It seems of late that if you question a status quo around vaccinations, you are deemed to be part of the radical fringe of society. Australians do question things, especially authority. Always have, always will.

You know of my questions regarding vaccines, vaccine passports and mandatory vaccinations. If not, this is where I stand:

1.I am uncomfortable with mass vaccination of the population with a vaccine that is, according to Minister hunt, “being trialled across the world”. We have no knowledge of side effects until they present themselves and of course no idea about possible long-term ramifications. The producers of the vaccines obviously share my discomfort because they are indemnified, that is, no one can sue them for unseen outcomes.

2. I am concerned about vaccine passports which will split this nation in two. If passports are imposed, just wait to see the effect on families, workplaces and neighbourhoods. It might seem an obvious solution now, but the division which separates loved ones and fractures society will be devastating. Those who choose not to be vaccinated pay the price, some giving up their careers, others facing separation from family and other loved ones. It appears they are not just a handful of people, and many of them are otherwise fully vaccinated.

3. Mandatory vaccinations. There are a range of views on how to manage the COVID virus. While I can understand why mandatory vaccination may seem an obvious path to follow, is it making the difference hoped for?

Vaccination may give protection against the more severe case of COVID but it doesn’t stop you from getting COVID or passing it on. And what about the variants? What about the variants to come?

Is it time to reflect? At least reflect?

We seem to be following one path only without looking at other possible avenues of prevention and treatment. Why are we scared to look more broadly? To ask the question. And then have the discussion.

I know the pandemic frightens people but that should not stop us asking any question we want to ask, in fact, it should drive us to seek answers. Fear corrodes one’s health, COVID or no COVID.

It is not helpful to label those who have a different view as ratbags. We need to engage in honest discussion about why people are choosing not to be vaccinated, including members of the health profession and some members of the teaching profession I have just learned.

Wherever the nation is headed on these issues, it’s important that we put our relationships before the divisions that this issue is causing.

This is a time, if ever there was a time, to respect our differences be it friend, family, neighbour, work colleague, politician and have the courage to ask the hard question and use this situation to help us mature as a compassionate and empathic people who choose to move beyond fear.

That’s Just As I See It.