We thought that it's time they share their stories, and for everyone to listen.
These kids range from 12 to 17 years old whom have suffered and are suffering.
Let’s not repeat this by mandating vaccines for the 5 to 11 year olds.
We went out to the community and asked children to tell us their stories.
These are a very small fraction of affected children’s stories.
Some of the children, and their parents, have given permission to use their names, while others have asked to remain anonymous as they have already suffered and been singled out.
If you have a story to share, anonymously or not, we'd love to talk. Please email us here.
Hi, my name is Sidney, I am 13 years old and I live in Calgary, Alberta.
I 100% disagree with what is going on right now. It has made me feel left out from what I love to do. Here are some things that I cannot do, due to the restrictions…. I can’t go to a restaurant, go to the movie theatre, recreation centre, etc. I cannot do what my friends are doing, and I’m very sad about that. It is not fair! I have wanted to play volleyball for a while now, but I can’t due to the mandates. Volleyball is something that I absolutely love doing, and missing out on it is very hard on me.
Since it is also winter season, my options for playing volleyball are very low since playing outside isn’t exactly the best option. For all the people who decide these rules, you’re taking our freedom away! It isn’t fair
that since you guys have said that kids need to be active, now you’re putting all these mandates on!
There is also supposed to be a concern for mental health from the governments, but when you guys put all these mandates up, mental health gets worse. You guys have also said that being active as kids is healthy, well when we can’t go to places like recreational centres, how are we supposed to be 100% physically active playing sports and doing activities? This is not ok!! These mandates need to be removed so that us kids can enjoy doing activities and sports again!!
Thanks for reading!
- Sidney, age 13, Calgary , Alberta
I am an almost 13 year old girl living in Mississauga, Ontario.
I was really excited to do All Star Cheer this year but I couldn't do it because of the vaccine mandate. I practiced the whole summer to be ready for the try-outs. I felt so disappointed. My best friend made the team and chose to get her vaccine so that she can continue doing cheer. We would have been doing Cheer together if not for the vaccine mandates. I hear her talking about her practices and how much she enjoys it. It's hard knowing that I could have been there with her, but am not.
Sometimes, after school hours, my friends and I hang out at Tim Hortons. I have to wait outside since dinning in is restricted to vaccinated only. Even though they try to eat and drink quickly, I feel left out. I feel cold. I see them inside and wonder how come this seems right to others. I wish things were different. That I don't have to get a vaccine that can harm me to do the sports that I love.
- Elle, age 13, Mississauga, Ontario
As a 12-year-old living in Calgary, I believe that vaccine mandates for minors aged 12-17 are both unfair and discriminatory. After having to cancel plans and missing out on my favorite activities because of this mandate this is having a big impact on me because of my vaccination status.
I love sports but I cannot participate in club sports or leagues because I am not vaccinated and rapid tests cost a lot of money. I wish I could be playing club volleyball and indoor softball training right now, but due to this mandate, I can’t until it gets lifted. Please lift this mandate so I can get back to what I love doing most.
- E.H., 12 year old girl, Calgary, AB
As the parent of this 12-year-old girl, I echo her sentiments about the discriminatory nature of vaccine mandates - especially for children. As the data reveals daily, vaccines do not stop transmission or infection. Moreover, the evidence is clear that healthy children are spared severe disease outcomes from COVID-19, therefore there is no logical or ethical reason to maintain vaccine mandates, QR codes or testing for children. The risks to their mental health far outweigh their risks from COVID-19. Additionally, the risk of children being hospitalized from a vaccine injury is six times greater than their risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19 - that is not a risk I'm willing to take as a parent.
Please end this mandate/bylaw for children immediately. Lives depend on it.
- Carla Hamarsnes, Parent, Calgary, AB
Hi, my name is Shaelynn. I’m 12 years old, and I live in Edmonton, Alberta. I am Homeschooled traditionally.
I have been affected by the vaccine mandates in the following ways.
I have not been able to go to the Rec center where I live. Go swimming and play with my friends or go to restaurants or movies theaters. I would not be able to travel or go to any public events. I’m not allowed to go to some of my friends’ houses or have them over to my house. I also wasn’t able to see some of my family members, because they are afraid. The PCR tests are too expensive for my family to buy every 3 days for 3 kids.
