‘Papers, Please’

Facepalm (Cain Statue)

Oh dear. Where to start with countries and other provinces who dare the dark road of differentiating the vaccinated from the unvaccinated.

We understand the need, within reason, to protect the elderly and vulnerable to whom the virus is conceivably not harmless. We understand that a completely restrictionless approach may not always be the right way forward when dealing with pandemics — where do you not send your children when there’s been a collosal snowstorm? We even understand, conditional only on the best available scientific evidence supporting it and on a socioeconomic environment free of coercion or other undue pressure, that it is fine to merely recommend vaccination to groups of people where it has been proven conclusively that the injection is safe and has a meaningful health-related benefit to them and others. Help them access the treatment if, and only if they want it. But give only the vaccinated above all others the edge on dating websites, spare the vaccinated and only the vaccinated an irrational tenure in self-isolation, or make a nosh-up or a good time with mates the carrot hanging off the vaccination stick, and God forbid the seed you have, in good faith or not, sown.

You know the drill. It does not — repeat does not — need writing again. But I kindly and yet urgently ask any landlord of a pub, or senior staff member of a dating agency or otherwise, to think very carefully indeed before hyping up the government’s vaccination scheme excessively or giving those who wish to take the vaccination any hint of an edge whatsoever over those who do not. Informed consent is the precious gem facing us all in the centre of the museum, and big bad Boris is the thief with crass, thuggish hands just waiting there ready to snatch it in broad daylight. Once we lose it — indeed you could argue we already have lost it as of June 2020 on public transport and July 2020 in shops — be lucky if and when it comes back. And I’m not talking about a free pass for the vaccinated. I’m talking about MPs respecting the God-given freedom for all to hold hands, show face and give grace.

It’s most bizarre that a Covid militant of all people has paid his visit to a British pub in 2021, and yet so far this year I have not — not once. But this is a decision of how I want to live my life, and not one to live in fear. If we accept a society where it’s credit cards or nothing, where a minefield of vaxx and traxx forms brashly greets you on the front doors of eateries, and where a bare human face is lucky to be seen let alone kissed, there can be no going back (at least not in Britain’s name). However, I’m here to give you the good news. Every time I reflect on how many like-minded people there really are, and on all the lovely visitors we get now and again on our website, I rejoice in my head, heart and soul. Keep going and make our nation a liveable place for all.

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