Vaccine passports should be rolled out more extensively - Christa Ackroyd

A few weeks ago I wrote a column about the Government’s handling of the pandemic under the banner Do as I say Not as I do. It would seem our glorious leaders are not readers of The Yorkshire Post.

From Cummings to Hancock, and mask wearing (or lack of it) to partying at Number 10, they continue to ride roughshod over an electorate who, with the exception of a small minority, have done all that has been asked of them, while the powers-that-be have chopped and changed, made excuse after excuse, from PPE to track and trace, and carried out more U-turns than a bus in a cul-de-sac.

We have been jabbed, we have worked from home, we have helped our children study remotely. We have stuck things up our nose and down our throats to make sure we are not Covid carriers. We cancelled Christmas (last year) and have worn masks often when they were no longer mandatory.

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We have looked after the vulnerable from the elderly to the homeless. We have postponed weddings and other celebrations and been unable to attend funerals of people whose lives have ended sometimes because of this dreaded virus.

Kirsty O'Connor/PA.Kirsty O'Connor/PA.
Kirsty O'Connor/PA.
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Because guess what, as if you didn’t already know, we are the ones with the common sense. Even though some of our political leaders have at times treated us as the idiots.

I totally get the anger from the general public as they instruct us how to live our lives while seemingly getting on with theirs as they please. The sheer nerve of trying to put forward the argument of when is a party not a party. We weren’t allowed to gather together so neither should they have done. End of. And to laugh about it is making a mockery of us. Well, we are not laughing now. And no matter how appalled Boris et al claim to be at some leaked video they are not half as appalled as we are.

But – and it is a huge but – just because they can’t get their act together and just because they seemingly flout the rules with gay abandon, does not mean we should do the same. Or treat it as an excuse to refuse to comply with what the scientists, not the politicians, ask of us now. Because dear readers we live in the real world and it is still a world not yet free of the grip of this awful pandemic. And the truth is we have largely done all that has been asked of us and more not for our political masters, but for each other.

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Next week will be the biggest party in our household in years. Not in numbers. Not at some huge gathering, which we still consider too risky, but with our family. For the first time in two years our daughter and eldest granddaughter have been allowed to leave Australia and they are coming home. And woe betide anyone who gets in the way of that. She is tested to the nth degree. We will do lateral flow tests and mask up when we pick her up from the airport. She will quarantine when necessary and again when she flies home, not because we don’t want to flout the rules but because we want to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

So here’s the rub. Can we please just stop this ‘drip, drip’ feed of increased measures in case they may not be politically popular and just go the whole hog now? And that means the introduction of vaccine passports not just for events for hundreds or more but for everyday life. Other countries have done it so can we stop dithering. The sooner we do, the sooner this thing will be under control, if I have understood the science correctly. After all we have been through it is hardly a big deal is it?

In France you can’t order a cup of coffee without being asked for your vaccination documentation. In Australia you can’t go and buy essential goods at the supermarket without the same. In Austria you can’t even go out at all unless you have been jabbed. So what are we waiting for? We would all feel safer and be safer.

Yes, you may get Covid again. But the chances are you won’t get it as badly as you would have done without vaccination. Then we could meet up knowing we were among those who have also behaved responsibly and been jabbed. We could see family and friends because they would have been jabbed too. That would help business as we would have no need to work from home because our work colleagues will have been jabbed as well. And we’d have no need to cancel out Christmas parties, if that’s not now a dirty word.

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What of those who cannot be vaccinated? Equally as simple. They are such a small minority they can be provided with medically approved exemption certificates. And what of those who won’t be jabbed but can be? Well, much as I regret what in my view is their stupidity, under my scheme they would simply have to take a daily recorded lateral flow test if they want to join the rest of us.

They are free, readily available and we should all have been using them more than we have been doing anyway. And before anyone starts throwing around phrases like freedom of choice, or our human rights, we have lost so much freedom, we have had so much choice taken away will this really be much worse? It is also our human right, after all we have been through, to know who we are mixing with.

Just one final word to a Government that has already spent far too much energy trying to define what makes a party – bring in the vaccine passports now. Let’s face it – you couldn’t be more unpopular than you already are.