I believe vaccine passports is a crucial step every Australian needs to take…whatever your personal views may be.

 

 

This is brutal, but get used to it. I believe that, by Christmas, Australians who have not been vaccinated will be treated like lepers.

I am sure, that a lot of Australians, watching the TV news, are gobsmacked by those reports out of England where people are dining out, drinking, going to concerts, etc. when their daily death rate from Covid is still horrific and many of us here are still in lockdown and under curfew. We have seen truck drivers in Queensland blocking a highway in protest against ‘mandatory’ vaccinations. The blockade even stopped ambulances.

This bitter national discourse is, I believe, even worse than any religious/atheist debate. More divisive in Australia than family arguments over the Vietnam War. Coronavirus apartheid is kicking in already. Pro-vaccine friends are turning on anti-vaccers. It is tearing families apart. I know of one sister who has already told a sibling that she is not welcome at the family Christmas table if she is still not vaccinated.

I hung up the phone on a dear (but anti-vaccine) friend when she started spouting bullshit she had read on Facebook and was now taking as gospel. This dangerous irresponsible bile is coming from high-profile people, like tennis champ Pat Cash, rogue politician Craig Kelly (who has tabled a bill to outlaw vaccine passportsEd) and discredited chef Pete Evans.

I guess we all just ignore what the scientists and health experts say. And I don’t intend to repeat some of the dreadful disinformation that is flooding Twitter and Facebook.

I was asked about any side effects to my two AstraZeneca shots – the only bad reaction I have had was on social media. After I published a photo of the needle going in at my GP’s office, I was accused of being a ‘lab rat’ and a ‘sheep’ and asked: ‘How much did Big Pharma pay you?’ It’s sad really. Especially when you read about parsons and politicians in the United States who campaigned publicly against the jab and then died. One is a young father of kids. Another infected his family.

 


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Which leads to where we are heading from here when lockdowns are finally relaxed and some sort of ‘normal’ life returns. Get used to some big decisions. Your boss may well demand you get vaccinated or don’t come back to work. And that, admittedly discriminatory policy, now, finally, has federal government protection. Big companies are on board: Qantas, Virgin, SPC. And to me, it makes sense. Your employer has a duty of care to your fellow workers, and most surveys show that the spread of Covid-19 is prevalent in workplaces. Customers going into shops should be confident that the staff they are dealing with are vaccinated.

I have a muso friend who was anti-vaccination. The owner of the venue where she was due to appear insisted she and the band be vaccinated. His argument: ‘I can’t put my staff and patrons at risk if you are not vaccinated’. They got the jab.

There probably will be court cases about workers claiming their civil liberties have been trodden on by bosses’ demands. Their independent rights to work are being deprived. Think that through. It’s a flimsy argument. Millions of Australian workers follow work safety rules every day. You put on a hard hat and a high-vis vest before you can enter a construction site. How would you go in court if you said you won’t wear a seat belt on religious or idealistic grounds? 

We, without question, obey instructions and automatically buckle up on a plane for our own safety.

I mentioned ‘Covid apartheid’. Vaccine passports will be in, and I support that. Premiers are already hinting at it. When restrictions are eased, they will be aimed at giving lifestyle bonuses to people who are vaccinated.

It is quite likely you will only be permitted to dine at a restaurant or stand at a bar for a beer if you can produce proof that you have been vaccinated. Produce your vaccine passport or go away. And that may extend way past restaurants and pubs. You could find you can’t go into your local shop, even to your favourite, sprawling shopping centre. Can’t go to the theatre or a concert (when those big venues are finally re-opened). 

Taxis and Uber may refuse to carry you. The government could rule that trains and buses are off-limits unless you are vaccinated. It could extend to playgrounds and kindergartens if unvaccinated parents try to take their kids to school. These are not far-fetched propositions. Australia, like the rest of the world, is in a war against this deadly virus. Our worst pandemic in 100 years.

If vaccine passports are brought in, it is because tough times call for tough measures. And if you feel you are being discriminated against there is an easy solution: Get vaccinated. Not just for you, but for your family and your community. For Australia. And then, eventually, I hope, enjoy a casual sit-down meal, with your loved ones, in your favourite restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

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