I’ll let you in on a secret, I haven’t taken the Covid vaccination.
For a lot of people that doesn’t really matter. Sadly, for a lot more, it really does. It means you now think a lot worse of me than you did a few seconds ago.
A minute ago, you might have considered me somewhat intelligent, a hard worker, sometimes funny, or perhaps even just a good bloke. Now after my shocking revelation, I’m sure quite a lot of people have instantly changed their option of me to someone who is dumb, stupid, far right, a conspiracy theorist, or an anti-vaccination nutcase.
It’s that quick. I’ve seen it in person directly to my face. One minute I’m having a normal conversation, the next minute they are looking at me like I have two heads. The conversation often ends quickly after that.
I don’t blame those people; they are victims of the best part of 20 months of scare-mongering from our federal and state politicians and the compliant corporate media. At no point have they been fed anything other than ‘vaccines are our only salvation from this Covid hell we’re in’ – that vaccinated people are good and saintly and care about all others over themselves. Unvaccinated people on the other hand are selfish, dirty, and walking Covid germ spreaders living in a perpetual state of Covid-positive who are literally killing the people they interact with.
I’m no more or less stupid than I was before the Covid vaccines existed. Certainly, I wasn’t then, and I am still not now, an ‘anti-vaxxer’. I’ve had them all: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis – tick, Hepatitis B, Polio – tick, Measles, Mumps, Rubella – tick, tick, and tick. I’m happy to have had them and strongly support everyone to get them. They’ve proven to work over decades and decades and are very safe.
As for the flu vaccine, well I’ve got a slightly different attitude on it to the others. I’ve never been against it; I just never took it. It doesn’t stop you from getting the flu (Influenza), it’s only partially effective against prevalent strains of the flu from the season prior, and it needs to be taken every year. I’ve never bothered. I’m reasonably healthy and not in an at-risk category, so why take it? Sounds like a pretty good argument to me.
It wasn’t always like this. When the first Covid wave hit in 2020, well before vaccines existed, everyone got on just fine without them. Initially, we stayed at home until we realised that wasn’t necessary – nor a particularly good idea – and then we all got out and about, worked, and lived.
I reminisce about those days, a mere six months ago, when there were no compulsory QR check-ins, no mandated mask-wearing inside, and no vaccine passes. We just went about lives much as we did prior to March 2020.
This all changed with the Delta wave that locked us down in June. QR codes were compulsory, masks were back, stay at home orders were renewed and even extended for months on end, and for the first time in my memory we had curfews in our major cities. Worst of all, vaccine status became the Next Big Thing: Have you had it? Which one did you have? How many people have had first and second doses? Have you got a vaccine pass?
This is when life really changed for those of us who chose not to get jabbed.
The first thing I noticed was the pressure from everywhere to comply and get the vaccine, from the government, from corporate media, from business, from my employer, my friends, and family. They were not saying it was mandatory or anything as draconian as that. It’s just that if you don’t get vaccinated, we won’t let you travel overseas, or interstate, or even outside your local government area. Nor can you go to non-essential shops, whatever they be this week. No cafés or restaurants, cinemas or theatres, or any public event… You certainly can’t go to work in an office with other people, that’s for sure.
Unless I want to break these health orders, that were never approved by any parliament in the land, I really can’t go anywhere, see anyone, or work. Covid vaccinations remain voluntary, so no problems here – surely?
Sadly, many who are unaffected by these rules not only don’t care, but agree that people who made a simple personal medical decision should be shunned and ostracised in this way. Forget their rights, it makes them feel safe so it’s all ‘okay’ by them.
What does all this mean practically? I lost my job, and with it my income.
I’m not an essential worker, not a teacher, nurse, or healthcare worker. Nor am I an emergency services worker or government employee – just a white-collar executive sales manager in an industry that was never targeted by specific mandates. However, I did see customers, and I did meet with staff face-to-face.
That was enough for my former employer to sack me.
Their argument was clear; I was unable to fulfill the inherent duties of my job due to being an unvaccinated individual. This was despite having successfully worked from home for many months. Apparently, that privilege was now no longer extended.
This is possibly the most mealy-mouthed corporate excuse for terminating someone because of their vaccination status, and it has been repeated thousands of times in workplaces across this country.
From the day my manager found out I hadn’t been jabbed, I was stood down without pay – even though that was technically illegal. I never worked another hour for them. After taking my case to the Fair Work Commission, we reached a settlement, but I was still out of a job. But hey, what are you complaining about? Vaccines are not mandatory…
Now I’m looking for new jobs, but it’s not easy. I’ve seen plenty of job ads clearly stating that for everyone’s ‘safety’ they require all candidates to be fully vaccinated. I’m pretty sure that’s also illegal. Regardless, it rules out those as job opportunities for me. I’ve had a few interviews recently and have had to go to the effort to do reconnaissance missions to cafés and other interview locations in the days prior to these interviews to see if I could even attend them. Is the venue lax in asking for vaccine passes, or are they strict and want to see everyone’s pass?
I’ve perfected the art of arriving five minutes late to these interviews so I can bypass ordering tea or coffee and hopefully not be asked for my non-existent vaccine pass. What if I go to an office and I’m asked to show my pass? Well, that’s that job gone too.
What if the job has lots of interstate travel? At the national manager level that I normally work at, it’s almost a given. How can I secure a new job knowing I can’t actually go anywhere? Even if the company doesn’t care about my vaccination status – and lots don’t – how do I do my job? I’ve contemplated driving everywhere, yes even interstate, to avoid air travel. That’s just ludicrous given the size of Australia.
Worse still is my family.
I have family members with whom I cannot have a normal rational conversation about vaccinations or Covid in general. If I bring up anything that is not ‘government-approved messaging’ that’s an unprovoked shouting match right there.
The most haunting consequence is with my mother, who’s in palliative care in a nursing home with terminal cancer. I am not allowed to see her. It’s like she’s in prison. Luckily, her room has a balcony, and I can wave to her and talk over the phone whilst we can see each other from a distance. I did once manage to walk in and see her face-to face a little while ago. All the nurses and residents were fully vaccinated so one of the nurses took pity on me.
Boy did I cop it from all my family for doing so. Not only was it ‘illegal’, but it was ‘super dangerous’. My mother was so scared she could be kicked out of the home for breaking the law and was worried for at least two weeks lest I had passed Covid onto her because I was unvaccinated. I was told in no uncertain terms, by her, not to see her face to face again unvaccinated – such is the strength of the governmental and media conditioning against unvaccinated people that she genuinely feels that as I’m unvaccinated she must assume I always have Covid.
Thanks, Gladys, Kerry, and Brad for putting that thought in her head.
I was a member of the local community fire unit and had been for over ten years until NSW Fire and Rescue mandated that all volunteers – who would only ever work outdoors protecting property – must be vaccinated.
I’d love to support small business, cafes, restaurants, and shops with my precious dollars, but I can’t. The government mandates and health orders mean I can only spend my money at big businesses: Coles, Woolies, Bunnings, and the like. Sometimes I wonder if that was an intended consequences of all of this. Was small business was too successful at taking on big business across all sectors when consumers got sick of the ‘wokeism’? Lockdowns and mandates sure did favour the big end of town.
Every aspect of my life has been turned upside down due to one simple decision to just say, ‘No thanks!’
What I really want is the madness to end and be able to live my life, have a job, earn money, and participate in society and not be shunned and shut out. I’m an adult and I’m able to make my own decision as to the risks of the things I do.
If the government can, you know, leave me the hell alone – that’d be great!
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