One of the more personally depressing aspects of the pandemic was discovering that people you not only like but also respect (not just acquaintances but also friends and, sadly, family) decided that they weren’t going to get vaccinated. Because of ‘reasons’. None of which were medical. A lot of those reasons involved links shared on YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, and not actual science or facts. That’s caused frictions in social groups. Including one closest to my heart. The following is a lightly edited (removed information identifying others) post I made to that group when the NSW roadmap was announced by the current Premier (his initials are DP – make of that what you will).
I suspect that beyond December businesses will still be allowed to prevent unvaccinated people from entering. I really hope our gym chain does. I want to minimise the chance of passing it on to my parents. I want to minimise any chance of passing it on to our mutual friends with elderly parents and all others I care about and having them pass it on to their families.
Both my parents are vaccinated. They knew people with smallpox and polio when they were kids so have seen what no protection against disease does. I was never really aware of those diseases growing up. Wonder why. Both my parents have underlying health conditions. They’re in their late seventies so not surprising. Even though vaccinated that reduces their chances of recovery if they get COVID. I’m guessing a lot of people have parents in a similar situation. I don’t want to play dice with the lives of other people’s families. It shocks me that others have the arrogance to do so.
I’ve sadly decided not to see my parents (we live in different States) for Xmas again this year (only the 4th time ever in 6 decades) because I want to ensure we’re at a situation where I’m not in danger of unknowingly bringing in something that may kill them or others in their retirement village. My family is the most important thing in my life. Not being able to see them hurts. More than I’ll ever show. But I like to think I give a shit about people other than myself so this is painfully necessary for now. My parents are concerned that they don’t pass on this virus to their friend who is in her nineties; we are lucky to learn what decent parents teach.
It’s more difficult each passing year because both my parents and me know the available time I have with them is decreasing and I’ve had to scratch off another opportunity and just hope I haven’t already had my last time to see them. But I have to do it because if I’m happy to accept the benefits of a collective society then I need to be unselfish enough to pay my dues and contribute to it. I just wish all those who could would do the same.