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Novak Djokovic's Visa Cancelled by Australian Minister for Immigration (twitter.com/benrothenberg)
106 points by mkurz 11 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 331 comments





David Crowe writes in The Age

https://archive.ph/Ohx6d

The political cost of letting Djokovic stay was too high for Morrison

Australians have been barred from visiting a dying parent in hospital, blocked from seeing a new grandchild and forbidden from having a wedding. Should they accept that a tennis star gets the leeway they were denied?

Angering those Australians would have been a huge danger for Morrison when he is only a few months away from an election.

But this is not game, set and match. The entire saga has put Australia’s pandemic dysfunction up in lights. It was a national embarrassment and may continue through the courts.


> Angering those Australians would have been a huge danger for Morrison when he is only a few months away from an election.

This has been the entire strategy for the government's handling of the pandemic - national interests be damned, as long as it favours the party being re-elected.


I don't think that national interests really mattered anytime in any country. That is just a tool to keep power. Maybe it's important for some politician, but focusing on power grab is way more beneficial at the top.

There's no need to be so pessimistic. Plenty of people go into politics with good intentions, and some even stay that way after some time there. Some want to be remembered, some genuinely want to fix things. Some just want power.

Skepticism is healthy, full on pessimism "everything is just a power grab" is extremely unhealthy.


>Skepticism is healthy, full on pessimism "everything is just a power grab" is extremely unhealthy

I agree but lets extend this same treatment not just to Westerners but to Eastern people too, otherwise it is just hypocrisy. I say this because the top comment on a previous post about Djokovic claims that his PCR test is genuine not because he was really positive with Covid, but because his family is influential with the Serbian government. This sort of prejudice and discrimination is plain disgusting


> Plenty of people go into politics with good intentions, and some even stay that way after some time there

Politics is a highly competitive game. Those who do not optimize for maximizing their power and carrier advances are operating at a disadvantage.


its a sure way to sell oneself to public but yeah, types of people that manage to get and stay in top politics don't give a damn about this

He actually flew back to Sydney to visit his kids during the middle of a lockdown when people couldn't visit dying relatives, because it was fathers day!

and may continue through the courts.

Meta-thought: I have started to pay attention to just how often courts strike down executive decisions because they are unlawful, and strike down new laws because they are unconstitutional or in conflict with international agreements. People tend to blame activist judges, but most of the time the judges are just trying to interpret the laws as they are written.

There seems to be an interesting dynamic at work where societies ossify through accretion of laws. As more international agreements are signed and laws are put on the books, the web of constraints that new policies must adhere to grows more complicated, and the ability by the public to get a new executive decision or a new law stricken through the court system grows greater. When a great reset happens (a revolution) you tend to see a nimble government immediately after, but also often accompanied with widespread civil rights violations, and as the laws and deals and civil rights start accreting the pace of change slows down.

Looking at my own country for example (Belgium). Back in the 60's the government could just decide to build nuclear power plants, without consulting the public at all, because there was very little in the form of environmental legislation or international agreements to bind them. Nowadays we can't legally decide to keep the plants open past 2025, because the work necessary to keep them open can't start without changing the law, and changing the law cannot legally be done without an EU-wide consultation and environmental impact study process. Any attempts to do these things anyway would quickly get blocked by the courts.

I find this increasing level of legal ossification endlessly fascinating in a somewhat terrifying sort of way. It makes me wonder whether democracy inevitably leads to incapable frozen government that needs a non-democratic great reset to wipe away the accreted laws and unlock the government's ability to get things done.


Non-democracies don't exactly have a great track record of legal nimbleness and enlightened decision making either.

The root cause here is ideology, which can occur in both democracies and dictatorships. The two are orthogonal - democracies can both regulate and deregulate, as can dictatorships.


> Should they accept that a tennis star gets the leeway they were denied?

It seems Djokovic went through all the proper channels to get an exemption and visa. Australia's institutions gave him a visa.

The real exemption is that a minister is disregarding Australia's institutions and cancelling his visa because "feelings".

Australia needs to take a hard look at their laws and the way they treat their citizens instead of creating a high profile scapegoat.


There's also the issue of the immigration department seemingly not properly scrutinizing the application, as well as Djokovic lying on the application forms.

But most likely this is all an intentionally concocted distraction from government's failings in the current outbreak.


So how did he win his first court challenge? Why aren't those institutions being scrutinized? Where's the proof he faked his documents and why isn't that alone cause for Australia's institutions to not have issued a visa?

Why did it take a last-minute act from a minister to revoke his visa?


Because of a minor procedural misstep. Had they waited an additional hour, they would have been in the clear.

Some of the proof that he faked his visa application is claiming he is vaccinated when he is not, and claiming he had not travelled in the week before boarding the plane when he had documented a trip to Spain while COVID-positive. The Spanish government is now investigating whether Novak Djokovic travelled to Spain illegally, so there’s more legal shenanigans waiting for him when he eventually gets home.

