Enough is enough!
One year ago today the UK went into lockdown. Yes, it was late. No, it wasn’t strict enough and didn’t last long enough. Absolutely we should’ve closed borders more quickly and deliberately encouraging ‘one last bash’ before the pubs and bars went silent certainly helped boost the infection rate. But forget all that for now. The government may never truly learn those lessons anyway, even though most of us have.
On that day, March 23rd 2020, way fewer than 1% of our current total had died because of Covid-19. We locked down with less than 1,000 deaths because we knew what was coming. We’d seen the devastation in parts of Italy and Spain and the government didn’t want to see the same thing happen here… allegedly. Whatever your views on the Brexiteer government’s intent (and there are many) most of the people took the lockdown seriously and the infection rate began to fall.
Since then advice has changed periodically. Advisors have come and gone. Alternative science groups have formed and court cases have been launched to hear cases relating to tory party profiteering, dodgy govt. deals and betrayals of both key workers and the vulnerable among us. But for now let’s forget all that too. I want to talk to you about something just as serious but far more current. Covid 19 deniers, anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. On the whole they’re the same people and they’re bloody dangerous.
In writing this post I’ve had a bit of a dilemma in tone. You see I’m a great advocate of human rights – including the right of people to avoid putting anything in their bodies that they don’t agree to. This should lead me to support anti-vax rights and choices. And indeed, it does. I do support anyone’s right to make an informed decision to refuse to accept vaccination. I know several people who have perfectly viable and sound reasons for refusing the vaccine, even religious reasons. Personally I consider religion irrational too but still support peoples’ right to follow and abide by it.
And then there are others whose decision is not informed or rational. They refuse based upon nonsense conspiracy theories involving technically impossible microchips and one world conspiracies led by George Soros and Bill Gates. This is where my support for anti-vaxxers tends to fall down a bit. If someone is fooled into acting against their own best interests, should we still support that decision and their right to make it.
And still I think the answer is ‘Yes’ – but with a heavy heart. The issue of rights and autonomy is too serious, too precious to give up, even in the face of imminent tragedy, but respecting someone’s right to choose doesn’t mean I have to respect their choice or even the person themselves. Enough is enough.
So here’s my take on this whole conspiracy theory driven debate…
There is no global conspiracy to stick microchips capable of technologically impossible ‘sneakaboutery’ in your bloodstream.
Refusing the vaccine and encouraging others to refuse too makes it harder to achieve herd immunity. This undoubtedly will mean more deaths later.
Refusing to wear a mask is an attack on others. Your personal risk is unchanged by mask-wearing. It’s to contain your breath, especially your coughs and sneezes. Your refusal puts the lives of others at risk because you believe that Covid is a hoax. Well… I believe that you are a fool to believe that. I believe that you are a dangerous fool who risks the lives of others, including my 83 year old mother.
So, even though you have my support for your anti-vax decision, I continue to disagree with you.
You have my sympathies for having been duped by Covid conspiracy theories.
You have my contempt for risking the lives of vulnerable others.
You may never have my forgiveness if your intellectually lazy refusal to research actual facts leads to the death of any of my friends or relatives.
Enough is enough!