I have been very sad because my friends and family were scared of us not being vaccinated. My friends got to hangout with each other while I only talked to them rarely. Because I am homeschooled and now it is Winter time, it is very difficult to socialize with other homeschooled families. It feels very lonely to know that others are able to gather indoors and I have to freeze outside just to see people.
I would like to say to the government that you make people lonely. The vaccine passports are not good at all. If I had a word in this, I would not let people go through the pain of not seeing people they love. We should be able to go wherever we want.
Unvaccinated kids are not a threat to others. These laws make absolutely no sense. The news does not tell all sides of the story.
I hope you listen for what I have to say, thank you for your time.
~ Shaelynn Carruthers, age 12, Edmonton, Alberta
Hi my name is Alora I am in grade 7.
I live in Sherwood Park Alberta. Because of the vaccine mandates I was out of gymnastics for around three weeks. Although I was lucky enough to go back, I still can’t do other things that I love to do like going swimming with my friends and going to any recreational places. This saddens me and makes me feel left out because my friends go places that I can't go to.
I am scared to tell anyone about how I am not vaccinated because they make negative comments like calling people anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. I have even lied to people saying I am vaccinated because I am scared that they might attack me for not being vaccinated.
I would like to send a message to everyone about how these mandates should not be permitted. Twelve year olds should not miss out on any activities because of their vaccination status.
~ Alora, age 12, Sherwood Park, Edmonton
Hi my name is Aiden. I am 13. I live in Edmonton, Alberta. I am homeschooled traditionally.
I have been affected by the vaccine mandates, in the following ways. I have not been able to go to rec centers (gym, swimming, ect), restaurants, movie theaters. I would not be able to travel certain places. I am not allowed to have some friends over at my house and vice versa. I could not see some of my family members because they are afraid.
It kind of feels like Canada is turning communist in some ways, and I don’t want to live in a place like that, but I have no choice but to follow the rules. Because I am homeschooled and now it is winter time it is very difficult to socialize with other home schooled families. It feels very lonely.
For all of you rule makers right now, you are taking away freedoms from innocent people just because we don’t want to put something into our body.
Unvaccinated kids aren’t a threat to society if they have good manners. I think it’s wrong news channels all purposely tell you one side of the story, which creates confusion in normal people watching. To get the negative Covid test is $40 per person, and for every 3 days, we can’t afford that extra cost right now as I have 2 siblings.
~ Aiden Timothy Carruthers, age 13, Edmonton, Alberta
My name is Athena Payette, I'm 17, and I live in Saskatchewan on a small farm outside of Battleford. I am an Assistant Lifeguard at the Battlefords CO-OP Aquatic Centre (BCAC)
I have been working at the BCAC for somewhere around three months now, and I absolutely love working there. Unfortunately, as of November 22, all the staff there must show proof of vaccination in order work. I am unvaccinated and am determined to stay that way. I have not worked since before the 22nd and my next shift is on the 26th. I'm not entirely sure what will happen when I go in for my shift on Friday, but I’ll probably be asked to show proof of vaccination at the front desk and, when I am unable to do so, be promptly told to leave. I am going to lose the job that I love, and I am not in any way happy about it.
The knowledge that I am losing my job because I am actively choosing what to do with my body is honestly making me lose the hope that things can turn around. Yet despite the hopelessness that I feel, I refuse to give up. I know that if enough people stand up against these mandates, then we can fix this.
To the people enforcing these mandates, I want you to know that what you are forcing people to do goes against the Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights. I want you to know that I will not stop fighting against the vaccine mandates, not just for myself, but for those who want to stand up against this but feel that they can't. I am not afraid to fight for what I believe is right. So, for those who might be reading this because they are also being affected by the mandates, and for those who feel they are alone in this and might be close to giving in, my message to you is simple: You may feel like you are alone but trust me when I say that you're not. We cannot give up now. We must keep going, no matter what, because change will come, but only if we are strong enough and brave enough to stand up and fight for it now.
~ Athena Payette, age 17, Saskatchewan
I am Silas T. age 17. I am from Calgary, Alberta.
Currently, as an unvaccinated individual, I am unable to dine at restaurants, see concerts and sports games, or attend prominent post-secondary institutions unless a negative, privately paid rapid antigen test is accepted as an exemption (this is not always the case).