The reason none of this resulted in his visa being refused in the first place is that the Australian tennis folks are buddy-buddy with the Prime Minister’s folks, and the unofficial ministerial guidelines are that if there’s an event associated with government cronies then all stops are pulled.


"event associated with government cronies then all stops are pulled."

No doubt very true for the first round. On the second when things go belly-up, as here, they'll scatter like wildebeest being chased by a lion. The second time usually brings unwelcome exposure and much else.


No, this lot have learned that there are zero consequences for being openly lazy and corrupt. They broadcast their intent to pork barrel and people vote for them because of that.

He lied to immigration on a form saying very clearly that it was a serious offence to lie on that one.

Correct thing to do at this point is really to exclude Australian Open from future glam slam. Just drop entire Australia from it. I get that they have the right to deny anyone in but they making this entire scene due PURELY as political brownie points. Sports should stay neutral. They (entiee Australia) should be punished for dragging sports into this. Better yet deny entire Australia from any world tennis events for 3 years. Now, imagine, every country using their political clout to score their brownie points. The Aussie is really angry at their leaders incompetent handling of pandemic...Djokovic is just a trigger point of their accumulated disatisfaction.

When a clothes code is required in a club and you don't wear they don't let you enter , Djokovic knew the rules but lied and tried to go over them. But as he is famous you want us to let him in. I think that all the people that want to kiss Djokovic ass are free to do it but not everybody wants.

Dress code is nothing like a vaccine requirement. Two completely different things.

The government admitted the reason his visa was cancelled was because they're worried about public perception. In a country with already 95% fully vaxxed, they're worried about "anti-vaxxers" drawing inspiration from tennis players! It doesn't add up unless you allow for an embarrassingly irrational government.


His visa was cancelled because they found inconsistencies (lies). He outright lied filling the papers, any other person would have been kicked out without a doubt. He later blamed his assistants for it. In the same case you would be in jail but as is a famous person he gets an special treatment. He brought it on himself. He thought he could get away with it but it looks like it wasn't the right moment. The funny thing is all the people defending him like he's a freedom fighter when he's just a spoiled brat. and now let's see France and USA.

”Sports should stay neutral.”

Right, it should but that's not the issue.

Right again, Australian politicians have fucked up their response to COVID on multiple occasions but so have other many countries—name one that hasn’t! And I include Serbia in that lot, it having only 50% of its citizens vaccinated; currently, it has one of the worst vaccination records in all Europe.

Leaving Australia aside for the moment, there are principles at stake here that are beyond Djokovic's case. Firstly, Djokovic brought these troubles upon himself:

1. He was fully aware of Australia’s tight COVID vaccination requirements and visa requirements long before he arrived in Australia—as his visit was a point of discussion in the world’s press weeks beforehand, yet he chose not to be vaccinated well ahead of the time of his visit. The question is why.

2. The fact that he had COVID previously is a lame excuse for thinking that he could disobey or ignore Australia’s immigration rules (no one really believes that, as he and his team would have known them to an absolute tee). It is very clear that he arrogantly and blatantly violated immigration requirements and it's widely accepted among many that he really doesn't have a valid excuse. His excuse of making a mistake simply doesn't stand up.

3. He lied about his travel status prior to traveling to Australia. To blatantly lie on any county's immigration form and one is playing with fire, especially so when the lie is easily found out (as here). Even idiots know that this is the quickest way of being refused entry to a country. Why Djokovic chose to lie and risk everything is open to question, however my opinion is that it was sheer arrogance and the fact that he is so used to getting his own way that he thought he could wing it or bullshit his way into the country.

4. Irrespective of Serbia’s position upon vaccination, Djokovic is a person of substantial means and he could have easily had himself vaccinated well ahead of time yet he deliberately chose not to. Moreover, if he is an anti-vaxxer or conscientious objector then he should have told the whole world ages ago but he chose not to. The same goes for any medical exemptions he may have had.

5. As a person on the world stage, he would have known that being unvaccinated would bring strong controversy for the very reason that he was setting a very bad example—a bad example that if followed by many—would lead to increased deaths from the pandemic. There is no doubt that among his huge followers and fan base there would be some, perhaps even many, who would follow his example and not be as lucky with COVID infection as he was. Therefore, many, many others view his stance as being selfish, self-centered and ill considerate of the lives of others. There is also the fact that Djokovic has never bothered or taken the time to explain his position. To many, this implies that he has something to hide. Moreover, it is fanciful to believe that both he and his team would have been unaware of this and the potential damage to his reputation because of his stance. Frankly, it's hard to understand why he has been so silent on the matter, perhaps he thought that the controversy would bring even more attention to himself.

6. Australia's bad treatment of Djokovic upon entry and the fact that those involved in detaining him did not afford him procedural fairness has essentially nothing to with the revocation of his visa by the Minister; they are separate issues except for the notoriety that they've brought.

