He remorselessly continues: “Schools closed, hospitals nearing their capacity, people stuck at home … This was the shocking reality of the global Covid pandemic we faced in 2020.” You will note Hancock fails to mention the part he played in shutting down the country for almost 18 months and in the great Midazolam scandal that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths in care homes blithely attributed to Covid.
The threat that bleeds through his article is clear: if the so-called “anti-vaxxers” do not change their ways, another lockdown looms this winter. Hancock is not waging a one-man war – Google is an ally: type “anti-vaxxer” into the search engine and the first two suggested options are “anti-vaxxer dies” and “Anti Vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement”. Instagram is on-side, too: “#naturalimmunity” is censored on the social media platform.
Make no mistake, we are living in an age of medical apartheid.
The Fourth Estate is behind Hancock as he takes on the vaccine-hesitant, those who are concerned about injecting what is described by the manufacturers as a “gene therapy product” into themselves or their children.
Headlines have been dominated by the vaccine wars. A particularly stark example ran this weekend: “CAN you be friends with an anti-vaxxer?” asked one publication.
Make no mistake, we are living in an age of medical apartheid. People with opposing views are daily pitted against each other by the press, the government and governing institutions. At a wedding this weekend I sat next to a man whose hospitality company employs more than 5,000 people. He merrily informed me that the board is considering making vaccination compulsory for staff. This man is simply following the present trend: from November, all workers in care homes in England must be vaccinated unless exempt. It is not unlikely that mandatory vaccinations will extend to NHS employees.
This is prophesied in the Book of Revelation, when the beast rises out of the earth. “It forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.”
The medical apartheid has infected the Church. The Pope assures us that getting the vaccine is an “act of love”: “Getting the vaccines that are authorised… is an act of love. And helping the majority of people to do so is an act of love… Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable.”
But where is the love in the division and the damnation that tears apart the many (89.4 per cent of people over 16 have received their first dose) from the few (10.6 per cent)? An unvaccinated friend of mine has been forbidden to enter another friend’s house, until he rolls up his sleeve and takes the needle. Another acquaintance demanded proof of vaccine from all of the guests at her wedding. Anti-vaccine marches across the country have resulted in violence and arrests. It is a grim scene.
“It forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark” – Book of Revelation
The medical apartheid is perpetuated by our leaders, whose language echoes (and thus reinforces) the battle mentality. Churchill’s oft-quoted “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” was repeated by BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine with reference to Dame Sarah Gilbert, the mastermind behind the Oxford AstraZeneca jab. Prime Minister Boris Johnson regularly reminds us “this is a struggle that humanity will win, and we in this country will win”, that “this enemy can be deadly” and “we must act like any wartime government”.
This contrasts starkly with a remark he made on 2 March 2020: “I was at a hospital the other night where I think there were actually a few coronavirus patients and I shook hands with everybody… and I continue to shake hands.” He’d be pelted in the streets if he said that today. Because when it comes to the vaccination, tolerance is a sentiment of the past. With the inoculation programme extending to children as young as 12, and rumours of US states jabbing babies, there is no telling how much anger and division is yet to come.
We would do well to consider acts of love, inspired by Pope Francis, and to apply his message to our everyday lives. The world would be a better place if we could forgive those with opposing views. Surely really to love our neighbour we must tolerate him and allow him to live free from distress, whether he be vaccinated or unvaccinated?
Failing that, we can pray to St Michael.
“Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.”
Constance Watson is Assistant Editor of the Catholic Herald
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