Corona Newsspeak from Israel
Not sure how/where to start. This pandemic has ‘rather many angles’.
Let’s try 2 headings –
1. Someone recently suggested to me that, worldwide, it should be possible to distribute the vaccines fairly.
2. Israel’s Health Minister sees the possibility of Israel going ‘back to normal’ already in May.
Let’s look at that first heading. Of course, even under the most utopian of circumstances (I think ‘utopian’ is a more appropriate word here than ‘perfect’), we should all have realised by now that ‘global co-operation’ is a perfect oxymoron (‘perfect’ is perfect in this context).
I doubt that it’s necessary to list any of the thousand reasons why, whichever system of vaccination distribution is used, this pandemic is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Let’s now mix the 2 subjects – partly for the sake of 2 friends of ours who, with there wives, had planned to visit Israel last Autumn, had cancelled, and now plan to do the same this year – a distinct possibility.
Let’s presume that Israel does open up soon. It can only come with some very obvious conditions. First of all, there will be those who cannot or who refuse to take the vaccine. That is their need and/or their right. It is not yet clear what percentage of the population they represent, and whether or not the vaccined community will be large enough to establish ‘herd immunity’.
The anti-jabbers are understandably furious at the threat of the vaccine passport (VP) taking away their rights – and I understand them. The silly thing is that it is my belief that herd immunity, which implies a sufficiently large portion of the population, should be enough to minimise any risk of freedom of movement and social behaviour, making the VP unnecessary. The anti-jabbers include quite a few who are anyway at the minimum-risk end of the contagious scale.
To summarise the above, I am hoping that, instead of opening up the country with the VP system, they will wait a little longer until herd immunity has been reached, in which case, the VP should not be required. A little re-education would be needed for those who ‘refuse to send their kids to a school where the teacher is not vaccinated’ or who ‘refuse to go to a concert if the person sitting next to them is an anti-jabber’.
[I don’t believe there is yet an accepted ‘herd immunity figure’ for Covid. For measles, it’s 95%, and for polio it’s 80%. I’ve seen a figure of 74% at which level Covid would stop spreading, but we want to kill the bastard!]
Unfortunately, this only refers to Israel – a very small country with easily controlled border checks. The rest of the World and Israel’s connection with it is another matter, and that’s where the VP may be necessary. It’s not a question of not trusting the person next to you in the plane.
It’s the realisation that Corona doesn’t recognise borders without there being the strictest of controls – and that’s not currently the case – and won’t be for the foreseeable future.
Add to that the fact that each country vaccinates independently, many of them keeping to regulations which are not always accepted globally. We are nowhere near a time when we can trust everybody. And it’s practically impossible to monitor the the other person’s recent activities and travels.
Even the presentation of another country’s official Vaccine Passport is not going to automatically open all international doors.
So, as far as my friends here, the anti-jabbers, are concerned, hopefully they do not scream too much just yet, as I hope and believe the time is nigh when the VP will not be required for national usage.
And for my international friends hoping to come later this year (from 2 different European countries), it will depend on the bi-lateral agreements between their countries and Israel. If quarantine on arrival in Israel is required, then the visits may be cancelled. Otherwise, it will then depend on their respective country’s acceptance of the situation here in Israel.
Have I made myself clear? (Answers on a postcard only, please).