7. Djokovic and his team must have been fully aware of the heightened tensions in Australia over COVID, as they've been world news for months. It is even more relevant that his destination was Melbourne, which has been the world's most locked-down city for all of the time that COVID has been active. It just isn't possible to believe that he was unaware of the political implications of this, which are that Melbournians (and many other Australians) have been hit hard by COVID and that many citizens have been trapped overseas during the pandemic and unable to return—and that the Government making an exception for him and his bad behaviour was very likely out of the question due to political fallout. Frankly, it beggars belief why he has acted the way he has.

For the record I couldn't give damn if Australia/the Australian Open was excluded from future world tournaments. My interest in tennis is minimal, thus I've based these comments on what has actually happened, not how I feel about Djokovic per se.

It seems to me that all the noise and brouhaha over this matter would be helped if Djokovic and other tennis fans would take a moment to be objective and not lose sight of the fact that millions of people have already died of COVID and despite the Australian Government's many fuckups, that there is real reason for why these COVID rules are in place. Must I actually say it: they're in place to save lives!

Djokovic ought to have known this and complied accordingly.


> they're in place to save lives!

But not all lives. The whole population does not need to get vaccinated. Not everyone's life is under threat. Not even close.

Omicron spreads regardless, as is clearly observable. Australia has very high vaccination rate, but the virus is everywhere. Yet, they're still worried about unvaccinated sentiment?

It's important for vulnerable and elderly people to get vaccinated because their lives are the ones that can be saved.

Novak's life is not under threat from the virus. He chose not to be vaccinated for himself. Only a fool would get vaccinated for reasons of "perception".

The WHO chief warned countries recently that "you can't boost your way out of the pandemic". The AstraZenic scientist said recently the focus for vaccination should shift to elderly and vulnerable, as it's not feasible to vaccinate the whole world every few months.

"Hey man, even though you don't need it, can you please get vaccinated to encourage others to get the jab?".... Novak said no. And now the government believes the opposite is true - that Novak will influence perception in a direction that differs to the government's policy. See, the Australian government operates on what looks good or bad. Actual substance and practicality is down the list.

Now he's labelled an anti-vaxxer icon, a trouble-maker, and then booted out of the country. All he wanted to do was play some tennis. He's an ambassador for sport, fitness, and has done some great work over the years. To see him treated like this is a disgrace.

Everything else you said is irrelevant. End of the day, Novak was treated like crap because a politician wanted to look "tough on borders". Even though Omicron is everywhere down here, spreading among the vaccinated, there's an irrational and popular response that the 5% of unvaccinated people are somehow driving the pandemic.


"The whole population does not need to get vaccinated. Not everyone's life is under threat. Not even close."

That's a sweeping statement, so where's your evidence - as most of the world disagrees with you - so too does the science.

Presumably, you also disagree with the health experts at the WHO? When WHO experts say that "you can't boost your way out of the pandemic" they are NOT saying "you don't need to get vaccinated." They are quite separate issues altogether.

"Novak's life is not under threat from the virus. He chose not to be vaccinated for himself. Only a fool would get vaccinated for reasons of "perception."

What gives you special insight to say that if he got vaccinated then it would be only for a 'perceived' advantage? I cannot see how you would know this - even Djokovic's Dr wouldn't know that without extensive tests. If such tests were done then he has never offered them as evidence or for public examination.

Whether your assertion is correct or not is immaterial. The real issue is that Djokovic is a leading world figure in sport so he should have lead by example but he failed to do so (for many decades, as long as we've had mass media or even longer, it's been customary and even expected of athelets to set a good example to their followers).

...And the example he should have set would have been to get vaccinated whether he needed to do so or not - as that's what celebrities do! After all, the very vast majority of the world's population accepts vaccination as a normal medical procedure - one from which everyone benefits.

As a celebrity, Djokovic failed to live up to the time-honored conventions expected of him. The fact that he deliberately bucked the system and disobeyed convention has to be one of the worst PR exercises in the history of sport for many decades and he's now paying a very heavy penalty for doing so. It's damn shame his advisors hadn't been more politically astute otherwise it's likely that it wouldn't have ended up so badly for him.

(Really I don't particularly care if Djokovic gets vaccinated or not, I'm simlpy just stating what has actually happened to him.)

"Everything else you said is irrelevant"

I'm only an unknown HN poster so what I say hardly matters in the grand scheme of things. The fact is that much bigger players with real influence think very similarly to me and to millions of others - and in the end that's all that really matterd. They have real teeth with real biting power which I don't. What's more they've shown that they are capable of exercising that power and that they've actually done so.

I've a sneaking suspicion that Djokovic was gambling that they wouldn't given his celebrity status, unfortunately for him it's a gamble he's lost.

Blaming me for what has happened won't change anything.


