I need not preamble on the COVID pandemic too long. I'm sure by now all of my readers are tired of the word. I certainly am. But there are beasts raising their ugly heads in consequence to the pandemic, and those are the subject matter of this article.
It has been difficult to watch the federal and state governments descend steeper and steeper down a slippery slope of blatant overreach and constitutional disregard. Yes, many of the measures put in place have been necessary, credit must be given where credit is due. However, any man who has read anything of the political history of the 20th century must surely hear alarm bells ringing loudly in his conscience.
It has been more difficult than that again to see the blind obedience of many of our young men and women. The willingness of our young people to follow even the softest suggestion without a second of thought is nothing short of frightening. It has always been said that if anyone alive today lived in Nazi Germany, the statistical likelihood of supporting the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler would be pretty high. Now, by the blind obedience put on show during the pandemic, we can see just how true it is.
The speed at which the public slogan descended from "we're in this together" to "show me your papers" rivals only that of the worst totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. Surely since most young adults were born at the tail end of that century and our parents mostly in the first decades of the mid-century, we have not already forgotten.
There is, of course, a fair point to be made that the response to the COVID-19 virus cannot be justifiably likened to any genocide of the preceding century, in which, although containing the history of both World Wars, more civilians were murdered by their own governments than soldiers were killed in combat. This is nothing like that. However, the public health germaphobia resembles that of Nazi-governed Germany of the 1930's. The Zyklon gas used for extermination during the holocaust was developed to sanitise factories of rats, the following purpose given to the gas I'm sure we all know already. What we must remember is that the final solution, too, was a 'public health policy.'
Public health was one of the foremost priorities of the governing Nazi Party. No, there is nothing wrong with prioritising public health, I merely aim to point out how easy it is for a state to lose its footing on the slippery slope of well intentioned but extreme measures, especially when the citizenry is willing to accept them. As you would expect, non-Aryan physicians were forced to close their practices, being replaced by less qualified but more ideologically pure Aryans. Sound familiar? Non-Aryan workers of all kinds were soon barred from work and essential services, and were soon isolated from the rest of the population. Sound familiar? The point is this, the bulk German population did not object and, what's more, "did their bit" by doing whatever was asked of them to racially, medically and genetically purify their nation in the name of public health and ideological purity. Is any of this sounding familiar?
One of the most frightening things of our current situation is certainly the unacceptableness of conscientious objections to medical procedures and mandates which nullify basic liberties such as medical choice, and freedom of movement, speech and expression. By that I mean refusing vaccination mandates, visiting family, travelling inter-state (an absolutely constitutionally protected freedom), or protesting policies according to your conscience. All of which you can now be penalised or persecuted for exercising without government permission. Who would have ever thought it possible in Australia. For the sake of my own temper, I will not even begin to examine the insidiousness of curfews!
At the outset of this subject, I must make clear that I can personally say little against the vaccines for COVID and I do not believe anyone in authority harbours wanton ill-intent. There is now more data from a larger pool of test subjects (although whether or not emergency approval is an ethical means of testing is open for interpretation) than for any other vaccine, and I am hopeful at best that the long term extrapolations of the effects of the vaccine are accurate.
The NSW government's current stance is that vaccinated people only will not be subject to lockdowns in the future. Australian workplaces are beginning to mandate the vaccine also. Although, many unions are zealously rejecting some of these mandates and there are lawyers too who are warning that workplace vaccine mandates may be a direct violation of the Fair Work Act.
The problem is this: according the the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Pfizer vaccine, which is the most popular in Australia, has an efficacy rate of 95%. There is no doubt that vaccines reduce hospitalisation and death at an acceptable rate, at least in the short term if we consider the evidence emerging in other nations. However, the justification for people under 40 who have no underlying health conditions being encouraged let alone mandated to receive the vaccine are non-existent.
