COMMENT: The anti-vaxxer movement represents selfish privilege

A letter to anti-vaxxers

Assume that I'm a smoker. I'm not but bear with me.

How many of you opposed to vaccination against Covid-19, mask wearing and restrictions on the unvaccinated have stood up for my "freedom of choice" and my "personal rights"?

I have had increasing restrictions on my freedom of choice for years.

Have you complained that I must go outside in the rain and cold after a meal to have a smoke?

Have you complained that I can't enjoy a smoke while having a beer in clubs and pubs?

Have you invited me into your home, allowing me to smoke in your living room?

Would you be okay if I lit a cigarette next to you in the queue at the ATM, or the supermarket checkout?

But seriously ... the point is that restrictions on smokers is only one example of society restricting freedom of choice because it benefits the common good. Most overseas travel in the 70s, 80s and 90s required you to have a Smallpox vaccination.

There are also many examples of people voluntarily putting others' needs first, whether it's the dramatic sacrifice of one's life to save another or the day-to-day caring for a near or dear one.

What we see in protests against vaccination is extreme anti-social and anti-community groups from around the world impacting on Australia.

It was reported, for instance, that much of the organisation for an early Australian protest was done by a group in Germany.

Extreme right-wing groups in the US are also protesting outside the Australian embassy in New York against lockdowns and other strategies in Australia.

The anti-vaxxer movement represents selfish privilege, masquerading as human rights.

The anti-vaxxer movement represents selfish privilege, masquerading as human rights.

To claim that restrictions on the unvaccinated are the moral equivalent of apartheid, racist segregation in the USA or the experience of Jews in Nazi Germany and to misuse the slogans of the women's movement is repugnant and just plain wrong. I will follow the health advice. I will wear a mask, use the QR code and get vaccinated, not just for myself, but also to protect others, especially those more at risk of contracting Covid-19 or suffering worse impacts if they do. I urge you - Do the same.

The last thing we need in this country of the "fair go" and "looking after your mates" is the absolutism of extreme libertarians who say, "Me first ... and may the devil take the hindmost".

Michael McNamara is the chairperson of the Glen Innes & District Community Centre