Monday, September 20, 2021

Briones: Awful comparison

On the go

I thought it was only in the Philippines where the majority of the population is hesitant to get vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Apparently, I’m wrong.

In France, anti-vaccination protesters have taken to the streets to denounce the government’s vaccine rules. Some likened themselves to Jews who were persecuted by the Germans in the Second World War by wearing yellow stars.

To those who don’t remember, more than six million perished when the Nazi regime that then ruled Germany systemically exterminated Jews across Europe.

But before they were killed, they were made to wear a badge in the form of a yellow star so they could be easily identified. You see, even though they practiced a different religion, it was difficult to tell them apart from the rest of the population, especially in Germany where many Jews had long assimilated to mainstream society.

Then again, it has been more than eight decades since that awful period in history, which might explain why some of the protesters in France naively thought they could compare vaccine rules to Nazi atrocities.

But there is no comparison no matter how you look at it.

Around the world, governments have been forced to impose restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19. These range from the mandatory wearing of masks to limiting capacity of some business establishments to discourage any mass gathering.

In France, a compulsory health pass for access to cultural and leisure venues with more than 50 people will come into force on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, to certify that the bearer has either been fully vaccinated or had a recent negative PCR test.

What this basically means is the French or anybody who is in France won’t be able to enter museums or cinemas without a pass sanitaire. And starting next month, they will also be required to present one if they want to enjoy a cup of coffee or eat lunch at a restaurant even if outdoors.

That some protesters sanctimoniously believe their plight is similar to that of the Jews, who were subjected to unspeakable mental and physical tortures before ending up in forced labor camps or, worst, in the gas chambers is beyond me.

And why are the French vaccine hesitant in the first place? It’s not as if they had to go through the Dengvaxia scare in 2017. Although, come to think of it, Dengvaxia is manufactured by a French pharmaceutical firm. So, hmm.

Here in the Philippines, the hoi polloi don’t want to get the jab because they’re afraid of turning into a zombie.


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