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N.B. man speaks out against COVID misinformation as family battles the virus – New Brunswick


Joe Gee is aware of the affect of COVID-19 denial on a household.

At the very least 10 members of Gee’s household have contracted the virus after downplaying its severity and refusing to get vaccinated as a result of misinformation circulating concerning the efficacy of the shot.

A few of these relations have ended up within the hospital, even the ICU.

“There may be lots of misinformation on the market,” mentioned Gee, who lives in a rural space exterior of Perth-Andover, N.B.

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He mentioned his household refused to get vaccinated as a result of they thought it was poison. Regardless of his household’s stance, he tried to encourage them to take it critically. He and his fiancée Tracy are absolutely vaccinated.

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“It’s like beating a useless horse,” he mentioned of his makes an attempt to persuade family members to roll up their sleeves.


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“Folks’s concepts of what was occurring saved altering and evolving — it saved getting greater and nearer to house — after which it grew to become ‘OK, we settle for that the pandemic is actual however vaccines, they’re unhealthy.’”

Slowly, infections took maintain of his family members and he was bouncing between three homes caring for family members struggling to battle COVID-19 infections. For him, it was scary.

Info started to disseminate amongst households members, he mentioned, and it snowballed.

Learn extra:
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He mentioned the dearth of clear info causes lots of division among the many household — virtually like there have been two sides: the vaccinated in opposition to the unvaccinated.

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“I needed to communicate up,” he mentioned.

“This isn’t enjoyable, and what you see – what this illness can do to relations and household relationships – it’s devastating.

“It’s devastating, and I don’t need anybody else to get sick.”

Gee has been talking out within the media and on social media in an effort to lift consciousness about how COVID denialism impacts households and the way critical the virus is.

He mentioned lots of the misinformation his household acquired was from an area church, which he selected to not identify. He mentioned the church and its chief used the virus as a strategy to take a look at folks’s religion, saying that God would shield them.


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“It’s denial,” he mentioned. “They know who they’re. Everybody on the town has been coming as much as me, they usually’ve all been saying the identical individual.

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“I hope that that individual is scared. I hope they’re sweating of their boots as a result of when that is over with, they’re going to have lots of explaining to do.”

Gee mentioned he is not going to cease till these answerable for spreading misinformation face penalties, calling those that are doing so “false prophets.”

Learn extra:
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Public Well being initially didn’t embrace church buildings among the many record of locations that will require proof of vaccination, regardless of a lot of circumstances originating from non secular settings.

Nonetheless, on Sept. 21, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs mentioned he anticipated faith-based organizations to observe the proof of vaccination coverage.

On Oct. 2, Public Well being mentioned it will be sending public security officers to establishments of religion to examine on compliance.

Mayor exhibits help for Gee

Perth-Andover Mayor Marianne Bell helps Gee in his efforts in elevating consciousness about misinformation. She spoke on to faith-based organizations spreading misinformation about COVID-19 within the space when talking with International Information on Friday.

“I believe lots of people who aren’t vaccinated suppose it’s a raffle to take the vaccine, they’re involved about what it’s in it,” she mentioned.

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Learn extra:
How do you spot and debunk misinformation? Experts chime in

“I’m not a gambler. Folks want to grasp in the event that they’re getting vaccinated (that it’s a threat, however they’re) additionally taking a threat in the event that they don’t, and the playing odds are simply so a lot better in the event you get the vaccine.”

She mentioned this new wave of an infection is startling and is hitting the group a lot in another way than it did within the first half of the pandemic.

“It’s simply so unhappy that when the Delta variant takes maintain, it appears to be hitting folks right here. It could be unhappy the place ever it hit folks.”




© 2021 International Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.





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