Look, I’m a kind and empathetic fellow and all that, but to be honest, I’m getting a bit frustrated with you. Here I am doing my level best to achieve herd immunity for the health and well-being of the entire flock and you hang back and stubbornly refuse to come forward and get the drench.

I’ve done my best to encourage, entice and cajole you to get what is good for you. But still, you hold out. Because I am such a nice, caring guy, I’m not going to stick the dogs on you (yet). I’m aware of the old adage that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. But hey, I’m an optimistic philanthropist. I’ll patiently lead you to the quiet waters of sanity because it is the right thing to do.

So let me give you some excellent reasons why you should do what you’re told.

First, my good mate Ashley says that this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. He’s a doctor and he understands all this medical stuff much better than I. The virus is deliberately targeting certain people. It is not at all interested in doing serious harm to people who are vaccinated. It only goes after people who are unvaccinated. Why don’t you accept that? I’m telling you this for your own good. There wouldn’t be a pandemic at all if you just acted reasonably and stopped thinking for yourselves. This pandemic is all about YOU. The good doctor says so. Why can’t you just do the right thing and roll up your sleeves? Then Ashley could retire and I could take a break and go on holiday.

Second, when all is said and done, you really are being selfish. Our hospital system is one of the best in the world but if you don’t get vaccinated, you are putting others at risk. You will take up medical resources that really should go to first-class citizens.

What’s that? Why didn’t I beef up hospital resources during the last two years after I first heard of the pandemic? See, that’s why the vast majority of Kiwis have absolutely no time for you. You have zero empathy. Don’t you realise that I am the Minister of Everything? I don’t have time to DO everything. Look, I’ll tell you what I have done. I’ve made sure that more than 1300 experienced health care workers have recently been fired in one fell swoop just as the outbreak really starts to kick in. You would never have thought of doing that, would you? That’s why I’m in charge, and you’re not.

First-class citizens will have to wait a bit longer for their medical procedures and I’ve managed to dramatically increase the workload and stress levels of all our hospital staff but that’s a small price to pay for getting this pandemic under control.

Third, my boss is upset. Trust me, you don’t want to be around my boss when she’s upset. She has more authority than the Pope. She not only speaks ex-cathedra; she takes her Podium of Truth around with her wherever she goes. Her staff are always on hand to set it up for her. The other day, she had a private word with her hairdresser. She instructed her not to cut your hair under any circumstances and she declared that if you push back or protest in any way, or raise an impertinent question about the Bill of Rights or some such nonsense, her hairdresser should immediately call the Police and have you arrested. This is getting serious. If you don’t roll up your sleeves, you will never get another haircut. EVER!!!

Well, maybe not ever. I am under a bit of stress, okay? But seriously, you don’t want to end up looking like Shrek the Sheep, who managed to avoid getting a haircut for 6 years by hiding in a cave. That would be a major setback for your image. Once again, why can’t you understand that I’m only thinking of you?

Finally, and I’ll be candid here, I’m having second thoughts about my own health and well-being. I’m now beginning to think that my vaccine won’t work properly unless you get yours.

In fact, because I’m under so much stress these days and my immune system is having to work so hard, I have more reason to fear the virus than you. So please do me a favour. Think about someone else besides yourself for a change. Be a good sheep and get the drench. Then we can all enjoy the summer without a care in the world and my boss will no longer be upset. She can announce to her adoring fans that she has been the only world leader to achieve 100% vaccination. If you won’t do it for me, please do it for her. She will then be happy and reward me with another portfolio.


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An Open Letter to the Unvaccinated From an Overworked Minister
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