> That's a sweeping statement, so where's your evidence - as most of the world disagrees with you - so too does the science.

The sweeping statement is yours: that "everyone" needs the vaccine. You're trying to shift the burden of sweeping statements to the person who disagrees with your original sweeping assertion.

Nowhere does "science say" that everyone needs the vaccine. You're confusing policy decisions which turn into "rules are rules", which turn into "what the science says".

Are you forgetting that last September, the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization recommended against vaccinating children? If that wasn't "science" what was it? This is merely one example of science-based objection to the "need" to vaccinate everything that crawls or walks.

> "their risk of severe COVID-19 disease is small and therefore the potential for benefit from COVID-19 vaccination is also small. The committee underlined that the vast majority of children had mild or no symptoms. It also pointed out the very low risk of heart inflammation with mRNA vaccines, noting that the long-term effects of this were unknown." https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-committee-healthy-kids-ag...

Sounds like science and reason formed their opinion. But they were overruled by the higher-up policy makers and politicians.

> "And the example he should have set would have been to get vaccinated whether he needed to do so or not - as that's what celebrities do!"

Wow. "That's what celebrities do". It amazes me how easily people slip into a fabricated signalling world, where mandating "solidarity vaccination" and towing party lines is normal behaviour, even expected and mandated because "keeping people safe"!

Novak had Covid, recovered, and does not want the vaccine for himself as his symptoms were obviously mild, which is the norm for his health profile. That's his business.

If you aren't defending the right of anyone to make their own choice on that basis, it's sad. Omicron spreads regardless. The Australian government acknowledged he was not an actual risk, but they were worried about "anti-vax" sentiment from his presence in the country. The sad irony is Novak wanted to keep his vaccination status private. He would have been happy not to discuss it at all, but the media did not allow it, and a tennis villain was forged in the outrage fires.


It's interesting that down-voters never seem to have the fortitude to explain themselves. That they have down-voted I take as a compliment, as it means that I have succeeded in getting my point across.

Explanation: pretty sure almost nobody read that wall of text, just downvoted and moved on. How long did it take you to write that? Downvoting takes one second and can be done while rolling ones eyes.

Sorry, we live in different worlds - correction, universes.

FYI, I expected flack from disagreeing diehards so I watched the voting with interest. The split in voting being almost even with the earliest ones being upvotes. I know diehards won't agree or believe what I am saying but at least I know that many others do so and that they have actually read the post despite whatever you may think.

Moreover, you've only criticized, what you have failed to do is provide a contrary opinion or debate the issues exactly as I have noted above. Nor it seems have you actually read the many other posts that agree with my opinion. QED!


How does this in any way make the Australian government look better?

Sensible government policy is to enforce its rules consistently rather than exempt famous people who lie and cheat.

It doesn't. In any way.

Unfortunately whatever they do is not going to go well either locally or globally.

Maybe they should just do less then ...

In this situation they cannot do that for reasons that to acquiesce or do nothing would be seen by the Australian public, many of whom have been already shabbily treated by COVID restrictions, as favoritism towards Djokovic. I'd be political suicide (see point 7 in my earlier post).

Politics aside, the entry requirements for Australia explicitly require full vaccination with a WHO approved vaccine or a valid medical exemption. Prior infection is explicitly not sufficient for an exemption.

Djokovic did not meet the entry requirements, he knew he did not meet the entry rquirents, but he boarded the plane anyway.

The earlier visa cancellation was overturned on procedural grounds only. This ministerial intervention is a bit heavy handed, but only produces the same outcome that would normally apply to anyone in Djokovic's situation.


He had followed all the rules apparently. He had been granted an exception reviewed by two independent panels as required by Australian authorities. Decision backed by the Victorian Dep. of Health. The process is blind so supposedly the authorities didn’t know it was Djokovic behind the application. He boarded the plane with the papers in order:

https://www.tennis365.com/australian-open/tennis-australia-n...


The state of Victoria doesn’t set the rules for who can come into the country. They have no authority to grant entry to the country.

My point is that he had followed the stablished process to request an exemption and it was granted. He didn’t get special treatment because the application process is blind.

It was an exemption to State Covid-19 rules, not an exemption to enter the country. Him and his team are purposefully muddying the waters with this exemption in an attempt to bully the country into letting him in, even though he's violated their laws and is not following their regulations.

I would expect a process reviewed by the Victorian Department of Health to have enough authority to make a medical exemption.

There are no exemptions to enter the country without vaccination? He followed the wrong protocol? Is there a different path he should have followed?

Would 50000 more deaths made it look better? Australia's handling of the crisis has been stellar compared to most other countries.

Stellar, perhaps, if deaths is your only metric.

I don’t consider leaving 10,000s of your own citizens stranded abroad for up to 18 months a good metric by any means. That’s suspending citizenship, and will have done irreparable damage to rights.

