelines are ridiculous

ZWAAGSTRA: Universities’ draconian pandemic guidelines are ridiculous

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Proof of vaccination is required for college kids who need to reside on the College of Toronto.

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No, this wasn’t cut-and-paste from a 2021 article – it’s an precise requirement for the autumn of 2022.

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Anybody who plans to reside in residence on the U of T should present proof of vaccination. Not solely that, however college students additionally want to indicate proof of three vaccine doses. Apparently, being double-vaxxed now not meets the college’s exacting requirements. Maybe the college ought to change its slogan to “Solely the triple-vaxxed want apply.”

This comes at a time when public well being officers throughout the nation have dropped proof of vaccination necessities, recognizing that, whereas the COVID-19 vaccines nonetheless defend folks in opposition to hospitalization and dying, they do little to forestall transmission. In different phrases, folks can turn out to be contaminated with and transmit COVID-19, even when vaccinated.

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Even health-care amenities in Ontario now not require proof of vaccination. It’s greater than a bit ironic that nurses working in private care houses don’t must get vaccinated, however nursing college students dwelling on-campus on the U of T do. College officers should suppose that college students are extra in danger from COVID-19 than senior residents.

In fact, we all know that is patently absurd. The overwhelming majority of college college students dwelling in dorms are underneath the age of 30, and few folks on this demographic group are prone to expertise extreme outcomes from COVID-19.

Sadly, the U of T is way from the one post-secondary establishment with antiquated pandemic guidelines. As a working example, the College of Manitoba lately introduced that every one college students and workers should put on masks on campus this fall. Mount Allison College in New Brunswick, Halifax’s Mount Saint Vincent College, and St. Francis-Xavier College in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, quickly adopted swimsuit with masks mandates of their very own.

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That is ridiculous.

Provinces way back dropped their masks mandates, which implies college college students can attend sporting occasions, hand around in bars, and take part in worship companies with out carrying masks however will nonetheless must put one on whereas on campus. In different phrases, college masks mandates are a major instance of pandemic theatre.

College officers are fooling themselves in the event that they suppose that college students are dutifully carrying masks whereas out in public. They’re much more delusional in the event that they imagine that college masks mandates will stop the unfold of COVID-19. These mandates will solely decimate the underside line of companies reminiscent of bars and eating places which can be unlucky sufficient to be positioned on campus.

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By imposing draconian vaccination necessities and sticking with pointless masks mandates, universities are sending the sign that they’re bastions of elitism. As a substitute of being open and welcoming, universities are excluding everybody who doesn’t share their irrational concern of COVID-19.

Finally, these mandates will solely undermine assist for vaccines and masks. In spite of everything, if vaccines are efficient at defending folks from COVID-19, vaccinated folks shouldn’t be involved about coming into contact with the unvaccinated. An on-campus vaccination requirement sends the message that vaccinated folks have little confidence that their vaccine truly protects them.

Equally, mandating masks for everybody sends the message that masks solely work if everybody wears one. Individuals genuinely involved about contracting COVID-19 are welcome to put on a correctly fitted N95 masks. However they’re kidding themselves in the event that they suppose that forcing others who don’t need to put on masks to put on them will do something aside from breed resentment.

Universities are imagined to be locations of studying, debate, and scholarship. Imposing outdated pandemic guidelines on college students doesn’t promote these tutorial values. College college students ought to be free to make their very own choices about vaccines and masks, similar to they do in every single place else.

Michael Zwaagstra is a public highschool instructor and senior fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Coverage

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