As doctors across Canada receive COVID-19 vaccines, many are sharing photographs on social media to inspire hope and to encourage others to get vaccinated too.
This has sparked a controversy around “vaccine selfies,” as other doctors say the pictures provoke anxiety, anger and envy.
The debate among doctors over how to use social media is merely the tip of the iceberg, with inequalities in Canada’s slow and irregular vaccine rollout at the root of the frustrations.
Studies over the past decade have demonstrated links between browsing social media and depressive symptoms, especially when online content triggers envy. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine envy is inevitable, with vaccines being limited and the pandemic continuing to rapidly grow.
Social media triggers
For some health-care workers, social media selfies are an unwelcome trigger.
“Social media is complicated,” says Amelia Yip, a cardiologist in Waterloo, Ont., who recently received her first dose vaccine. “Even within the health-care profession, there are people who should be getting it before others. But the way it’s being rolled out doesn’t always work that way.”
“The way the distribution is happening, it feels like there isn’t a co-ordinated effort. It feels under-appreciative for health-care workers, or even those at risk, not just doctors,” says Yip.
Canada’s vaccine rollout has been highly variable between provinces. In Ontario, for example, almost 19 per cent of vaccinated people have completed both doses, compared to only 1.5 per cent in British Columbia.
And in Québec, where second doses are being postponed significantly until mid-March, no one has yet received two doses.
Yip says there are pockets of people who have been missed in her local rollout, and that at her hospital, cardiologists had to remind authorities that they, too, are involved in critical care.
Meanwhile, says Yip, it’s been doubly frustrating to see vaccine selfies posted by people who don’t work on the frontlines.
“Yesterday, a completely non-medical person who’s an accountant and happens to work at a Toronto hospital got it. When you see someone not even working [with COVID-19 patients] getting it, it feels like the person is jumping the queue.”
Anger and resignation
The vaccine rollout in B.C. has featured similar criticisms and controversies around queue-jumping by doctors and administrators.
Alan Drummond, an emergency physician in Perth, Ont., where frontline workers are still waiting for word of vaccines, says:
“You have to take the broader context to understand where some of the disappointment and anger is coming from. For at least 10 months, ER physicians and nurses were dealing with a novel virus that has the potential to be quite deadly. I don’t know anybody in my sphere who shied away from the responsibilities of looking after patients — nobody.”
Drummond says the initial arrival of vaccines in Canada was met with hope and enthusiasm, and that it was “entirely appropriate” that doctors celebrated on social media as a sign of the beginning of change.
But as selfies continue to get posted online, Drummond says he and his colleagues are beginning to feel resigned and angry.
“The inequities are starting to show…. We need an appropriate queue — we certainly aren’t in it. And [the selfies are] the icing on the cake.”
Impacts of stress
Stress due to providing care to coronavirus patients has significant consequences. Frontline doctors, nurses and therapists are burned out. Tragically, 35-year-old doctor Karine Dion recently died by suicide. Emergency and intensive care doctors have also reported feeling overwhelmed.
Sarah Giles, a rural family and emergency doctor in Kenora, Ont., says her community will not be receiving vaccines until April.
“When we look at inequalities, we know that there is a lifespan discrepancy between living in northwest Ontario and in southern Ontario. As my friend said, we’re at the end of the supply for fruits and vegetables and you can tell: We’re at the end for vaccines as well.”
And especially in rural communities, says Giles, every health-care worker is paramount.
“We have human resources issues. If we lose a couple of doctors or nurses, it’s going to be a big problem.”
For Giles, who lives alone, vaccine selfies have been personally anxiety-provoking; she says when she gets vaccinated, she will not post a selfie.
As for Drummond, he has this message for doctors: “By all means celebrate, but celebrate privately. Just don’t do it so publicly when a lot of your colleagues who are dealing with this stuff are dealing with their own anxieties and fears. We get it — we’re happy for you. Just don’t rub salt in our wounds.”
Queen's to host symposium unpacking media representations of witchcraft – Kingstonist
A week-long virtual symposium is organized from August 16 to 22 by The Witch Institute, a one-time symposium hosted by the Department of Film and Media at Queen’s University in Katarokwi/Kingston. The Witch Institute is a collaborative meeting space for people who want to share diverse understandings of witches and witchcraft and “complicate, reframe, and remediate media representations that often continue to perpetuate colonial, misogynistic, and Eurocentric stereotypes of the archetypal figure,” according to the organization’s website.