They of course also prevented people from leaving

This is before we get in to the whole topic of quarantine “hotels” and the force with which people were escorted to them and the conditions there

https://amp.france24.com/en/asia-pacific/20210406-stranded-a...


"This is before we get in to the whole topic of quarantine “hotels” and the force with which people were escorted to them and the conditions there"

The truly disgraceful aspect of all this is that Australia had a proper quarantine system in place and it abandoned it. When I was a kid, everyone knew of Australia's quarantine system and its past history as it was so public. Anyone who'd traveled on Sydney Harbour back then would have seen Sydney's quarantine station (I used to pass it every time I went to the beach): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Head_Quarantine_Station

The fact is Australia was unprepared for COVID because of government funding cutbacks and other political BS. The country has no one else to blame except itself.

BTW, this was the ideal site of a quarantine station, it was easily accessible (near all incoming shipping, etc.) and yet it was properly isolated geographically from the rest of Sydney (see aerial photo in wiki link), thus people who were quarantined there would not have been able to infect others as they have done in the idiotic 'hotel system' that now exists.


This is a loaded question.

In slovenia, more people have died from smoking related illnesses than covid (even in the last two years), but somehow "corona lives matter", peoples personal choices to go out, get ill, and risk the 0.5% chance of death don't matter, governments take more and more power, because "every life matters", but on the other hand, you can still buy cigarettes everywhere.

If every life matters, then ban cigarettes, tax the shit out of sugary sodas and junk food, if you're willing to sacrifice basic human rights, also force people to exercise, and more lives will be saved than from corona. If all those lives don't matter, but corona lives do, someone is doing something very very wrong.


So we should only pay attention to whatever illness causes the most deaths and ignore the rest?

You're free to get ill if you choose (from smoking, covid, whatever) but it's really hard to believe people don't understand you don't have the right to endanger others, be it with tobacco smoke or covid.

That's also why we have speed limits. If you want to endanger yourself driving 250Km/h that's fine. But you can't, because you'd endanger others.

TL;DR: your freedom ends where mine begins.


I mean... you probably shouldn't ignore the thing that kills the most people, to deal with something that kills less people than that. And yes, we basically do the calculation (deaths vs convenience) all the time.. look at speed limits for cars, they're just a calculation of traffic deaths per year vs time losses due to lower speed limits.. a few deaths is ok, because everyone can get to work faster, but a lot of deaths is not ok.

Especially now, with vaccines... if someone doesn't want to vaccinate, who exactly are they endangering (except others, who also chose not to vaccinate)? Thinking the vaccinated won't get in contact with omicron from other vaccinated people who got infected is stupid, but we still don't let unvaccinated people go to the bar, while I can go there, even infected (and with omicron, i could be infected right now, but noone tests us, the vaccinated ones).


> I mean... you probably shouldn't ignore the thing that kills the most people, to deal with something that kills less people than that

Smoking isn't ignored ... I don't think any illness is ignored in favor of any others. Doctors have been insisting people do not postpone medical procedures and checkups because they're worried about covid in hospitals (which has been happening, and causing more deaths).

One of the main reasons to get vaccinated against covid is specifically so hospitals don't get overwhelmed to the point where patients have to turned away, regardless of what they're suffering from.

> look at speed limits for cars, they're just a calculation of traffic deaths per year vs time losses due to lower speed limits

I doubt that speed limits have anything to do with "time lost". The difference in covering 30Km at 150Km/h vs 120Km/h is 3 min, negligible. Wake up earlier :)

Faster driving doesn't cause more accidents, but it does cause greater injury (complicated subject with lots of research, no time to dig all this up).

> with vaccines... if someone doesn't want to vaccinate, who exactly are they endangering

You're also endangering vaccinated people. The risk of serious illness is greatly reduced but you're not guaranteed not to die. A vaccine is like a seat belt (works super well but doesn't make you invincible).

And it's not just 1 or 0. People die from covid and survivors can have long lasting afflictions from it. I think the statistic is for every person that dies, there's 5 that will be "marked" for life by covid. Not "long covid" or whatever, but life long problems with reduced lung capacity, problems with kidneys, heart etc - things they will suffer from in varying degrees for years to come, burdening the healthcare and social welfare system and the economy in general (global cost is already in the trillions of dollars).

And it's still not ok to endanger those who aren't vaccinated because they can still end up in hospital, using up valuable resources. So if you want to have your covid parties that's fine if you sign a contract saying you'll receive no medical help whatsoever should you get infected. Anything else is morally wrong.

It's extremely tiring having to explain all this basic, obvious stuff to people. I'm sure if you thought it through you could figure it out for yourself.


> Smoking isn't ignored ... I don't think any illness is ignored in favor of any others. Doctors have been insisting people do not postpone medical procedures and checkups because they're worried about covid in hospitals (which has been happening, and causing more deaths).

