— Henry Tapper (@henryhtapper) January 6, 2022
As I write Novak (Novax) Djokovic is appealing against being denied entry into Australia following controversy over his COVID-19 vaccine exemption to play at the Australian Open.
Whatever the outcome of Novax’s appeal, there will be bad feeling. Australia, as we know from pensions, does “compulsory” and doesn’t take kindly to exemptions granted for local reasons. The Serbian Government is posturing, anit-vaxxers are posturing, Scott Morrison is posturing and so are those protesting against Australia’s tough stance on immigration.
As with France’s President Macron’s statement that he wanted to “piss off” the vaccined-lite element in French society, there is a populist element creeping in to the conversation which is worrying. It’s worrying because there is quite enough of it to go round (see the Q-anon lobby in the USA) and people are confusing health and civil liberties in a way that will make no sense to anyone who has Covid acutely, long Covid or Covid with co-morbidities.
Please refer to the latest ONS statistics for the overwhelming evidence that being vaccinated is good for you, for the health service and for society in General.
I hope that Britain sticks to discussing the need for vaccination using facts and not emotion. So far the British health authorities and our Government have not taken political positions or argued emotively. They have consistently argued that the vast majority of hospitalizations for Covid are for those who are under-vaxxed.
The unvaxxed account for ~10% of population but ~60% of Covid patients in ICU.
— Fraser Nelson (@FraserNelson) January 4, 2022
For those who want a fact check on this claim, here is the link to the BMJ’s most recent work.
Most of us have members of our families and/or friends who have not been vaxxed . Some are conscientious objectors, some are fearful of the jab and some seem genuinely unbothered . We see the same minority clusters around voting. In Australia you are required to vote.
Will the tolerance extended to the non-vaxxed continue if the crisis in a handful of hospitals spreads more widely? This chart shows just how well vaccinations are protecting the NHS
This is quite a chart – red bars are unvaccinated, blues vaccinated. Vaccines are working very well against Omicron for serious illness and death. https://t.co/h2n3uBsQ2T
— Matt Fletcher (@longevitymatt) January 6, 2022
It will be an interesting test of our social cohesion. I speak as triple vaxxed and once infected but I do not believe in compulsory vaccination.
I look to comply on mask-wearing but I don’t glare at those who break the mask guidelines. Sometimes silence from behind a mask is the strongest statement. Sometimes it is good to remind yourself that you are not always as well behaved as your virtuous- self would have you believe.
The polarization of society created by compulsory vaccination (Austria), demonization (France) or the conspiracy theory that drives right-wing politics (USA) is destructive of social cohesion. Social cohesion is absolutely important at this time.
Despite our high infection rates, and the number of Covidiots I see around town, I consider British tolerance to those who haven’t been properly vaccinated the right approach.
Stupidity knows its own face.