I had the second but not the third. I drew a line. It has to be drawn somewhere. Where you draw yours is up to you but I had to make up my own mind. When the idea that an unprecedented measure is held out to you as being temporary for a specific purpose in an unparalleled emergency, but it slyly slips into something that looks permanent, you have to decide how much you will take, for who knows where it will end?
Austria and now Germany, with the EU to follow, gives us a clue. You wonder if they teach 20c history in schools anymore or is it simply collective amnesia? Diversity and inclusion will now have to be redefined. The unvaxed are the great unclean, who must be shunned and separated from the rest and those who refuse will face the full force of the law, be fined for each passing month until they are ruined. This is no conspiracy theory. This is what the leaders of these nations are actually saying – “vaccinated, recovered or dead”.
But up here, we are not like them. We have our own bungling clownish ways of doing things: arguing about parties, who can kiss who, checking that our granny has certification before including her in the invite, ordering every visitor to our home to take a test beforehand, testing and testing before we go anywhere and all the usual idiocies of terrifying our children with masks and fear of strangers. Its beyond embarrassing, but it is also evil (and I have chosen that word carefully). It is the slimiest stasi-like trick in the book. Get the people to enforce your will. Get them to call out and shame the dissidents. Frame the narrative in black and white terms: good and bad, caring and selfish, compassionate and venal and you have enrolled half or more of the population who can work across communities and families to coerce and enforce it. There is no need to appeal to fact or reason, logic has gone AWOL. There is no need to argue about whether the vaccines can stop the spread. There isn’t one. We know they don’t.
“It’s your civic duty” they will say, but it’s not mine. I can take the names. Stick and stones will break my bones and words can hurt but I don’t need to let them. They have crossed the river and launched a civil war. You would think they knew what they were doing but, I guess, if you have forgotten what happened 80+ years back you are unlikely to remember 49BC.
70 years back? Rationing, blackouts, etc. and general public acceptance of same? And so key issue remains – is there an ongoing Covid pandemiic or not?
Sorry my mistake thinking of 80+ years back in Austria and Germany and mainland Europe
..”is there an ongoing Covid pandemiic or not?” What do you think?
As I understand the meaning of the term (a disease with widespread, even transnational spread), yes, I think there is.
Accepted. So, we are still in a Covid-19 pandemic and it could be with us for good unless we find an effective vaccine that covers all variants and very human being. Would you not agree that at some point it drops off the scale of public health issues?
I’m ambivalent about much of this, but I see a difference between refusing the vaccination and refusing to label, disenfranchise and scapegoat those who refuse it. I take the vaccine not just to protect myself, but to protect more vulnerable people I love, including a kidney transplant patient, someone with severe asthma and someone else with diabetes. However, I would defend the rights of others to make a difference choice.
I’m curious about the link you make with Nazi Germany. There people were targeted for immutable characteristics: their ethnicity, their sexual orientation, their mental disability. This is perhaps different because it is about the choices people make?
“I’m curious about the link you make with Nazi Germany. There people were targeted for immutable characteristics: their ethnicity, their sexual orientation, their mental disability. This is perhaps different because it is about the choices people make?”
Yes, the link may be stretched, but the business of identifying a group of people, whether by immutability or choice, to be separated from the rest of society, barred from certain places including work and who pose no genuine threat to anyone, is the same. It is quite astonishing that this is what is happening in Europe, without a murmur of protest or condemnation by politicians or media here in the UK. There is nothing to suggest that they wouldn’t do the same. It has not been ruled out. Saying “we have no plans to…” is double speak for saying “We will if we have to.” It is the historical illiteracy which is breath-taking.
As I said, I do not agree with people being excluded due to vaccine status.
“I take the vaccine not just to protect myself, but to protect more vulnerable people I love,”
I really don’t understand this, though I know it is hammered into us each day. The vaccine can only protect yourself from serious illness. Nothing else is claimed. You can still get the virus and you can still pass it on to anyone. No one denies that and it has been proved to be true.
It is my understanding that it certainly limits tho doesn’t eradicate spread, and that tho it is still possible to catch COVID, it is much less likely to be a serious illness after vaccination. I simply cannot knowingly put someone else at risk if there is a chance that I could limit that risk. For me, it’s like driving sober, wearing a seat belt and putting fluoride in the drinking water – measures that were all challenged in the grounds of personal freedom, but which are now acknowledged to have reduced deaths and dental caries.
Are we certain that being double vaccinated (and then boosted) limits the spread? I’m struggling to find any conclusive information on this.
It’s obviously too early to say about the booster, but, yes, lots of evidence on the double vaccine reducing spread.
Evidence of the effectiveness of booster doze against omicron now seems clear.
The problem, of course, is that what seems clear might not be and that evidence showing correlation might not necessarily imply causation. It could be simply a case of a self-fulfilled prophecy. But putting my scepticism to the side, can you point me in the direction of the evidence?
Yesterday, a medic who is on the front line receiving patients into hospital seriously ill with COVID, told me every one of them has chosen not to be vaccinated.
Here’s just one piece of evidence. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673621022492
But we could trade academic paper for academic paper all day! Maybe it comes down to whether you believe almost every government in the world is in some vast conspiracy against its citizens, and almost every scientist working in the area is deliberately falsifying their findings, or not. I can’t say for sure that the first isn’t true, but, seriously, what are the chances?
You are right we could trade scientific papers all day and it does come down to who we trust and what seems credible. I will try and put down what I see is a possible alternative explanation or “Conspiracy theory”. If I can make it reasonably coherent I will post it.
Apologies, ‘conspiracy theory’ may have sounded a bit disrespectful. It was an awkward shorthand.