These restrictions have no doubt directly impacted my career as a musician and will affect my future as I consider post-secondary options. Never before have I been demonized by my own government as being a danger to public health because I have exercised my right to refuse a medical treatment. Never before have I had to prove, let alone even consider my vaccination status when entering a restaurant or music venue. Never before have I had to rethink my post secondary options because of a requirement that relates neither to my academic abilities nor my skills.
Where is the line? If you had asked me six months ago whether I thought businesses would be forced to discriminate against customers based on their protected medical information at the threat of closure, I’d have my doubts. Yet here we are. We have willingly ushered in a new era of unprecedented government control at the expense of our own liberties. Our rights and freedoms are not trivial, they are not to be mocked, and the citizens that exercise them should not be demonized. Freedom, including the right to refuse a medical treatment, is fundamental to a functioning society.
~ Silas T. age 17, Calgary, Alberta
My name is Ciarán and I am from Calgary.
We can’t go places because mommy doesn’t have her papers. She’s not sick but they won’t let her go places without them. So, we can’t go swimming and to the zoo and I really miss doing those things. And mommy said she and daddy won’t be allowed to come to my school soon and see me if I get to sing with the other kids. And I want them too because I have never got to sing with the other kids before and having mommy there makes me feel better.
I don’t get to see my friends very much anymore. It makes me really sad that I can’t see them because I miss them so much and it’s lonely without having friends to play with.
Why are you taking my friends away and not letting us play or go swimming if we aren’t sick? I miss playing and swimming, the virus makes things sad. If you are sick, you stay home but if you are not sick you can play and see things.
~ Ciarán N., child in Calgary
My name is Sarah and I live in Warman, Saskatchewan.
I have been unable to participate in extra curricular activities, which really upsets me. Earlier this week a positive case was declared at my school and to my surprise I wasn’t allowed to eat in the cafeteria. Instead, I was brought bagged lunch to eat in the school.
This I must say is clear segregation and intolerance. This made me so angry that I went on a hunger strike. I refused their lunch and ate snacks I brought from home in an empty classroom. It may seem like a small way to act out against oppression, however it empowered me. Now I am also being denied 2 class trips because of my vaccine status (or lack thereof).
The vaccine mandates have strongly affected me since they were introduced. Everyday I stress about my classmates finding out that I’m unvaccinated. I’ve even had to lie to my friends and make up excuses when I can’t go to certain events. This has taken an immense toll on my mental health and pushes me closer to the edge every single day. I’ve considered cutting ties with people close to me because I know I won’t be able to stand the pain of them inevitably turning against me. I’m tired of people acting like this is the new normal. Nothing about this is normal. This is tyranny.
The biggest thing I fear is being discriminated against. More specifically by people who were once nice to me.
~ Sarah, age 16, Warman, Saskatchewan
My name is Quinn, I am 17 and I live in Rocky Mountain House.
I have been affected by being excluded from club volleyball, ski hills and some recreational facilities that don’t even allow me inside the building! As a senior in high school, it is a very important year in my volleyball career, and I am extremely disappointed that I am forced to either get vaccinated or I can’t play.
I have worked for years with my sports, and as someone without the vaccine I am being categorized as a threat. I feel discriminated against and like I have no voice towards what I do with my body. I am excluded and missing out on activities that I have looked forwards to my whole life!
I feel frustrated and sad that I will miss out on such big opportunities, all because I care for what I do with my body.
I would love to know if they care at all about our health, and if they now how much they are impacting us.
~ Quinn St Onge, age 17, Rocky Mountain House
My name is Alexa. I am 13 and live in Rocky Mountain House. I was supposed to participate in a canoe polo event in Edmonton and I was excited to have this experience in a new sport that I love. When we got to the Kinsmen Aquatic Centre in Edmonton, we couldn’t get past the security table because we weren’t vaccinated. My mom then asked why, as I am 13 years old and was a registered participant for the event. We were told even participants over 12 had to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. It was super embarrassing as there were other people waiting to get in and we had to turn around and leave.
We sat in our vehicle and I decided I didn’t want to run around to find somewhere to get a negative test because I didn’t want to show up late for the event and stand out. My mom had a melt down of tears.
