Who Won the Week (21 February 2021)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Who Won The Week prompt

*Not* in response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.


Exit Strategy

A story I picked up on this week was about Israel and COVID. Israel (population 9M) has inported a huge amount of the Phizer vaccine. Leading the way, it has currently vaccinated 46% of its population (at least one dose) and today started re-opening swathes of its economy. Claiming a drop of over 95% in COVID cases, in people who have had both doses of the vaccine, the plan is to re-open the economy fully over the next month.

Spookily, this coincides with an election there!

Their plan is that, as people are vaccinated, they get a “passport”, and certain things like gyms, hotels, theatres will only allow people to attend provided they have this passport. As far as I can make out, they intend still applying social distancing rules.

That struck a chord with me because here, a big provider of cruises has already announced that they will only allow people onto their holidays, when they can prove they have been fully vaccinated. It wouldn’t surprise me if other companies did the same, just to try and offer peace of mind. I have no idea about distancing rules, I suspect they will decide nearer the time, as the UK is, technically, still locked down.

There’s a parallel argument developed (here, at least), that we are creating an apartheid system – those who are vaccinated versus those who aren’t. With the added counter that if somebody gets excluded from something because they simply refused the vaccine, so what? That’s part of the price they pay.

Personally, I have no problem if an owner says “you chose not to get vaccinated? Therefore I choose not to admit you”. But there’ll coma a point where countries have to say “it is what it is”. Vaccines aren’t compulsory, I don’t think, so countries will need to decide whether, and how long for, they want a two-tier system. But straight away, I can see people who fall through the cracks, whether they were willing to be vaccinated or not. One of my Age UK clients has been told that, because of their history reacting to vaccines, they will not be considered. End of story. I hope they didn’t have any cruises planned!

So, who won the week? Well, good luck to Israel, for hopefully being able to lead us out of this. They have various advantages – a small population which is probably pretty compliant. I doubt it would play out so well either here or in the USA – if someone refuses even to wear a mask, how readily will they agree to be vaccinated? But, good luck to them in any case, for hopefully showing us a way out of this mess, if we choose to take it.

That the programme probably stems from Netanyahu’s desire to be re-elected is just one of those unfortunate things…

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

17 thoughts on “Who Won the Week (21 February 2021)”

  1. Vaccine apartheid, seems scary if you think about cases like the one you mentioned, where someone is told they cannot get the vaccine. There seems to be no way to predict ahead how the vaccines will be linked to travel and other opportunities. What are the legal ramifications of denying people housing, services or freedoms based on their vaccinations? Good read, but I def. have chills now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You mention travel and I thoughht of that as an obvious sector where it could apply, just really to kick-start things again. But it raises other questions – for example, I have no idea of the efficacy of the Sputnik vaccine but I have certainly heard virologists .describe it as untested. So, will some vaccines be acceptable and others not? I suppose time will tell.

      I think anything like that has to be short-term.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Short-term is exactly the right word. I haven’t heard of the Sputnik vaccine, will have to google it. I just want a haircut, oh and the zoo back or else we’re all going to be joining the shaggy zoo animals soon.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems to have worked out ideally for him. He can claim the way out but by the time it is proven to have succeeded or failed, they will have had the election. He couldn’t have planned it better! Aren’t there some charges waiting for him too as soon as he’s not PM?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that might be a good way of kick-starting things back up. but I don’t see it as sustainable in the long-term.
      We tend not to look at it like that but I think vaccination (against anything) is a cross we have to bear in order to keep these diseases out of society, and somebody who is an anti-vaxxer is basically getting a free ride.. So there is a certain amount of schadenfreude when an anti-vaxxer gets certain things denied to them. But as I say, I don’t think that’d work permanently.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was having a discussion yesterday with my No.2 son. We cannot meet is person, so it was more Facetime messenger. We spoke about the wonderful progress Israel had made with the vaccinations, even Britain and something dawned on me. It is all a question of how much money you throw into it and your political ambitions. Israel bought their vaccines and paid many dollars for them. OK, it is their right to help the population. Mr. Netanyahu also has a big interest in getting elected again so wants to be the hero of the country. Bojo has the luck of developing a British vaccine. Whether it is one of the best or not I do not know. I know I do not want a vaccine when I have to wait 12 weeks for my booster jab when 3 weeks are recommended. But it seems Britain also paid a lot for the privilege of have the complete population jabbed eventually. Perhaps we should also bear in mind that electrons are also due some time in Britain.
    We Europeans are a little behind in our vaccines. We are still waiting for them. Perhaps the EU does not have as much money as the others, or problems with elections. In Switzerland we have no vaccine, still waiting and with a direct democracy no big competition between the various political parties. Of course each party wants to be the best, but in a country where the prime minister is changed every year and the parliament consists of the same parties no-one has to be in hurry to get elected. We will soon be having elections in Switzerland but for the members of our parliament and who you vote for will definitely not be inluenced by vaccination availability.
    African countries have no chance of even discussing what sort of vaccination they received and are dependent on the good will of the better situated nations in the world. That is just my humble opinion, it is all a question of money and power. No-one really wants to save the world, but just their own skins.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Specifically with respect to the third world, the UK pledged to donate quite a few, I think, but not until the UK is sorted. From what I read, Biden has done the same in the US. While the medical knowledge tells us that we are only safe when everybody is covered, the political knowledge tells us that only the people in our own countries can vote us out!

      Like

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