Mimi has just learned that she has 30 more days to get the vaccine. She is still a little in shock; his decision was made.
The more I am pushed, the less I want, she said, of the COVID-19 vaccination.
Every day, my colleagues put pressure on me, they try to convince me, it’s too stressful. I’ll be vaccinated when I’m ready, and I’m not ready yet.
Mimi, who is 38 years old and has been practicing for 13 years as a nurse, had discussed it with her partner. He agreed to compensate for her lost salary for a few months, since she had decided, despite the injunction, not to be vaccinated and therefore to quit a job that she nevertheless adores.
My God, I will be there every day because I love my patients. Just for my patients. I love everything about this job, I love taking care of the elderly.
So why refuse the vaccine and give up?
The answer might be in one word:
While Mimi has been smiling since the start of our discussions, suddenly she starts to cry, upset at the memories of the first wave that invade her.
I have seen so many patients come out of the elevator dead. A devastation! I saw them die in their room. She cries even more.
Then I caught the disease. I was in the hospital for a week. Mimi says when she left her nerves gave way.
I was lost, completely lost. I had a big depression. My psychological health took a hit with its cold, and that’s when all kinds of information that was circulating on the web started to take hold of me., she explains.
Some of my colleagues who did not want to be vaccinated because of the teachings of God or the Bible resigned in September, not me. It’s as if I had been through too much pressure since the start of the crisis, she sums up.
I can no longer be pressured.
However, the pressure exerted by Quebec worked. For a lot of people. In Montreal alone, there were 16,107 unvaccinated workers on August 26; there were only 8,759 left on October 11, including Mimi. They now have until November 15 to do so, as the government has decided to extend the deadline by one month.
Adner Jeuno, beneficiary attendant
Photo: Radio-Canada / Ivanoh Demers
We must obey the law
Adner Jeuno, 28, works as a beneficiary attendant for a placement agency. He went for his second dose three weeks ago. He couldn’t afford to lose his job.
I went to get vaccinated. I have a wife, children, responsibilities.
His agency had also reminded him in September that it was time to proceed if he wanted to be in good standing by October 15.
Those who run the government must respect their decisions. It’s the law, I did it, he explains, without much qualms and without being able to explain why he delayed. But the result is there: it’s done.
In front of the Institute of Geriatrics, a group of nurses and nursing assistants are also eating their dinner. They discuss the suspension granted by Quebec to unvaccinated health workers. There are six of them, sitting in a circle near a tree. They are all vaccinated.
They tell me that the horror experienced during the first wave of COVID-19 has forged an unwavering bond between them.
We went to war together, it creates a special solidarity, explains one of them, who does not want her name to appear in an article because they did not have prior permission from management to speak with journalists.
The young woman adds that the deadline imposed by Quebec on health personnel to be vaccinated has plagued the working atmosphere in these close-knit teams.
It’s sad to see competent people who like to make the decision to sacrifice their career because of a decision that is difficult to understand.
They tell of the discussions in the corridors, the imbroglios, the clashes.
They are not “antivax” as we see in the demonstrations, she says.
They are reluctant, fearful and often influenced by their religion. They must be reassured.
His colleague continues, in a weary tone, about the one-month reprieve granted by Quebec.
A month or a year is not going to change anything. The more pressure you put, the more the recalcitrant withdraws into themselves.
She adds :
You have to treat people who are afraid with respect.