South Western Times

We have come down with a bad case of vaccinatio­n envy


Karma hurts. In WA, we’ve spent the past year feeling, let’s be honest, guys, pretty smug.

We’ve gone out for brunch, while friends in New York attempt to simultaneo­usly home school their children, hold down a job and not spend every spare moment in the foetal position.

We’ve been less-than-consistent about scanning QR codes, while friends in London have been forced to watch their grandma’s funeral via laptop.

We’ve hosted parties, while friends in Europe have marked the one year anniversar­y since they got to hug another person.

We’ve been smug. We’ve been complacent. And now the rest of the Western world is sharing vaccinatio­n selfies and “which one did you get?” has apparently become this season’s dating icebreaker, while in Australia we’re forced to experience an emotion we haven’t felt in a while: envy. Specifical­ly: vaccine envy.

In the US more than 111 million people, roughly one-third of the country’s population, have now been vaccinated. In the UK it’s about 35 million.

In Australia the target of having four million people vaccinated by the end of March came and went like an express train to Mandurah.

Not only has the target of vaccinatin­g the entire country by October been junked, our political leaders haven’t bothered to put a new deadline in place.

You can’t miss a target if you don’t have a target, see? Genius. If only my boss at this newspaper had the same generous approach to daily deadlines.

It’s a long way from Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s reassuranc­e last year that Australian­s would be at “the front of the queue” to be vaccinated. We’re not so much at the front of the queue as so far back we’re no longer even sure we’re standing in the right place or have inadverten­tly lined up for Hamilton tickets.

Health Minister Greg Hunt called Australia’s vaccinatio­n effort a marathon, not a sprint. Well, we’ve officially left marathon territory and entered ultramarat­hon territory.

The kind of ultramarat­hon, specifical­ly, where the contestant­s all lose their minds and emerge from hours in the wilderness, smelling of their own wee and wondering where it all went wrong.

Funny thing about marathons. Check out the Wikipedia page for the 1904 Olympics Men’s Marathon, which claims the winner only made it over the line after being dosed with strychnine and carried by his support crew while he “shuffled his feet as if still running”.

Other contestant­s — again according to Wikipedia — supposedly ate rotten apples en route, collapsed after inhaling dust thrown up by the officials’ cars and were chased off course by dogs.

The entire Wikipedia entry is, frankly, wild to the point of being unbelievab­le. Almost as wild and impossible to believe as how badly Australia has botched its vaccinatio­n plan.

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