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Counter-COVID protestor ends time on Vernon corner

LETTER: ‘Demonstrating amongst the conspiracy folks…no longer useful’

October 29 was the last time for me to be at the Polson corner demonstrating amongst the COVID conspiracy folks.

There are two reasons for this. Both of them are strong enough on their own merit to make it wise to wind down my time there.

The well-being of my family comes first. Given the volatile level of hate coming from the self proclaimed “fringe,” I am concerned for my family. They unnecessarily share the risk and it would be wrong to put them in that predicament.

It is also no longer useful to counter the protester’s complaints with reason alone, and flogging a dead horse will not make the cart move forward. It is time to leave those who are fixated to an imaginary past, and move on to more pressing issues such as the Internet’s effect on mental health and its negative outcome for our society.

I feel that premeditated disinformation and hate farming on the Internet have not just created the social discord we see today, but also the lack of progress on critical environmental issues like climate change and creating a political atmosphere where money does not have the final say on who leads us and where we are going.

Over my 33 weeks of being at the corner, it has become clear that it’s a zero sum game being played; that if we allow our thoughts to fall victim to hyper-partisanship, we begin to lose sight of the basic understanding that we are all the same inside. The recent past proves this point.

It is obvious that some form of elected representation that breaks the toxicity of the first past the post – winner takes all – will help greatly to force the hand of co-operation and reduce the growing divide of hyper-partisanship that negatively affects us all. Thank you to all the kind people who smiled and waved and honked. I did this for you, and you did that for me. We both won.

To those who have stood with me; I am indebted to you for the support you have given me. It has kept me strong in knowing that there is far more good than evil in this world. I can never repay that debt, but I will always be incredibly grateful and do my best to pay it forward.

Korry Zepik

READ MORE: Arrest made after Vernon man assaulted at anti-COVID protest

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