- Mar 7, 2011
- AFL Club
- Other Teams
- AUFC, Everton, Socceroos, Power
I would argue that in general, the distrust of public health authorities (when based on sound scientific and medical advice), has very little to do with the damage caused or perceived failures. It's largely a result of other areas/entities (as well as, IDK, the virus), albeit it (public health) is used as an excuse.However, alongside various failures of the public health profession when it comes to the damage caused by lockdowns, ignoring natural immunity, masks, mandates, job loss, and the inability to consider and weigh broader social / political / economic impacts, the distrust of public health authorities is (sadly) justified and has probably done more to fuel anti-vax sentiment than the antivaxxers.
Natural immunity has not been ignored, in fact I believe you're currently recommended not to get the booster if you've had Covid in recent months. The damage caused by lockdowns, masks, mandates etc pale when compared to the impacts of the virus (sans those measures). Damage and perceived damage has been heightened by those with anti-science and other vested interests whipping some members of society into a panic about freedoms (as if health and flow on abilities aren't a more fundamental freedom) or generally to make poor health decisions. Damage has also been caused by a lack of financial and other support from non public health areas of government (or where hamstrung), to help alleviate the impacts of necessary public health measures (like lockdowns and other restrictions).
If people make the leap between government disconnect at times (on restrictions vs support), and then distrust the scientific/medical community (on vaccines), that is on them (and the people that tell them they're connected).
I'm sorry if this is your belief, but this never happened and is not happening today. A critical part of reducing the impacts and the likely timeframe of the pandemic sure, this is holding up.Unfortunately, these issues are tied together in my mind, particularly as vaccines were politically framed as the only way out of the pandemic.
We live in a society. We have always had restrictions, rules and penalties around behaviour that harms ourselves and others (including other vaccine mandates). Now, I'm only for selective mandates (which is all we have in Australia), but if you work in an industry which has one (like healthcare or emergency services), then absolutely your likelihood and willingness to help spread the virus, become much sicker yourself (adversely affecting your employer, your colleagues and customers/society), and to take up health system capacity (impacting society at large), should be taken into account. Not to mention the increased chances of unfavourable mutations the longer the pandemic goes on.My political philosophy is that individual choice in this matter should be paramount, that consent and persuasion are much better than coercion, and that coercive policies such as mandates, exclusion from society, and threat of job loss are a far greater evil and harm than the virus itself.
Persuasion also only works on people willing to learn. There's no shortage of evidence, or overwhelming expert advice, that the vaccines are safe and have various benefits, and yet...
I actually agree. People who refuse to get vaccinated unless for medical exemptions (and I can empathise somewhat with particular minority groups who've legitimate distrust of authorities), should think about the damage the lack of humanity (in their decision) can cause. Now I'll seriously agree in part, I don't personally abuse anti-vaxxers. I don't think they're stupid or that vaccination is an IQ test, i.e. poor/ignorant decisions aren't the sum total of a person. I have previously held religious and related social views, including conspiracy theories, which I now consider ignorant or wrong, harmful in some situations even (albeit not that it could end lives like anti-vax positions can), and I didn't gain IQ points when I left those beliefs behind. I'll stick to this, despite being abused by and having had (online) threats of violence from an anti-vaxxer previously.I think we have lost our sense of humanity through the pandemic and that is incredibly damaging to our communities and society.
I cannot fathom the mindset of those who would view vaccinations as safe and effective, refuse to get it out of solidarity for the unvaccinated, while simultaneously ignoring solidarity with the health, lives and livelihoods of the much greater numbers impacted or potentially impacted by this virus. I would argue that most who say such things were probably never pro vaccine, or just want to belong to a disruptive cause. It's kind of like the anti-vaccine grifters in politics, the media or other platforms, who have been vaccinated themselves - there's no or little substance, they just want to look good for their intended audience or cohort.I could easily imagine some people would refuse to take it out of solidarity with those who are concerned about it or the other political / social / conscience reasons I've mentioned.