“We noticed a recent trend in witch-related media across television, film, music, and fashion where the witch is often cast as a feminist icon, and we wanted to understand the significance of this recent resurgence of witch imagery,” said Emily Pelstring, Co-Organizer of The Witch Institute.
The symposium constitutes seven planned events, including 18 roundtables, 14 workshops, and many exciting screenings, talks, and performances. It includes a lecture by Dr. Silvia Federici on the role of witch hunts in colonization and globalization processes; a conversation between the star of the iconic 90s witch film The Craft, Rachel True, and Dani Bethea about the representation of black femininity in witch horror; a screening and conversation around Anna Biller’s feminist satire The Love Witch; and an expanded version of the short film program Spellbound, with an accompanying workshop and raffled multimedia Collective Spell Package, curated by Geneviève Wallen.
“We suspect that this rise in interest in witchcraft and the reclamation of witch-identity is in part a response to the intensification of the conservative politics that we are seeing across the globe. If this is the case on some level, it is worth asking more questions about how these reclamations respond to the current conditions and what witchcraft and related practices mean for marginalized communities,” said Pelstring.
The symposium is free to attend for the public and is virtual, but ticket reservation is required due to limited numbers.
“We hope that this week-long symposium effectively brings together voices from various communities with different approaches to sharing knowledge. We are hosting roundtables and workshops where scholars, artists, and practitioners of witchcraft will come into dialogue with one another. This can only enrich the conversations we have around the roles of media, spirituality, creativity, and political activism in our lives,” said Pelstring.
Visit www.witchinstiute.com for a full schedule of events and to reserve tickets.
Social media extortion cases are increasing: FSJ RCMP – Energeticcity.ca
Shortly after, the individual receives a message or email saying that the video has been recorded and that the video will be released to family and friends unless a certain amount of money is paid.
“As anonymous as social media may seem, certain activities can come with some terrible consequences,” said Constable Chad Neustaeter, Media Relations Officer for the Fort St John RCMP detachment.
“Individuals need to take steps to protect themselves because there are always those looking to take advantage of others.”
Steps to keep yourself safe online:
- Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know,
- Don’t share any personal information with anyone such as date of birth, Social Insurance Number or banking information,
- Don’t share intimate photos of yourself because once you have sent them, you can never get them back,
- Be aware that the person on the other end of a video chat could record the entire interaction.
Police advise extortion victims not to forward any money after these requests and file a report with the police.
Mounties say if banking information is shared, contact the bank, flag accounts and check in with both credit bureaus, either Equifax or TransUnion.
Media Beat: August 05, 2021 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News
Police and politicians’ efforts to limit public access to recent events in Toronto and Vancouver Island have cast a spotlight on the role of journalists and spurred concerns over freedom of the press.
The decision by authorities in Toronto to fence off public parks last month as municipal staff and police cleared homeless encampments sparked backlash from media outlets and advocates, who have petitioned the city to allow reporters on site during the operations.
The push for media access in Toronto came on the heels of a court decision that ordered RCMP in British Columbia to allow reporters entry to blockades in Fairy Creek, where demonstrators have been protesting old-growth logging. – Elena De Luigi, The Canadian Press
As Canadian news organizations continue their unsustainable revenue decline, who should step into the breach but Facebook and Google, the two giant platforms that gobble up three quarters of all digital ad dollars?
They have signed secret deals with dozens of desperate publishers to provide financial and other supports.
On the surface, their assistance may appear a positive development. Closer consideration reveals a disturbing new dependency. One of the great functions of journalism is to hold the powerful — political and economic — to account. – Edward Greenspon & Katie Davey, The Star
Zoom Video Communications Inc. has agreed to pay US$85 million and bolster its security practices to settle a lawsuit claiming it violated users’ privacy rights by sharing personal data with Facebook, Google and LinkedIn, and letting hackers disrupt Zoom meetings in a practice called Zoombombing.
Though Zoom collected about $1.3B in Zoom Meetings subscriptions from class members, the plaintiffs’ lawyers called the $85 million settlement reasonable given the litigation risks. They intend to seek up to $21.25 million for legal fees. – Jonathan Stempel, Reuters
B.C. remains reluctant to introduce COVID-19 vaccine passport – News 1130
B.C.’s Walk-in Wednesday proves a success; 33,277 COVID vaccine jabs into arms – North Delta Reporter
Queen's to host symposium unpacking media representations of witchcraft – Kingstonist
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
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