Having worked in marketing communications for most of my career I can spot the start of a new campaign a mile off. Yesterday, Monday, I’m pretty sure, was the start of Project Ostracise. (In fact, governments prefer less obvious campaign titles that have a fair degree of public-school machismo and obfuscation: like Operation Warp Speed or Moon Unit).
Project Ostracise (let’s work with that) engaged a bunch of “celebrities” – or perhaps a few luvvies just jumped on the bandwagon in the hope for some work from the burgeoning government campaign coffers at some time in the future – to opine about how selfish the unvaccinated are.
We had Robin Ince, the “comedian” and host of “funny” Radio 4 science programme The Infinite Monkey Cage, who ended up closing his Twitter account rather than engage in any debate on the matter. We also had West End musical titan (Lord) Andrew Lloyd Webber and Iain Dale, the former wannabe Conservative MP and blogger, suggest that the unvaccinated are being selfish.
Dale took to the airwaves to say the things that politicians “would never say to you” - to say the things that politicians have been saying pretty much for the last 5 months (since vaccines became available for this “dreadful” virus that’s killing everyone - except it isn’t, of course).
However, the main point that seems lost on all of them is that the people who remain unvaccinated are probably people who are 1) very young and, therefore, the virus presents a negligible threat; 2) the not-so-young who do not perceive the virus as being a threat (because it isn’t); 3) a bunch of people who haven’t really given it much thought because it’s only a “thing” because the government keeps telling us it’s a “thing”. The group in 3 may be a subset of the group in 2 or vice versa.
And, of course, they are not being “selfish” because the people who aren’t in groups 1, 2 or 3 above have all been vaccinated despite the fact that they’ve managed to live through the worst of the “pandemic” without any need for a vaccine to date. Therefore, they are immune (or significantly protected from) people who might contract any lingering Covid-19 related disease.
Or perhaps they’re not (or think they're not). Because, given the bizarre nonsense about the “Indian” variant, the newly vaxed may in fact think they might succumb to radical new and exotic versions of the disease carried by the selfish (even though the selfish have managed to survive unscathed from the worst of the virus for the last year or so and don’t feel sufficiently afraid of catching it despite the existence of these new variant scariants).
Or do they? Or is it the case that this is, in fact, a really very poor comms campaign?
Judging my jaunt around Lidl earlier I suspect the vaxed are, in fact, feeling much more confident...and the unvaxed. I reckon that a third of the customers had either no masks on or were wearing the masks in a jaunty nose-out fashion. On a flight last week from London to Belfast I noted that most of the passengers were, let’s say, relaxed about their mask slippages. They seemed unaware that Jason Isaacs would like them hanged for such activity.
Because, let’s face it, this continued lockdown, socially distanced, mask-wearing piffle is wearing seriously thin. People are increasingly of the view (even those who initially went along with the nonsense) that vaccines were the pass out of the socially engineering nanny state bunkum. The virus is not a serious virus for most. Those that were spooked by it have been jabbed. So let’s move on.
Moving on requires us to be able to travel unhindered, go down the pub and do whatever we have to do without this continued, interfering nonsense that’s so obviously about another type of technocratic society we obviously don’t want. And celebrities are not going to convince us any time soon that we do.
Because here are the facts. Hospitalisation plummets after every respiratory seasonal spike. It doesn’t require a super-successful, envy-of-the world, vaccination campaign. All cause deaths so far this year are pretty much as normal. Last year we had excess deaths but only putting the year at about 8th in the league table over the last 30 - and we didn't even have a vaccine then. And we could still fly to Greece without a PCR test or vaccine card.
This talk of "selfish" is utter garbage and the celebs know that so implicitly that they are embarrassing themselves with their own Twitter accounts.
Campaign Ostracise is full of holes. Let’s move on. We’re done with the click-bait and the celebrification of public health. And, if it continues, more of us will start getting the impression that there's something very coercive going on.