We’re not getting away from it yet.

As we start to see countries across the world reaching new records for Covid 19 infections, it’s looking more likely that our day in the sun is still a good way off when it comes to beating the pandemic. The question is, how far are we prepared to go with lockdowns and restrictions should the current situation begin to match the last two years?

Pretty far in my opinion.

Like it or not, for the first time in history, we officially are at war with nature. Throughout the ages, we have been attacked by viruses with devastating results but unlike the previous pandemics, we now have an arsenal of weapons to fight back and they seem to be doing a really good job. With the recent announcement that booster jabs can provide up to 98% protection, there is no doubt that for the time being, science has a grip on Covid 19. It’s not easy as nature keeps throwing us curve balls in the form of variants to the virus but they seem to be something that we can handle. So, all in all, we are able to fight this. The only question is, how to convince others that this needs to be a global effort. Here in Ireland, the recent statistics on those in hospital suffering from Covid 19 infection show that 50% of the patients in care are not vaccinated. And of those in intensive care, that number of non-vaccinated increases to over 70%. As governments try to introduce methods of tracking and curtailing the pandemic via vaccination certificates, they meet organised resistance in the form of mass demonstrations and staff walk outs. The science says that the vast majority of us can survive the infection when we have the vaccine but without it, the chances of survival are greatly diminished, yet two years on, we still have a very vocal minority disrupting the recovery considerably.

The problem is that in this case, a small bunch of people can cause a large amount of trouble. This is not a political issue when you have a mob with extreme views but are somehow pocketed, with the rest of us adopting a more moderate approach to society. This is a pandemic; and in this case, it only takes one person to infect a crowd of others so we have a moment in modern history where extremism is having a disastrous effect on all of us. The question remains as to how we can fight this. For the moment, our societies seem able to tolerate the non-vaccinated but what happens should we fall back into the same level of infection we had last year? How do we deal with it? Can we maintain the fight, while all the time a fifth column is undermining our progress? Remember, we are  in a time of war, so drastic measures need to be taken and if the measures mean isolation of those not prepared to join the fight, then so be it.

Unfortunately, we cannot force these people to be vaccinated but we can certainly ensure that if they choose to make that now famous “personal choice”, then they need to realise that it comes with severe consequences.

Featured image by Frank Meriño on Pexels.

Ken Sweeney
Committed to idea of supporting aspiring writers and journalists. Serial podcaster.

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