The current Government and their media lapdogs maintain that COVID vaccination is a choice, and all choices come with consequences. Others claim it is essentially a mandate. Either way, for some vaccine decliners the repercussions are a minor inconvenience but for others they are utterly devastating.
Being several years past the half-century mark, the author has reached the point where he no longer understands current popular music and listens to talkback radio while driving. I find the ranting exchanges equal parts entertaining and infuriating, particularly in this New Normal where every conversation leads insidiously down a winding path into the dark realm of COVID.
One talkback caller rang in to discuss “the mandatory vaccine”. The host corrected him. There is a choice. Not for teachers, midwives, and an increasing number of other sectors there isn’t, argued the caller. The retort from the host was that of course, it’s a choice, and every choice has consequences, some of them very bad.
Now, this is true. However, the consequences being argued here have nothing to do with whether or not one contracts or spreads COVID and everything to do with a proof-of-vaccination certificate, a get-out-of-jail-free card without which one is unable to engage in a variety of activities that could previously be accessed by all. And that could include working in one’s profession of choice, a profession in which one has probably been trained exclusively and earned qualifications for.
In other words, there is a manufactured consequence. Punishment for failure to comply. Very different from a laws-of-physics action-reaction type of consequence.
This all goes against what our ‘Dear Leader’ promised us in September last year, when she stated that there would be “no penalties” for those opting out of the jab-a-thon.
Mind you, Ardern has some strange concepts about what constitutes penalty and reward. She recently referred to the temporary freedom that those with a current jab-pass can look forward to as “a reward”. Funny, I recall these freedoms as being just that: basic freedoms to which all law-abiding citizens were entitled, regardless of what viruses they may or may not be inoculated against. That was back in the Old Normal.
The excuse for this impending draconianism is limp. As is increasingly the case with so many limitations of freedom these days, the magic catch-all of “safety” is invoked. Those teachers and healthcare workers who decline Doctor Pfizer’s Elixir could infect your precious loved ones. They must be jabbed for everyone’s safety, not just their own.
And yet, the time when claims could be made that Pfizer’s mRNA jab works as a near-invincible magic talisman against COVID infection and transmission has long since passed into the mists of myth and legend, along with the concurrent fairy tale of the Elimination Strategy. One hardly needs to invoke the example of Israel and the startling revelation, to us mere uninformed mortals at least, that the mRNA jab’s effect wears off rather rapidly, resulting in the magical manifestation of a third “booster” shot. No doubt to be followed by many more. How else will Pfizer make a dollar? The very fact that these revelations are taking place in the field, the public domain, long after the horse has bolted, only seem to highlight the long-term uncertainty associated with these new-fangled mRNA medications.
This leads to the question of how often one will be required to renew one’s Vax-cert in order to continue the illusion of freedom.
For most of us, the penalties of declining vaccination are a minor inconvenience. Who needs the movie theatre when one has Netflix? Who needs to visit a local event or go on an airplane ride when one can stroll around The Pomona Swap Meet on YouTube or fly over the Swiss Alps on Google Earth?
Retail shopping? Who wants to engage in the Battle of the Car Parks and jostle with the masked and jabbed hordes shuffling down the aisles like the zombies in Dawn of the Dead when one can browse online and enjoy deliver-to-your-door service?
A different and terrifying scenario exists, however, for those whose “choice” means walking away from a job that may be more than simply a source of income, but a vocation, a passion, a natural talent and a way of life. For these people, the penalty is no mere inconvenience.
No Jab, No Job? That sounds like a mandate to me.
The consequence of a refusal to comply with this mandate is a cruel punishment and may result in a greater strain on the already over-burdened Mental Health sector in which, ironically, Labour has failed to support and invest.
There is a tragedy in the making.