Doctors have been saying that, but then rescheduling procedures. Some have even been stopped for some time. Here in slovenia, they even caught doctors, giving their timecards to a security guard to check them in/out out of the government hospital (so they get covid benefits) while they worked in private practice, because their government-hospital procedures (whole programme) was stopped.

> I doubt that speed limits have anything to do with "time lost". The difference in covering 30Km at 150Km/h vs 120Km/h is 3 min, negligible. Wake up earlier :)

But if we lowered the speed limit to 10km/h, there'd be almost zero deaths. And yes, we have speed limits lowering the speed from 130km/h to 110km/h in many places, because it loweres the chance of accidents there, while an accident at that both of those speeds are pretty bad anyways.

> You're also endangering vaccinated people. The risk of serious illness is greatly reduced but you're not guaranteed not to die. A vaccine is like a seat belt (works super well but doesn't make you invincible).

But vaccinated people also get ill and spread covid, and with omicron it's pretty much guaranteed that everyone, vaccinated or not, will get in contact with covid. The vaccine is basically helping only the vaccinated person, and has pretty much no effect on the spread itself (which is pretty much logical at r0=10 or whatever it is for omicron).

> And it's not just 1 or 0. People die from covid and survivors can have long lasting afflictions from it. I think the statistic is for every person that dies, there's 5 that will be "marked" for life by covid. Not "long covid" or whatever, but life long problems with reduced lung capacity, problems with kidneys, heart etc - things they will suffer from in varying degrees for years to come, burdening the healthcare and social welfare system and the economy in general (global cost is already in the trillions of dollars).

Again... we'll all get it, and you either trust your immune system, and take the risk for yourself, or you trust the vaccine+immune system, and take a lower risk, or you well.. stay at home, because vaccines won't prevent the spread of a virus so contageous as the omicron variant.

> And it's still not ok to endanger those who aren't vaccinated because they can still end up in hospital, using up valuable resources. So if you want to have your covid parties that's fine if you sign a contract saying you'll receive no medical help whatsoever should you get infected. Anything else is morally wrong.

Should we expand this to smokers and obese people, and extreme sportists? I mean.. getting covid is a one time "mistake", getting morbidly obese is years and years of self abuse, same with cigarettes, those take many years to destroy your lungs.

> It's extremely tiring having to explain all this basic, obvious stuff to people. I'm sure if you thought it through you could figure it out for yourself.

It's also exremly tiring to take away peoples basic human rights in the name of a disease that (with vaccines) kills less people than the flu (and who cares if someone doesn't get vaccinated, it's their problem).


> But vaccinated people also get ill and spread covid, and with omicron it's pretty much guaranteed that everyone, vaccinated or not, will get in contact with covid

Well yes, vaccines don't stop the spread but it will reduce it (definitely with Delta, maybe less so with Omicron). And then you have other problems like mutations happening more among non vaccinated.

And even with omicron, a vaccine will prevent serious illness.

Even if it just makes a 1% difference, among the almost 8 billion people in the world that's still a huge number. So why not get vaccinated?

It seems to me people are either scared for irrational reasons or just want to be different and think they know it better than the medical establishment.

> Should we expand this to smokers and obese people

Yes, I definitely think you could make a case for that. If people could reduce their craving for McDonalds by receiving a yearly injection and they refuse then yeah, you'd be in the same situation. But things are more complicated, being related to addiction, socio economic status etc ...

> It's also exremly tiring to take away peoples basic human rights in the name of a disease that (with vaccines) kills less people than the flu (and who cares if someone doesn't get vaccinated, it's their problem).

Again, nobody is forced to be vaccinated and it's not just their problem if they don't. You may be refused entry to bars & restaurants but that's not a basic human right, afaik.

I'm done with this!


> vaccines don't stop the spread but it will reduce it (definitely with Delta, maybe less so with Omicron).

Not with omicron, atleast not really.

> And even with omicron, a vaccine will prevent serious illness.

So, it's like smoking, the vaccinated get lesser chance of serious illness, and the unvaccinated have themselves to blame.

> Yes, I definitely think you could make a case for that. If people could reduce their craving for McDonalds by receiving a yearly injection and they refuse then yeah, you'd be in the same situation. But things are more complicated, being related to addiction, socio economic status etc ...

I mean.. they could reduse mcdonalds by just not eating at mcdonalds.

> Again, nobody is forced to be vaccinated and it's not just their problem if they don't. You may be refused entry to bars & restaurants but that's not a basic human right, afaik.

But curfews (restriction of movement) is a basic human right, that was taken away from us. And again, if vaccines only help the vaccinated, why not let the unvaccinated ones into bars (or mcdonalds)?


The limitations are there, so that hospitals don't get flooded with people. Without the limitations the healthcare system would collapse. If that were to happen, doctors would have to decide whether to help you because you had an accident or to treat somebody else with covid or somebody else with some other emergency.