It made me feel very sad and left out and basically discriminated against, yeah that’s the word.
Don’t try to change our beliefs and separate us into different groups based on our opinions and how we want to live our life.
~ Alexa St Onge, age 13, Rocky Mountain House
My name is A.H. I haven’t been able to be part of my sports team and have been turned away in front of my team as I didn’t have a passport. I now have to be tested weekly to do a school sport. Next semester, same thing for mandatory Physical Ed. class.
I am not allowed to go out to dinner with my grandparents for my birthday. It is hard not being able to go to the mall and eat together with my friends. One girl wouldn’t go with me to the mall as I didn’t have the vaccine. No movies or usual teen activities. We had a ski trip booked to KickingHorse and now they won’t allow us to go.
To the law makers…I missed most of my sports and fun last year and now again. Please let us be kids!
~A.H: Girl Age 15, Edmonton, AB
I am V.A. I'm unable to go to movie theatres and restaurants with my friends and family, or watch my little brother's hockey games. Not only this, but I'm not allowed to attend my very first track meet on the 28th of November, even if I provide proof of a negative rapid test, nor am I able to train at the University of Alberta Foote Field.
My parents have been investing in rapid tests which costs them lots of money.
I feel physically and mentally isolated like I'm on house arrest, except the crime I committed was not getting a vaccine. It's already hard enough to be a thirteen-year-old, and I don't need this to make it worse.
I believe that these mandates are more harmful to me and kids my age than COVID-19 itself. I'm always hearing adults say, "enjoy your youth!" Well then tell me, how am I supposed to do so when you're taking away my freedom?
Just give me my life back, please.
~V.A: Girl 13, Spruce Grove, AB
My name is Z.H. I have played hockey my whole life in Edmonton. I have worked hard to reach the highest level at my age. I love hockey.
My mom has been coaching me for many years. I love my buddies at hockey and this year I have lost interest in my skills. I don’t want to shoot pucks and practice anymore and I cry a lot. I want to PLAY hockey.
My message is you are crushing my dreams to play in the NHL and have a normal life.
~ Z.H: Boy Age 13, Edmonton, AB
I am not able to enjoy activities like going to the movies and hanging out with my friends. In addition to not being allowed to plan hangouts indoors, I’m also restricted from physical activities. In order to attend my volleyball practices, I have to have a negative Covid test, which alone costs my family $40 per test.
The impact of the virus has led to me being terrified of people finding out that I am not vaccinated. Especially with teens, rumours spread very easily and the thought of everyone avoiding me is not something that I need in my life. There have been situations where I have lied about the vaccine just to not get strange looks from people around me, and even though I don’t want to lie, it’s hard to avoid not falling down that path.
I would like everyone to listen and realize that discriminating against us, cutting off our freedom, and forcing us isn’t going to help create a better future. It isn’t. I would like you all to know that you have the right to your body, and if you want to get vaccinated, that’s okay. But don’t hate on me and my body just because I don’t.
Lastly, of course I want our country to stay healthy and get past this obstacle, but we also need to respect each other’s lives and beliefs.
~Anonymous, Age 13, Calgary, AB
I invited 3 of my friends over to watch a movie for Halloween. One of my friends came and the parents of the other 2 asked if our family was vaccinated. After we replied that our medical status was private, they decided not to come, it was just me and my one friend that didn't think I was crazy.
Another friend made a rude post about making a gravestone for unvaccinated people saying “RIP anti vaxx” she was my best friend at the time and it really hurt my feelings. I was also invited to a birthday party at Earl’s restaurant but was unable to attend as I do not have a vaccine passport. I feel I am missing out on so much of my childhood fun and things that help bond friendships.
The mandate taking away the right for my parents to come see me at school events and me not being able to go to the places my friends are hanging out, is really taking its toll. I have good days but sometimes I just feel like crying. I have never wanted to get vaccinated and never will but if for just a day I could hang out with my friends at restaurants and go to the mall, go swimming with my family or maybe flying squirrel, that would be amazing.
To the rule makers how do you sleep at night? Knowing that you have taken away my freedoms and broken my trust in people like you, knowing that these mandates are hurting children. We are trying to stay positive but all the horrible things you do and the rights you have taken away from us make us feel like no one cares and that we don't matter. And to those listening, please don't shun your unvaxxed friends or family.