Young Australians who are not immunocompromised have a survival rate of 99%, meaning that the healthy 20-39 year old immune system is 4% more effective than any vaccine. Worldwide the numbers are better. The global average for survivability of COVID for that age group is 99.8%, giving young people worldwide with healthy immune systems an advantage of almost 5% over the vaccine. But getting vaccinated is "doing your bit" to stop the spread, you might say. That would be a strong case if there was even a smidgeon of evidence that vaccines reduce the spread of the virus, which, according the the WHO, there isn't.
So, given that, this is where we now stand. If you are under the age of 40 and are relatively healthy, you may be mandated to receive a COVID vaccine that has a net zero effect on you and the people around you. If you don't get the vaccine, as I am often told, "enjoy your four walls."
If you're a young person and getting the vaccine gives you peace of mind, then by all means, get the jab. But don’t expect anyone to praise you for a medically irrelevant procedure that was mandated to you by authorities without any medical utility at the suggestion of unelected bureaucrats.
Let me stress that people who are vulnerable should absolutely and by all means get the vaccine. I cannot deny that it has reduced hospitalisation and death according to the mass of data we now have. But people who are not vulnerable ought not be blackmailed into trading their most basic liberties for conditional privileges at the discretion of and 'graciously' doled out by an allegedly liberal democratic government with the expectation of a "thank you, dear leader." As the now unfortunately cliched Benjamin Franklin quote runs:
"Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
So, with all that said, what can be done? I have said before and I will continue to say that your life, including your health, is your responsibility and yours alone. It is also, I must urge, your responsibility and duty to safeguard the health of others as far as it is reasonable and possible to do so. Obviously we should not go and visit grandma if there is the slightest risk of transmitting COVID for example.
If you happen to choose not to get vaccinated or not to wear a mask, let me lay out some etiquette to make life easier for you. Firstly, businesses have always had a right to refuse entry, sales and services to whomever they please. Do not, for the love of God and all that is holy, be abusive or recalcitrant if you are refused entry. There are already too many unthinking 'conservative' folk out there who wouldn't bake a gay wedding cake, yet are triggered when refused entry to or the services of a business. These folks give we genuine conservatives who have read, thought and reasoned our way into our frame of mind a bad name.
The second recommendation I can give is this: if the topic of vaccination or COVID measures comes up, by all means speak your mind. But choose your words carefully and remember that as with anything else, tone is important. Do not become argumentative or aggressive lest the message be lost in delivery. And please, I say again, please, be weary of sharing your opinion if it happens to be that the vaccine is a conspiracy for depopulation. If that is your opinion, no problem, but no one will listen to you. Firstly, the widely accepted data is that the world's population will begin to plateau and decrease within the next few decades, removing any motivation for population control. But also, if you've ever read anything of history, you will know that it simply would not be possible to dupe every single world, state, or kingdom leader, let alone the majority of doctors, scientists, and practitioners into such a conspiracy, especially where the alleged means of 'depopulation' are available to be examined and deemed relatively safe.
If for you, according to your conscience, it means getting the jab, don't let anyone stop you. I hope my words hitherto haven't been too discouraging in that regard. If it means weighing up the risks and going out in public like a free citizen, then so be it. That is what I mean when I say it is your responsibility. Adults must be free to weigh the risks for themselves according to the best advice given by their doctor, taking into account their own health and hazards to it. there must come a time when governments give up the task of infantilising Australians.
Government does not exist as surety to its constituents. It exists to ensure a well regulated (but not over regulated) and secure economic environment in which citizens are free to travel, trade, and live as they see fit, so long as they do not hinder the ability of others to travel, trade and live as they please. This of course is all predicated on the responsibility of the individual. It is the responsibility of the individual not to move about unnecessarily in a COVID hotspot, or to meander in public while infected, or to associate with vulnerable people where there is risk of infection. Surely the majority of us can be trusted to not be dick heads. For those who cannot be trusted, deal with them according to the law, but do not conflate us with them.
The hand-holding attempt to politicise life and medicine must end. It removes all meaning for the individual when the government's intent is to raise us, educate us, tax us, pension us and bury us. We must paddle our own canoe. Our health must be our own responsibility utilising all services available to us by means of our own tax dollars according to our need. For the sake of our own dignity we must be weaned from the teat of government paternalism and regain our individual sovereignty.