Segregation of the community based on vaccination status is now the norm after Gannawarra Shire Council (GSC) implemented the Andrews Government roadmap.
The unvaccinated 16 years and over will now be excluded from Gannawarra Library Service branches and swimming pools, despite being able to mingle in many other retailers, essential services and localities.
Professor Petrovsky, Director of Endocrinology at Flinders Medical Centre, Professor of Medicine at Flinders University, Vice President of the International Immunomics Society and developer of the COVAX-19 vaccine said in a recent interview:
“Having the current crop of vaccines does not mean you won’t get infected and does not mean you won’t transmit to others.
“If the vaccine can’t stop transmission, it is a completely flawed argument that you are protecting other people by having the vaccine.
“The only person you are protecting is yourself.
“It all comes to mathematics.
“The R0, the transmissibility of a virus, if we have a virus with a transmissibility just above one, then we know all we have to do is get the R0 below one and the virus will die out.
“The problem we are dealing with is that Delta has an R0 that is somewhere between six and eight.
“For every person infected, they are going to infect six to eight people.
“So, for a vaccine that reduces the transmissibility of the virus by, say 20%, it may take the R0 of six and reduce it downs to 5.
“Exponential growth where people are infecting five is going to look no different to if they were infecting six people.”
If the decisions of the Andrews Government are not based on science, then are they merely another tool of coercion?
The exclusion seems to be at odds with fundamentals on which Gannawarra Shire Council is built, one of inclusion and tolerance. GSC’s own ‘Social Inclusion Strategy’ stated, “a commitment to reducing barriers for groups most at risk of being excluded from our community.”
Former mayor, Lorraine Learmonth, is quoted in the Social Inclusion Strategy as saying, “When we think about being included in our community, this can range from being able to access buildings and community spaces, joining in sport or a social occasion, or having access to support, services and work opportunities.”
Is the tax of shire rates for the unvaccinated considering exclusion from services?
The re-election of Mayor Gillingham, and the election of Deputy Mayor Jane Ogden will be an interesting test to see if council values are only as deep as the pigments of skin that are often used to divide and segregate people.
The real test for the segregation may be one on legal grounds, for discrimination.
History will be the judge.
This article appeared in The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper, 11 November 2021.