I am watching my social media melt into an “us vs them” war. Friendships that have withstood all sorts of storms are crumbling in the face of this new enemy. The divide is so much bigger than race, gender or any other stereotype. This divide is about whether we can agree to disagree.
COVID-19 is here to stay. Melbourne is in its 6th lockdown (200+ days and counting). This is a harsh lockdown
– No more than 5km from home
– 2 hours outside for exercise
– Only leave your house for exercise, doctors, vaccine, shopping and care-giving
– WFH unless you are in the very small percentage who can go to office
– If you need to go to office, you need a permit and this is only for certain activities (e.g. onboarding a new staff member so they can WFH)
– No visitors to your home
– Only 1 person from household can go shopping
– Masks indoors and outdoors (the only exception is your home)
It is strict, restrictive and tiring. There are only so many things you can do in your house. Only so many shows you can watch, books you can read, and online stories you can read. After a while it all blurs one into the next.
We have a way out – a vaccine. Pushed out into a world to try and find a “normal”. We have yet to admit that COVID is here to stay. Just like the influenza virus. We will have to find a way to live with it, and the vaccine is that way for now. I am pretty sure that when the first influenza vaccine was rolled out way back in 1918, people had the same reaction of fear and distrust. How can we trust something that has not been tested and tried for years? How do we know the doctors have it right?
I am fully on the “I need the vaccine” camp. Even with the news that the variant I received requires a booster in the next 6 months. My health, and that of those around me, is more important that having to have a needle jabbed in my arm. The uncertainty of the vaccine is far less worrying than the uncertainty of the long-term (and short-term) effects of COVID.
FOR ME PERSONALLY
I understand why there are those who do not want to be vaccinated. Those who want to wait a year or so. Hell, I was there not 6 months ago. I understand the fear of not understanding what it is that you are receiving in that jab. That the fear of the vaccine outweighs the fear of COVID.
THAT IS A PERSONAL CHOICE FOR THEM
This is where it all falls apart. We cannot agree to disagree. We cannot agree that each side has its own merit. That each side is able to state their opinion. We are so stuck on the notion that we all have to agree or else we hate each other. It’s how wars start. It’s how families disintegrate. It is how we become less social and more paranoid.
I choose to try a new thing, because it is what I feel will get us out of this. I have family members who are so anti this that they are no longer talking to each other. I am passionate about it, and will share my views, but I am ok with whatever your personal choice is. You are welcome to disagree with me – in a nice manner. Don’t be nasty or tell me I am a “sheep” or “following blindly”. I made my choice consciously, just as I expect others have.
Dare we believe that our disagreements are not cause to hate each other, but it is what makes us each unique?
Do we dare to agree to disagree?