Unhealthy diets affect only the people who follow them, not their peers. Smoking is different because passive smoking does affect others - that's why there have been government interventions (higher taxation, public campaigns) to reduce smoking in many countries in the last decades.

Your argument is besides the point anyway: just because there are other factors in life that can make you sick, that does not mean that we should not fight COVID.


But if lives (number of lives) matter, and we're unwilling to ban the sale of cigarettes to save lives (which is, lets be honest, not a very impactful thing on normal life of normal people, especially if you do it the new zeland way, by a cutoff year), we basically let all those people die, and we don't care.

Considering we have vaccines available for some time now, and considering we've dealth with contageus diseases before covid, getting unvaccinated is basically a lifestyle choice, and non-believers can still stay at home and not do the stuff we've been restricting to people who actually want to do that.


> But if lives (number of lives) matter, and we're unwilling to ban the sale of cigarettes to save lives (which is, lets be honest, not a very impactful thing on normal life of normal people, especially if you do it the new zeland way, by a cutoff year), we basically let all those people die, and we don't care.

I don't know if you can compare smoking to covid, smoking related diseases take years and more likely decades to be deadly.

But in saying that, one way to look at this is via economics. When you are born, you have a potential life expectancy and a potential to earn society money (taxes). Smokers quite often die younger overall and not reaching their value to society, however this is general with many other diseases. Obviously reducing preventable forms of deaths such as those from smoking are to the benefit of society. Whenever you hear that smoking costs the "country" $X billions a year, that is not only the direct costs but also the indirect costs.

I believe in Australia the direct healthcare costs of treating smoking related illness was pegged at some number around 110 million a year, which is substantially different to the promoted cost of billions.

The difference with Covid is that it is an anomaly, perfectly healthy individuals have an increase chance of dying, as well as those who do have other health factors. This number maybe small but it has a large impact on the economy on society in general. Not only is a persons economic value reduced by the direct costs to society are increased.

An example of this, might be, you build a hospital knowing that X amount of smokers will die a year as well as other illnesses. You can calculate this, and work out what type of hospital you need to build. But what you cannot do very easily is calculate an additional 5 million people a year dying over an immediate time. It also takes considerable time to build hospitals, and years to train doctors, as such it is difficult to ramp up quickly to deal with anomalies. Then you must also consider the amount of productivity which is lost when a person is sick, this is also a factor which is calculated in regards to society, and then the publics spending, fear etc.

You can also look at the cost increases in the supply chain, which will affect the economy for years to come. Smokers for example are unlikely to influence the price of wood, but covid has.

So while we should take a pro-active stance against smoking (and when I was smoking I used to say the same), the pandemic is a real-time disaster which cannot be dealt with over 20 years like smoking. People will continue to die from smoking for decades even if you banned it today, but people will die today and potentially from related issues for decades from covid. The effects of covid are immediate, substantial and impactful to society not only right now but likely for some time.


Given the multiple 'X lives matter' references I think this response is probably more loaded than the question could ever have been.

The thing with COVID is that it's a contagious and deadly disease. The thing with smoking, fizzy drinks and junk food is that they're not contagious and deadly diseases, they're lifestyle choices.

You can't compare them like-for-like.


I'm not an american, and I don't really care about your internal issues. Our phrase is "vsako zivljenje steje", which is literally translated to "every life counts", but "matters" makes more sense in this context.

It’s not true. In all the world covid caused way more deaths than smoke related diseases. If in Slovenia it’s not the case then they are massively undercounting covid deaths. And the covid mortality is 1%, not 0.5%. Stop spreading dangerous misinformation.

I have to disagree

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco

> Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

Two years, 16+mio deaths. Total covid deaths, a bit over 5 mio.

edit: even obesity, 2.8mio per year, 5.6mio in two years - https://www.who.int/news-room/facts-in-pictures/detail/6-fac...


The thing is that tobacco deaths are usually from several years of use. I don't think most of the dead people who died from tobacco have begin smoking this last two years meanwhile covid killing is quite faster.

Only in India the excess deaths were 4.5M in one year.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-57888460

The total death count for covid will be known only in the next years and it’s for sure many multiple of the current official numbers.


So, which country data do you want to use?

Usa, 480k smoking deaths yearly - https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast... , still more than covid deaths there.

And not to mention counting the iffy counting of covid deaths (any death, even suicide within 28 days is a covid death) and covid hospitalizations ( https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/07/26/exclusive-half-c... ).

Let's be honest here... covid is really bad for old and already ill people. For young and currently healthy, the impacts of lockdowns will be worse than covid, especially for younger children (imagine just going to first grade, unable to rad and write yet, and you're put infront of a laptop with Zoom running, no real-life contact with friends, parents having to quit their jobs to take care of you, and all that to "save grandma", even with vaccines already available).


USA excess deaths are over 1M so it’s still greater than smoke deaths.