~Lily Gordon: Girl Age 12, Calgary, AB
My name is Ivan Kedrov, I’m 16. I’m not vaccinated, had Covid in May 2021, plus have medical exemption based on my allergy history. I was denied playing in WHL because of my vaccination status. I was lucky to be invited to play in AJHL, but have to do rapid testing every 72 hours, which makes lots of complications.
It’s very hard for me because I have been working so hard to achieve my dream. There are no words to describe my frustration and pain. Healthy young athletes shouldn’t be discriminated based on their vax status.
I wish people who make rules would not discriminate based on vax status. Please don’t ruin my dream, I’m a healthy young boy who has been exercising and following healthy lifestyle for last 10 years. Last 20 months have been very hard on me - isolation, school and sport restrictions have been affecting my every day life.
My social life is affected because I can’t go to many places where I have to show the vaccine passport. I can’t go to gym for the same reason, and for me as an athlete its hard to keep myself in a good shape without proper exercising. I’m looking forward to enjoy winter sports but sounds like I won’t be able to go skiing/snowboarding because I’m not vaccinated.
I’m thinking about this every night when I go to bed and every morning when I wake up. Every day Covid rules and restrictions change, it’s hard to plan and dream, I’m losing my desire and it’s getting harder and harder to stay positive. Looks like our life will be never normal again.
~Ivan Kedrov: Boy Age 16, Calgary, AB
I can’t go out with my buddies to see a movie, watch a hockey game, have food at a normal restaurant, go to the gym at the local sportsplex, go bowling or anything fun unless it’s outside, which is not always fun as it rains here a lot. It makes it tough to make plans with friends if they have the vaccines because I don’t and won’t. It can be hard to take.
It can be a pain to make plans with friends when a lot of them have the vaccines, it can mean I stay home instead of visiting with friends. That is hard to take some days. I do have good friends that do often change plans to hang with me so I’m lucky that way.
Please do better and smarter research in how COVID really effects kids. Most kids are not at risk at all. Everyone I know who gets the vaccine only do it so they can stay at work or do fun things.
We are being punished even though we have done nothing wrong. It’s wrong for the people in government to do this to families or any people.
~Anonymous: Boy Age 14, Campbell River, B.C
I was 16 when this all started. I have been very active (pre-covid) with friends, youth group, sports teams and church.
I worked two jobs. One at a dairy farm and the other at an Aquatic Centre. I loved my job as a lifeguard. It was something I worked very hard to be able to do and spent a lot of time and money obtaining all my certifications.
When I was notified in the fall of 2021 that I would have to be vaccinated in order to keep my job, I was hopeful that I would be able to keep my job with-out being vaccinated.
In October 2021, I had not obtained my vaccinations. I believe my body - my choice. I was called into the office after several emails, texts and phone calls from my bosses. I attended this meeting and was presented a Notice of Liability regarding the vaccine and the tests. I advised I
would be recording the meeting with the agreement of my 2 superiors and did so. I was asked whether I wanted to be terminated or placed on a leave of absence without pay. I requested a letter of termination detailing the reasons why I was being let go. They agreed and I left that meeting in shock.
I know I was good at my job, I enjoyed my co-workers and the patrons. I did not understand why, just because I wanted to exercise my choice of what goes in my body and did not want to complete testing every shift at my expense, I was being let go. To that end, I never did receive my promised letter and when I contacted human resources at the City of Camrose I was accused of harassment!
I feel as if my life is in a state of suspended animation. I wish to attend post-secondary next year but seeing as how I can't even work without a vaccination I do not hold out much hope. I would like to see our world change so that we are able to have free choice without being coerced into anything.
It seems to be word wizardry - you have the "choice" but if you don't choose the way the government or industry wants you to, you can't work, go to school, attend restaurants or con-certs and the list goes on. Not really choice in my opinion.
These last months since the huge push for vaccinations that result in tight mandates have been a massive source of stress and anxiety for me. I just want to be a normal teenager looking forward to a world without restrictions. I ask you to listen to the stories of everyone who is losing out on life just because of fear.
~Rachel Hoflin: Girl Age 17, Camrose , AB