Consequences

Who would have thought that the Australian Tennis Open would have garnered so much attention around the world? None of the attention was focused on play.The other important question that tennis and sports enthusiasts wondered was “Is a number 1 world ranked player more important than the established rules of the country?” And then we learned that after being served twice, the number 1 men’s player had been eliminated from the competition.

We learned the outcome of that simple question when Novak Djokovic had boarded a plane late Sunday evening on a flight to Dubai and then on to Serbia. For two weeks the tennis player had been using the courts to prevent his expulsion from Australia. The world No. 1 ranked tennis player had refused to be vaccinated and had misrepresented himself on entry into Australia. Australia demands all persons entering the country must be fully vaccinated. The court ruled that the rules applied to everyone and Djokovic was refused entry into the country.

His expulsion from Australia has had more consequences for the athlete. He was told Monday that he could not enter the French Open without vaccination. In Britain and the United States, only fully vaccinated persons are allowed to enter. Djokovic will have to reconsider his decision on vaccination if he wishes to hold his world ranking and play the game. Perhaps only when he loses financial sponsorships will he rethink his decision to forgo vaccinations.

We now know that the health of a country is bigger than the reputation of a single athlete.

Within Canada, the government has decided to only allow foreign truckers who are fully vaccinated to drive their rigs over the border. Canadian drivers who have not been vaccinated will now be facing quarantine time. They have had ample time to become vaccinated. The US will by next week require all foreigners entering the country to be fully vaccinated removing the exemption to Canadian truckers who previously had been identified as essential workers. And for those unvaccinated truckers, it may also mean the loss of employment.

Closer to home, we are already seeing cases that the Omicron variant is spreading across the district and across the country. The good news is that because the population is mostly vaccinated, the severity of the virus has been reduced. We also can see that the number of deaths has been reduced. The number of infections has grown and the number of people isolating has grown, putting strains on health care, schools, and businesses.

On Monday schools in Ontario reopened to classroom instruction which is both a worry and a blessing for parents. The worry remains “will my child be safe from Omicron in school?” and also the blessing that “In school learning is more valuable than remote learning for my child.” And it is good that parents are protecting their children by having them vaccinated. And it is good that the province is providing better masks for teachers and students.

Being unvaccinated for Covid is now having consequences.

Former publisher
Fort Frances Times