Transcription – English – Jaiden Weinrauch

02. Jaiden Weinrauch1.mp4: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix

02. Jaiden Weinrauch1.mp4: this mp4 video file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Trish Wood:
Tell us, what is the gist of your story, Jaiden?

Jaiden Weinrauch:
Just my story is just isolation, I guess, and just being marginalized and how much I lost out on my fourth year of university. Panel. So I was attending St. of X in Nova Scotia. And last year was my last year. And Nova Scotia had some pretty hard mandates. They were pretty strict. I played varsity rugby for my university for three years, and on my fourth year I was told I was no longer allowed to play. So I lost out on my scholarship. I wasn't allowed to go practice or go to the gym or even watch the home games when they were at my university. And that was really, really hard for me because that is where I met a majority of my friends. So not being able to go and hang out with them was really hard and just kind of the divide that society created, a lot of them did kind of blame it on me that I wasn't getting the vaccine and it was my choice. So that was really hard for me. I couldn't go out on weekends with my friends or even like a simple coffee date with them. Like it was just kind of a simple thing that you don't really think of that are super isolating. I couldn't go. We have an X ring ceremony at the end of the year.

Jaiden Weinrauch:
It's kind of like ceremony before graduation. I wasn't allowed to attend either, so I had to do that from my kitchen. My parents, thankfully, drove all the way down from Alberta to come watch me, but it was really lonely and it was really hard to have to watch all my friends be able to have that big celebration. And I couldn't just because I wasn't vaccinated. I also wasn't allowed to fly home for Christmas. I had to spend Christmas alone and my grandfather also passed away around the same time. So I had to spend his funeral alone. It was just it was definitely the hardest year of my life. Socially, I felt very isolated and very cut off from everybody else. I just couldn't go out and do the simple things. I had to go get tested every 72 hours to be able to attend class, which on top of a full course load was a lot to remember. Yeah. It was just I felt like there was a lot taken away from me and I was blamed for it. So it was it was a really hard last year of university that should have been fun and exciting. But it was. It was very lonely.

Trish Wood:
And I think your story is one that that's not uncommon. I have a kid actually at school who did five years, just graduated in Nova Scotia, and he was really struggling. You lost a lot socially in many other ways. I'm sorry. So I know the panel has a few questions for you. Thank you.

Jaiden Weinrauch:
Sure.

Preston Manning:
Let's get that going. Thank you very much for sharing your story. I wonder if could you tell us, were there many others in your circle that experienced this same thing? This obviously wasn't an isolated case, but can you tell us a little bit about the extent to which others suffered the same way that you did?

Jaiden Weinrauch:
Yeah, it it actually at my school at least, it was pretty rare to be unvaccinated, especially as the year went on. But at the beginning, there were definitely a lot of athletes who had to choose. Am I going to pick by scholarship money or am I going to get. I'm going to stay unvaccinated. There was definitely a few of us who had to make that really hard decision.

Preston Manning:
And if if you could have been in charge, was there some alternative way you think this could have been handled at the university that would acknowledge the the health problem but not have been as hard on individuals or caused the pain that this did? Any idea as to how that might have been done differently? That would have accommodated your concerns and still address the health issue?

Jaiden Weinrauch:
Yeah, well, at the beginning they were talking about being able to let some of the athletes get tested before the games so we could go travel or we could even just play at our home games. And, you know, that's something at least at least you're still playing your sport and you're still able to receive your scholarship money. And then just with non-athletes as well. Just the wording I found personally, the wording from my school very attacking and very like, this is your fault. So just just the wording so that society isn't so divided and people weren't looking at me like I was kind of some freak show.

Preston Manning:
Yeah, yeah. No, thank you. Thank you.

Dr. Susan Natsheh:
Thank you, Jaiden. My eldest son had a difficult time at university as well in the same situation. I have a couple of quick questions for you. With the testing every 72 hours. What was that process like? Was did you ever feel put out by that or any other assumptions made about you with that?

Jaiden Weinrauch:
Honestly, it wasn't horrible. It was right on campus, which was kind of nice. I didn't have to go too far, but with that, it also was right in the middle of a building so everybody could see you walking in. But I never felt too uncomfortable. I guess.

Dr. Susan Natsheh:
Okay. Glad to hear that. And I was just also wondering, you alluded it to it, but where did you feel the blame was coming from? And how did that how was that put on you? Could you just.

Jaiden Weinrauch:
Definitely a various varying places. I felt it from my teammates just because the athletic department was really pushing the vaccine, you know, just staying the typical if you're not vaccinated, you're hurting everyone else. Stuff like that. So I felt like from my team, you know, it was my fault that I wasn't playing. And when we did, we did have a few outbreaks of COVID at the school, particularly after the ring ceremony that unvaccinated people weren't allowed to go to. But it was still somehow the unvaccinated people's fault that COVID kind of got loose in the school, which I found really unfair because I couldn't even enjoy it. So.

David Ross:
Thanks, Jaiden, for sharing your story. Now that you've had some time to reflect on all of this, because it's been a year plus, how how how has this experience changed your outlook on on your fellow students and and on your teammates and perhaps even on the university administration? So it's kind of a a it seems to me. An adult experience that was forced on you. And typically, adults don't go through traumatic experiences until they're old enough to have parents die or that sort of thing. But I'm seeing a connection here. So can you can you share how the experience has changed your outlook on on on others?

Jaiden Weinrauch:
Yeah. I had a great first three years at Zinifex. I think it's a great school, but and I'm I am trying not to let this last year kind of be the deciding factor, but it definitely has changed my view. I don't want to pin it all just on my school because it's it's all of Canada. So I'm not I'm not going to sit here and just blame them personally. But it was definitely. It definitely tempered my experience a lot. I can't say that I'm leaving there with a good, happy experience at all.

Trish Wood:
Thank you. Jaiden, as is Hailey, your sister?

Jaiden Weinrauch:
She is.

Trish Wood:
Yeah. She's standing by to go next.

Jaiden Weinrauch:
No, she's. She's at a different house right now.

Trish Wood:
Oh, she's in a different house. So we still have her. Okay. Brilliant. Thank you.

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