Time for this Covid culture war to come to an end!

At the time of writing, our country had confirmed one case of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, which according to a study from South Africa, has ‘a substantial’ ability to cause reinfection ‘in people who have previously’ had the virus.

What the study didn’t say however, was how this variant would behave when spread in a highly vaccinated population such as ours. Nor did it say if it can break through the barriers provided by the protection currently being offered by our vaccines. Despite this (thankfully), people, desperate for some level of protection, are flocking to vaccination centres to avail of either their first/second jab, or to seek a booster.

Myself and himself feel extremely grateful and relieved to have been offered our boosters last week, and I’d like to say thank you to Dr. Barry Cosgrove and staff at the Boyle Primary Care Centre for giving us the opportunity to add this extra layer of protection. Given there have been complaints from around the country regarding people left queuing in the cold for hours to get a jab, I must say your appointment system works both efficiently and effectively.

We were given a timeslot, to which we arrived five minutes early, and were checked in at the clinic’s clearly marked window. We were then directed to another clearly marked entrance, where we signed in, filled in a short questionnaire, got vaccinated, retreated to a waiting area for fifteen minutes’ observation, and went home. Structured, professional, friendly, and methodical. Well done to all!

In the wake of this more contagious variant, fears are being expressed that hospitals will become overwhelmed. Therefore, I’d like to address the ‘proudly unvaccinated’ and tell them the time has now come for this childish Covid culture war to end. Why? Because you’re losing!

If the results of a nationwide Kantar opinion poll are anything to go by, it appears that ‘a comfortable majority believe the Covid-19 unvaccinated should face greater movement restrictions’. To that end, it’d be really helpful if you and your posse of cheerleading conspiracy theorists could back off, stop spewing your misinformation, and find your way to a vaccination centre!

I’m hoping the person who stopped me last week, cigarette dangling from their lips and hands waving dramatically in the air for effect, insisting through a series of wheezes and rasps that their ‘strong immune system’ is ‘protecting’ them from the virus, gets themselves some protection. I should probably apologise for rudely laughing while you loudly bellowed your unsupported and misinformed ‘anti-vax’ propaganda, while simultaneously wagging your nicotine-stained finger at me. But I won’t!

Criticising personal freedom doesn’t sit well with me whatsoever, because I believe we all have autonomy over our own minds and bodies. However, my patience is wearing thin with the anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, and Covid-deniers. Why? I may be going out on a limb here, but I believe they’re being selfish. They don’t care about how their behaviour is impacting on everyone else’s quality of life.

I didn’t want to get two vaccines or a booster, yet, to protect myself and my loved-ones, I did. I hate wearing a mask, but because of the anti-vaxxers, I still am! Let me be clear – I am not targeting those who are medically unable to get vaccinated. My heart goes out to you.

Our entire country, at every level, and in every occupation, is facing a set of health and economic challenges, yet the majority of us who bit the bullet and got vaccinated and ‘booster-ed up’, are still quite literally living like sitting ducks. Why? Because sadly, despite this virus being with us nearly two years now, the anti-vax sentiment among many remains strong!

From conversations I’ve had with certain ‘deniers’ and ‘anti-vaxers’, it’s clear to me they fall into one of two categories. A, they’re deluded narcissists, believing they’ve got a higher level of critical thinking than the scientists, or B, they’re extremely selfish!

 

The most insidious forms of domestic violence are those that can’t be seen!

In a bid to raise awareness of intimate relationship abuse, Women’s Aid have been running their ‘Too Into You’ campaign, aimed at young women aged between 18-25 years.

Running in conjunction with the annual 16 Days of Action opposing violence against women, the campaign places a focus on helping the 50 per cent of young people who are ‘not aware of specialist supports (available) for intimate relationship abuse’. This is very sad for the simple reason that it means many young people may be suffering in silence.

We all know that the most insidious, most prevalent forms of violence are those that can’t be seen, and due to the Covid-imposed restrictions around Christmas, leading to us having to curb our activities, conditions in homes/relationships affected by domestic abuse will not just worsen – in many situations they’ll become intolerable.

Behind all of these ‘situations’ are the bruised and battered faces and bodies of our fellow human beings. While these human beings may not be our sisters, our daughters or our mothers etc., they are someone else’s family members. These are the women and children in our communities who, when they reach out to us, will not just need our help and our support to escape their private hell, they’ll also need to receive specialist survivor-centred care, understanding and compassion!

Many victims of domestic violence don’t always identify the signs straight away themselves. Remember, emotional, psychological, sexual and physical abuse is never the victim’s fault. Therefore, to those who may be feeling vulnerable and unsure of their personal situation, let me outline below what I believe to be just a few of the lesser recognised tactics of a malicious abuser. If any of them are happening to you, please don’t be afraid to reach out and seek help.

If your partner insists on going everywhere with you, using the excuse they “love you so much they can’t bear to be without you”. The truth? What they ‘love’ is the power to dominate and isolate you from everyone else, making you reliant only on them. If they ‘gaslight’ you, making you question your own reality and in short, try to confuse you, making you question your own thoughts and your own mental health. They may even accuse you of reacting out of proportion to what is (they’ll insist), otherwise normal circumstances. Following an attack, whether emotional, physical or sexual, an abuser may also attempt to ‘love bomb’ you by buying you an expensive gift, making dramatic promises to never ‘lash out’ again! It’s a lie!

If you need help, please contact the Women’s Aid 24-hour national helpline today on 1800-341900 or in an emergency do not hesitate to dial 999!

 

Delusional much Harry?

Over-privileged prat…sorry Prince! Harry that is. The spoiled royal-turned-life-coach has advised anyone ‘stuck in jobs that don’t bring them joy’ to resign!

This stinking-rich, publicity-seeking junkie who’s slumming it (not!) in a $12 million mansion, paid for by his $50 million Netflix deal and his role as ‘chief impact officer’ with US start-up BetterUp, must surely be suffering from a serious dose of let-them-eat-cake-ism!

Perhaps if I’d inherited a trust fund as severance pay when I quit my roles at granny’s ‘firm’, I too could place a focus on finding a job that ‘brings me joy’. Until then, I’ll stick with the one that brings me food, electricity, heat, the ability to pay my rent, and my vet’s bills etc.