WHEN his crisis-ensnared charges start believing they just might escape The Valley after all, Pulp Fiction troubleshooter Winston Wolf checks their budding optimism: “Well, let’s not start sucking each other’s dicks quite yet.” I began thinking the same thing in September – if not exactly in those terms – as big-noting Premiers began talking about “rewards,” “relaxed restrictions” and “freedom days” for vaccinated publics grown weary of their scientifically phony ‘measures.’ The trajectory of the pandemic overseas had made it obvious to me that a different, post-vaccination crunch would materialise here in 2022. The ‘return to normal’ sold to Australians – especially by News Corp for the benefit of Messrs Morrison and Perrottet – is a sham. The new crisis will also be a last chance to stop the rot. It is now indisputable that masks, lockdowns, curfews, mandates and passports do not work. They are performative talismans cynically designed to ward off electoral consequences by socialising culpability. It is also now admitted officially that the vaccines are failing and will go on failing. This is a very good thing for democracy and civilisation.
One of the strangest phenomena of the pandemic in the West has been the way governments have played Hitler Chicken with their opponents across legislative aisles. The more extreme the diktats, the more trapped into backing them – and subsequent iterations of tyranny – oppositions became. Neither side can blink for fear of being excoriated for nannacide. Actually, grands have become démodé. Did you notice? When vaccination rates began cresting at what the NSW Premier called the “magic” percentage – when, in other words, a majority believed themselves out of the woods – grannies were wheeled into their flats and forgotten. Brimming with a bravado that will be short-lived, politicians and the media ditched solicitude and released the hounds.
Their quarry – the unvaccinated – enraged and scandalised Innoculated Immortals because they – the former alone – were spreading the virus. After that claim died the slow death of a Fauci beagle, the unvaxxed were instead chided for delaying freedom. But as governments realised the vaccines were wearing off faster than one of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s marriages, the VC Days they promoted were scaled back almost as soon as the first print-run of Mission Accomplished posters was ready. Until the inevitable booster mandates start drawing many of the hitherto compliant away from the mob and hospitalisations start rising again, the un-syringed will be a handy minority to blame for one vicissitude or another on the road to winter.
Both of the covid decedents added to the NSW tally on Tuesday were vaccinated. Of the 11 cases in the Northern Territory making news, the two additions in reports yesterday were a fully vaccinated 43-year-old Katherine man and his female companion. The vaxx status of the others was unknown. Ignoring this inconvenient reality, Chief Minister Gunner defaulted to rote-learned gibberish: “As the CHO said yesterday and as I have said before, you only have two choices – catch COVID vaxxed or catch COVID unvaxxed. Please, please, get the vax.” The Katherine man got it… before becoming infected, infecting others and winding up in quarantine.
Bizarrely, NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker preemptively linked the outbreak to protesters. “I can’t be bothered dealing with your rubbish,” he spat at Katherine’s invisible dissidents. There will be more sullen lashing-out and cognitive dissonance next year when Australian officials – like their counterparts in covid-authoritarian, majority-jabbed places like Iceland, Belgium, Gibraltar, the Netherlands, Austria, New Zealand and several blue states in the US – are compelled to choose between habituated myth or Floridian reason.