With signs like No More Lockdowns and No Vaccine, about 150 people gathered at the North Bay Waterfront Saturday afternoon calling for an end to COVID lockdowns and a restoration of people's freedoms.
The residents did not wear masks at the rally and did not maintain social distancing of two metres as health experts have advocated to keep the virus from spreading.
Many of the people were one and two feet apart while talking to each other and shaking hands.
The event was one of many that took place around the world and was billed as the World-Wide Rally for Freedom.
Several people spoke at the rally including Joanna Boldt.
“This is our right to gather and congregate like this,” Boldt said.
“We're celebrating life and we're claiming back some of our freedoms.”
A COVID-19 pamphlet was made available to people at the rally and among other points, it questioned the effectiveness of wearing masks.
The pamphlet quotes a reference from the Centres for Disease Control stating “available evidence shows that (cloth masks) ...may even increase the risk of infection due to moisture, liquid diffusion and retention of the virus.”
The CDC quote further states “altogether, common fabric cloth masks are not considered protective against respiratory viruses and their use should not be encouraged."
The pamphlet also includes a quote by American Dr. Andrew Kaufman, who says “wearing a mask to protect yourself from a virus is like putting up a chain link fence to protect yourself from mosquitoes.”
Boldt says there are studies that say masks make people sick but the public rarely hears this side of the debate from the media or political leaders.
“Why do they ignore studies on the PCR tests?” she asked.
“Why are they ignoring the studies on the masks? Why do they ignore studies that show over and over again that lockdowns don't work?"
Boldt says what's happened under COVID is the media have chosen to highlight one side of the debate “and they use this to scare people into submission.”
Boldt says contrary to media reports, we are not witnessing a pandemic.
“All kinds of information show the historical mortality rate globally is virtually in line with what it's always been over the years,” she said.
“If this was a pandemic, there would be a huge spike in deaths and the numbers would be off the charts.”
Boldt says a reality of the COVID lockdowns is they are causing far more damage to people than the actual virus.
She says suicides are up because of the lockdowns, drug abuse is up as are spousal and child abuse “and absolutely not enough attention is being paid to this.”
“I think a lot (of people) know it's going on but feel powerless to do anything about it because they're trusting our leaders not to steer them wrong,” Boldt said.
Boldt claims political leaders “have never done due diligence” in taking on the virus and she adds “they need to prove to us why we're in lockdown."
Boldt says at the time of Saturday's rally, about 15 American states no longer have lockdowns “and they've fully gone back to work and nobody's wearing masks."
Boldt says another side of the science people don't hear much about is that lockdowns make the virus last longer.
“Why is this science ignored”, she asked.
“Political leaders need to justify their decision on this.”
Boldt says the segment of the public that opposes lockdowns or the vaccine has a hard time being heard on social media because of censorship.
She said Facebook has banned her for 30 days because she quoted information that's not in line with mainstream thought.
“The fact-checkers decided the news article was not within their community standards,” she said.
But Boldt says people should stop and think because something is definitely amiss when even the CDC says numerous COVID cases have been misdiagnosed and misquoted.
The Nugget asked Boldt if she plans to take the vaccine and she said absolutely not, calling it “an experimental genetic modification weapon of mass destruction.”
When asked if a business could prevent her from entering the business if she hasn't been inoculated, Boldt questioned the business owner's ability to do that.
“This is what our rights and privileges are all about,” she said.
“We have inalienable rights and no one has the right to inject my body with any kind of foreign substance without permission. I don't give consent to have my body assaulted by this.”
Boldt again called on politicians to end the lockdowns so people can get back to a normal life.
Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget