I’ve been avoiding making one of these posts because the internet is just a forum for people to prove to their own egos how smart they are, which I am also about to do… But it needs to be said, whatever your views are on the Covid-19 vaccine, it is recklessly irresponsible to start introducing measures like a passport system. Exclusion leads to discrimination. Discrimination leads to persecution. It shocks and saddens me to see the sudden vehemence parts of the New Zealand public seemingly have for wishing to ostracise others from society for a difference of opinion.
Shirley Mclaine once said, “Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.” While noted Facebook philosopher Austin Cunningham notes from personal experience in doing so himself that the easiest way to escape one's own fear is through apportioning blame upon others.
The scapegoat is a person or people “made to bear the anxious blame for others.” The scapegoated individual or subgroup is seen as a threat to the comfort and the successful functioning of the group as a whole and therefore must be eliminated. Whether the perceived threat is true or not is incidental: scapegoating is more about feelings than truth. As far as the group is concerned, the scapegoat is the sacrifice needed to ensure survival.’
It seems like many have forgotten, but it wasn’t the unvaccinated that imposed restrictions on your businesses, prevented you from travelling overseas, locked you in your homes for extended periods, and stopped you from seeing your friends or families. Nor will they be to blame when this happens again. These measures were governmental reactions to a global pandemic. Not some Machiavellian tampering by unvaccinated street hoodlums.
We all want a return to normality but is social discrimination, bribery, or intimidation the correct process to encourage this? With populations similar to ours, Norway (67% vaccinated), Denmark (75% vaccinated) have recently dropped all restrictions and rather than seeing a dramatic rise in cases or deaths have actually recorded the opposite. This was not done through targeted bullying or cajoling. Those who wished to be vaccinated did so and those with remaining hesitancies were respected for their opinion and allowed to continue as functioning members of society - not cowering in fear for potential job losses or being banned from going to the dairy to buy a loaf of bread and some milk.
Of course, how we view the world is circumstantial. Many have justified fears for the health of themselves or those around them. For these people, Covid-19 is a scary and dangerous thing and so their choice to get vaccinated is an easy one and a decision that shouldn’t be mocked. But more importantly, it is also their choice to make, as I too believe it is my right to make this decision. I will not be getting the vaccine. I have lived a healthy life, I do not drink, I do not smoke, I don’t take drugs, I only eat raw vegetables/nuts and seeds, and keep a fastidious exercise regime. For this, I have only been sick once in the last 7 years and even then I still exercised and worked through it because it seems a healthy human is affected less than an unhealthy one.
Despite knowing the power of good health I have tried not to laud my beliefs on the benefits of a natural way of living over anyone. So even if I thought your choice to smoke pack after pack of cigarettes on me, while you sadly coughed another piece of dying lung into your poor ash coloured hands; drank copious amounts of alcohol as I watched your capillaries burst across your face; ate buckets of lard covered junk food as your heart thumps 50 beats to 1 of mine and your cascading flesh spilled all over me; railed lines of coke as your nostrils corroded and your brain cells popped; played video games all night, withering your muscles away to just cartilage; sucked down bags of sugar until I could smell the insulin on your breath; consumed the flesh of every animal born like some kind of genocidal maniac- were ‘selfish’ acts that would one day overburden the healthcare system I still did my best to bite my tongue. I certainly didn’t stop you from engaging in these activities. Nor did I recommend that you be removed from society or make you feel fearful for how you have decided to live your life. It was and is YOUR CHOICE…
I don’t have time to be writing this. I’m currently editing a dissertation due Sunday so I can complete a Post Graduate Diploma in events management. After 10 years of doing gigs as a hobbyist, I decided that I had enough of working menial tradie jobs and losing the money I earned through painstakingly boring labour on punk events. I was going to do it right. 2022 was going to be my year. I was gonna SELL OUT my fake punk façade. But with yesterday's news that vaccine passports are going to become mandatory for events, I’m back to having nothing to sell. This potentially puts a close to future aspirations and current obligations. I can’t and I will never discriminate against attendance at my gigs, they were always welcome for anyone who wanted to come. But soon I potentially won’t even be allowed to attend my own gigs. I can live with this, I actually quite hate events but it sets a dangerous precedent we should all be wary of. If in the pursuit of some greater good we sacrifice the events sectors rights to personal choice as we have for nurses, port workers, border control then what is to stop further restriction for retail, hospitality, horticulture, education, only fans, etc.
For many vaccinations won’t be an issue, most have already had both shots or plan to do so. You did or are doing what is right for you and those around you so good on you for listening to your own intuition. But for others, be it, hippies like myself, the religious, the suspicious, the anti-authoritarians, the naturally healthy, the nihilists who will continue to refuse to take the vaccine no matter how many liberties get stripped away or bribes dangled - they didn't think it was right for themselves or those around them and their choices must also be respected. To create class division runs the very real risk of creating a second class society, something this country has always worked towards avoiding and something we should all be very careful of because as Shirley Mclaine says “I've made so many movies playing a hooker that they don't pay me in the regular way anymore. They leave it on the dresser.” But that’s a subject for another time.