How not to comment on the Covid pandemic? — I never ever would have suspected that fighting a common enemy, the Covid virus, taking responsibility to protect ourselves and others, would become a massive divisive social issue. While many countries cannot afford adequate doses of vaccination, the rich part of the world is refusing to accept being injected.
Please note that I am not against complaining or opposition to how open and permissive the rules are. Whether it be restrictions of lock-downs, working from home, social gathering or travel restrictions or such impositions – these will always be subject to debate and varying degrees of acceptance – be it seen as too much, too little, too early or too late. That is a different subject.
No, my criticism and my unforeseen disappointment with my fellow citizens is more fundamental than that – to use one’s “rights” “liberties” and “freedoms” as a reason for not accepting the free (tax-payer financed in most cases) and well-tested vaccine provided, seems irresponsible and short-sighted. [Do note also, for those quick to jump on this, that I do not argue against a fairly small percentage of exceptions for people with health or similarly justifiable reasons].
Beyond vaccination are other areas where common sense and responsibility towards oneself and to others around are being challenged – meaning correctly wearing a mask and adhering to quite non-intrusive hygiene and distancing principles especially in enclosed public places.
What can be driving the skeptics and the purveyors of individual rights over collective security? Could it begin by an overbearing egoism and self centered existence? Could it be by the rapid flow of conspiracy theories and fabricated “news” gushing over the social networks? Could it be an increasing distrust of science – or the way in which science is being communicated by politicians, or commercially exploited by mega pharma?
Covid is not going away, not this year, not ever. What we have to do is to tame it, which requires still some collective effort because of insufficient discipline in the early stages. For those in hospital with Covid today, a high percentage are non-vaccinated – seems like a useful message there. Even with a double dose and even with the booster, the virus does still jump on us, but hospitalization is reducing; the symptoms, both with delta and omicron, are milder. Despite this evidence, there remains hard-line skeptics and those who now accept vaccinations uniquely so they can receive the Covid pass to enter events and the like. My dear fellow humans, this is the wrong reason to get vaccinated; this is at the heart of my disappointment.
However, there is good news — well not news actually, just an unfounded speculation which I heard from a friend — no idea from where he heard it. And please for the skeptics don ‘t use this information to not get jabbed or boosted, or to pull your mask down in the train when using your telephone or speaking loudly, coughing or laughing. The “news” is this:
More mutants, variation of the virus, will come along, but as with Omicron they might spread fast but be less harmful – until they settle in as part of the regular bunch of seasonal illnesses. And when enough skeptics and resisters give up their fight – agree to help fight the virus war instead – then the population’s immunity could become sufficient for Covid to be addressed as influenza is today.
Now this is unfounded speculation, ok? But if it becomes true, we will be lucky, and those who said from day one that “Covid is just like the ‘flu” will be able to say, “see, I told you so”, justifying their whole premature stand-off response along with propaganda to support it.
Remember the image of the sinking ship and the last words of the last person on board — “you will never get me in a lifeboat, because I have rights!”