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As discussed, it is a terrific thing the NRL is now, at last, putting its weight behind the need for players to get vaccinated.
This is good for the NRL as every player who gets vaccinated lessens the chances of a match turning into a super-spreader event. And it is good for Australia, as every admired sports figure who proudly proclaims he or she has had the jab, and then gets on with their sport without growing a third head or collapsing in a heap, inevitably encourages others to do the same. It means we can more quickly get to the 80 per cent level of vaccination we need to get our lives back.
And yes, yes, yes, I know there are NRL players and many others who will refuse to get the jab come what may. That is their right. When will they get their lives back? I have no clue, but next year it will not include either playing in the NRL or going to stadiums to watch it.
The main thing is the NRL is doing the right thing and I for one say bravo, bravo, bravo.
But there are other Australian sportspeople putting their weight on the other side of the ledger, rejecting medical science. Just as Anthony Mundine said recently, they are telling people not to take the vaccine because it is all part of evil plans “to depopulate the world to 1 billion people we are at 7/8 billion now … this is blatant genocide on the human race with a virus that has 99.7% recovery rate!! I’ll let my immune system go to work cause if you take the shot your immune system becomes paralysed! DONT TAKE IT! DO YOUR RESEARCH.”
Yup. I know. For most of the nutters, “do your research” translates to, “I don’t care that Nobel prize winners, scientists, medicos and governments worldwide are united on the need for vaccinations, I saw a five-minute YouTube video that has convinced me that I am right and they are wrong, and now I am going to tell everyone until their ears bleed. No, really, I have no medical or scientific background whatsoever, but I have such colossal presumption that I am genuinely going to proclaim in the public domain that I am right and they are wrong.”
Anthony Mundine has made his feelings clear on vaccination.Credit:James Brickwood
At least in the case of Mundine the claims are so outrageous it is only those with tin-foil hats who take it seriously, and they were never going to get vaccines in the first place.
Far more troubling is the latest rant by 1987 Wimbledon winner Pat Cash this week in an online interview for TCW TV, which has been widely picked up by UK media. He is lauded, and I quote, for being “the tennis ace with big enough balls to say what he REALLY thinks about Covid and the vaccine”.
What Cash says is dangerous, so let’s go through it. He begins by lauding the nutters’ drug of choice, Ivermectin.
“I’ve been taking [it] for over a year and a quarter now,” Cash said. “Ivermectin works. It’s a cheap drug. It’s a wonder drug. And I’m living proof that I have been in the worst areas everywhere around the world and I haven’t come close to getting COVID.”
Actually, Ivermectin is mostly used to eliminate parasites in cows and horses. Despite that, in certain places where banjo music is the entertainment of choice, so many people have taken it that real damage has been done. This week in Mississippi – which has the second lowest rate of vaccination against the ’rona in the US – so many people called the state’s poison hotline that an alert on Friday from the Mississippi State Department of Health warned against taking Ivermectin.
It said that taking the drug can lead to “a rash, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, neurologic disorders and potentially severe hepatitis requiring hospitalisation”.
Got it, Pat?
This is the drug you are recommending, #FFS?
Cash went on.
“Do I need to get vaccinated? I don’t know. I’ll make that decision at a later stage. But right now, no, I don’t need to. I’m fit.”
An interview with Pat Cash this week has been been widely picked up by UK media.Credit:Getty
A gold star for everyone who can spot the problem right away.
The notion that you are fit, therefore COVID-19 is not going to get you, is demonstrably dangerous. The original notion that it was only going to affect those over 70 years old is not the case. Every day we hear more stories of fit people, with no pre-existing conditions, dying horrible deaths from the virus.
But still that is not the only problem with Cash’s statement. Two gold stars for whoever can see the next problem.
Cash’s notion that because he thinks he will survive COVID-19 and therefore has no need to get the vaccine entirely misses the point that getting the jab – I’ll go slow here, so all can follow – also … helps … the community.
No, the jab doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get sick. Nor does it guarantee you won’t pass on COVID-19 to others. But it is established medical fact that it enormously reduces the chances of both.
So you’re the strong boy who is not afraid of getting COVID-19 because you are so healthy? Great. But what about those around you? Those in your family?
Still Cash went on.
“I’m not having a politician or a TV doctor who’s on the payroll tell me what I should and shouldn’t be doing with my health, OK?”
It is the familiar trope. The politicians and the doctors, see, are all part of one big conspiracy, “on the payroll”, promoting alarm when there is no need, just so they can stay on the payroll. It’s the same with climate scientists, who know there is no problem with climate change but just keep saying there is so they can make more money!
As I said, it is truly embarrassing twaddle. And in the case of COVID-19, seriously damaging twaddle.
After Cash went on with the obligatory rant on lockdowns, the journalist interviewing him finished like this: “The tennis star’s comments will be welcomed by the under-siege citizens of Sydney, Melbourne and even the country’s capital of Canberra, because they know that when revered national sporting heroes like Cash speak out, their sway is so strong that politicians must listen.”
Ah, no, mate.
Most of us are nothing less than embarrassed by Cash’s rants. We are facing serious problems right now, and serious people are working hard to get on top of it. Nutter twaddle from the cheap seats is not only not helpful, it is dangerous.
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