The world has gone mad again!
The rise in Covid cases all around Europe with the approach of Winter brought new restrictions but also divisions between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated fuelled by governments who decided to step up the pressure for those who are against vaccines.
Two years ago when the pandemic started, people around the world felt they were in the same boat, together. The pandemic of equality, some called it, as it didn’t distinguish between rich, poor or ethnicities.
Lockdowns were for everybody at the same time. I remember meeting my neighbours while strolling around the park in my neighbourhood. There was a sense of community and purpose that arose from the difficult situation.
When vaccines with new technologies such as MRNA were rushed and then made available, people had to make a decision. The elderly were given priority and then gradually the rest of the population. Until recently taking a vaccine was a free decision. “My body, my choice” was always the motto.
We all know people who have been vaccinated and have had no side effects and others who are now faced with concerning health issues that were not there before. Some who have had increased immunity against the virus and others even with a third shot that have had little. We are all different and let’s face it, it is all a bit of a gamble. No vaccine protects you 100%. If it did, the vaccinated would be safe and out of the hospitals which is not the case.
That is why, I always believed it should be your decision. Right or wrong, it was always going to be a difficult decision.
The trend to take this decision away from people for “the greater good” saddens me. Unvaccinated people have increasingly been blamed for the new wave of infections. In Austria they introduced a lockdown for the unvaccinated. They are forbidden of going to shops, restaurants, cafés, entertainment venues, basically either you are vaccinated or you don’t have a life anymore. They are also forced to be tested everyday to be able to go to work.
The government thought that maybe the unvaccinated would rush to get the shot, some did but others didn’t and as the situation got worse, we are now all back in lockdown. But there is the added threat for the unvaccinated that either they take the shot or starting February 1, it will become mandatory.
That is why this past weekend tens of thousands of Austrians (and some foreigners too) came to the streets in Vienna to protest against the forceful vaccination measures.
It was a peaceful, lively show of determination with Austrians from all walks of life marching together for the right to make their own decisions.
The atmosphere was light, there was even music and singing here and there. It was a harmonious march that went around the Ring in Vienna, with very few violent incidents.
What was also nice to witness were the people who are vaccinated but came to show their opposition to the mandatory government vaccination policy (and the (mis)use of this issue by one political party).
There was a heavy police presence and show of force but for the most part the protesters behaved well, exercising their democratic right to protest.
It was my first demonstration in Austria and I was impressed. I witnessed how Austrians peacefully fight for their beliefs, their freedom and their right to choose. I also saw many families with small children and their canine companions tallying along. Groups of friends and health workers marching in unison. Even strangers sharing these special moments. The people have spoken, the ball is now on the Government side. New vaccines are going to come soon, let’s hope they will be more convincing to those who are not trusting the vaccines that are currently available!
And that each and everyone is able to decide what is best freely.
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