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EVERYTHING KING: Line between right, wrong seems blurry at the moment

Columnist Wendy King poses some ethical questions about how to walk the line between tattletale and whistleblower
2021-12-27 dining
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So, we made it through Christmas on the way to the new year.

Omicron put a nasty wrinkle in so many people’s holiday travel plans.

It was so disappointing for many people — well, for the ones who followed the rules and recommendations.

There were a couple of situations that really got me thinking, so let’s play a little game of “What would you do”?

These are ethical-dilemma types of questions.

Situation No. 1: 

Suppose you go to a restaurant for dinner with a family member. You all show your proof of vaccinations for entry. Then you remember hearing this relative does not agree with the vaccinations and buys into the conspiracy theories.

She is not vaccinated. So, how did she have documentation? She says she has a fake certificate.

Your head starts spinning.

Fake I.D. — at her age? How do you even get that? (I never knew how to get a fake identification as a teenager let alone now.)

The wheels start turning. What do you do? This person is basically — and literally—committing fraud, right?

Do you confront her? She has just, with her decision and dishonesty, put everyone at your table in jeopardy — not to mention the wait staff and the restaurant, which has an obligation to check for vaccinations.

On the other hand, it’s the holidays and you don’t want to cause a rift in the family. They won’t listen to your argument anyway.

Should they be allowed to cheat the system? No, but are you willing to be the whistleblower?

Canadian officials point out providing false or inaccurate information to a business about vaccination status could result in a $750 ticket or a penalty of up to $100,000 and up to a year in jail.

According to the government of Canada, presenting false information, such as to border officials, can result in financial penalties up to $75,000 and/or six months in prison.

Situation No. 2:

Ontario has said that, due to the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, we are/were to have just 10 people gathered indoors and 25 outdoors over the holiday season. (This seems to be ever changing.)

You can see your neighbours have many more people than that at a party. Do you look the other way? I mean technically it is none of your business.

What if they ask to use your driveway so theirs doesn’t look as crowded? Do you say yes to be friendly? Or does that make you an accessory after the fact?

Some situations are a bit easier.

It's not too hard to say everyone coming into your personal space must be masked or vaxxed.

I truly don’t know what the best answers are. It has always been the way with people that some are rule followers and some rule breakers.

Some people accept what is told to them while others question everything. It seems even more that way now that somehow health care has become politicized.

As a child, I never cared for tattletales. As an adult, I have come to appreciate whistleblowers.

The line between right and wrong seems a bit blurry at the moment.

Let’s hope the new year brings us all more clarity.

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About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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