646k is for the first year: https://www.nber.org/papers/w29503

646k > 480k if I’m not mistaken.


So, every excess deaths is a covid death now?

20k of those, are just extra overdoses (100k total). - https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/nchs_press_releases/2021/...


Two years, 16+mio deaths. Total covid deaths, a bit over 5 mio.

I don't get it. You're arguing against government interventions because of relatively low fatality numbers. Yet, the fact that these numbers are not higher is a direct outcome of the world-wide vaccination campaigns. Don't you think you got it backwards?


I'm saying that we violated many basic human rights because of a disease that killed 5 mio people, citing those deaths as reasons to violate all the basic righs, while we're unwilling to violate a relatively minor right (to smoke), to save even more lives.

If you're saying we need a cufrew, because covid killed X people, but are not willing to ban the sale of cigarettes, even though they kill 3.2*X people, you're doing something wrong.


Covid kills X people because of the restrictions, otherwise it would kill N*X people, where N would be a lot higher number than 3.2 because of the secondary problems like hospitals overflowing.

An often ignored fact is that many of these restrictions and the fear many governments have stoked (e.g. fear of going to the doctor, fear of going out, interruptions in work) have caused many deaths. We won't know what the net cost is until many years from now.

Well we'd all like to think that but if you plot cumulative world deaths on a graph there's no inflection point in 2021. The graph just keeps going up and to the right at exactly the same speed as it always did:

https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/coronavirus-data-explor...

It's really hard to explain this. I admit to being baffled. If vaccines are saving lives then there should have been a clear bend downwards in the trend line of the graph but if any such bend exists at all you have to squint to see it. If anything there looks like a slight acceleration in the first months of 2021 (but it's small enough I can't say for sure by eyeballing it).

Lots of people don't understand the numbers around total COVID deaths, by the way. In the past week alone I've seen internet comments saying that over 20 million have died of COVID, that vaccines have saved "millions of lives" when COVID overall since the start has only claimed (or rather, been temporally associated with) millions of lives, and VE lasted only months due to Omicron and when it rolled out. So it's impossible for vaccines to have saved millions of lives.

But this is understandable when you consider what people tell opinion polls. Lots of people, including people who think of themselves as well informed and educated, mis-estimate the dangers of COVID by orders of magnitude :(

https://news.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/354938/adults-estimat...


What I see in this graph is a more or less linear growth instead of an exponential one. That's good news.

But a more tangible insight into why you're wrong and why vaccines do work is to look at statistics for hospitalization in intensive care: these days, the vast majority of ICU cases of COVID are unvaccinated patients. Given that most people are vaccinated, it should be the other way around if there was no difference between vaccinated or unvaccinated. This is a much stronger argument than speculating what a growth graph should or should not look like with or without vaccines.


Why would deaths increase exponentially over a period of years? That would not be expected and was not occurring even before vaccines.

The point I'm making here is that the data is contradictory, which means there is a need to investigate. Trials didn't show any impact on hospitalization or death (because it's so rare, they were too small to get significance). That means the data on them is confounded. For example, in the UK the data shows that pregnancy makes you more likely to be admitted to ICU with COVID but less likely to die. A biological effect? No, of course not. Rather, hospital staff have a lot of discretion on who they send to ICU or not, and they prefer to spend resources on women who are pregnant.


The expected curve without intervention would have an S-shape: initially, you see exponential growth which will flatten out later on when you reach a point of saturation.

In many countries, the intensive care units have not been in the situation where they had to triage, so the selection effects you report have not been necessary there. And even if, no hospital would make the decision on who to assign to an ICU based on their vaccination status, but based on the medical needs. The fact that we see dramatically less vaccinated people in ICUs is most plausibly explained by the effectiveness of the vaccines.


Logistic growth (S shaped) is observed in any specific epidemic regardless of intervention. But what we're looking at here is the sum of all COVID epidemics together.

"no hospital would make the decision on who to assign to an ICU based on their vaccination status, but based on the medical needs"

Your beliefs about hospitals and doctors are romanticized and I already gave you evidence of this. Albeit I didn't cite it, so let me do that now with this analysis of UK ICNARC data:

https://communityoperatingsystem.wordpress.com/2021/12/09/uk...

Pregnant women get admitted more and survive more because they weren't being admitted based on true medical need but rather the subjective feelings of staff that [currently/very recently] pregnant women should get higher levels of care due to having a baby.

This also affects other decisions. Doctors aren't always rational well informed calculating machines:

"We see a similar admissions bias when we examine the hospitalization fatality rates between the fully vaccinated and unvaccinated under 50s with PHE hospitalization data for 218,784 confirmed Delta infections – which show that whilst the 1.7% hospitalization rate of the unvaccinated is almost 2X that of the vaccinated (0.9%), the HFR in the vaccinated is 3 times higher (7.4%) than the unvaccinated (2.4%) and the case fatality rates is also lower in the unvaccinated."

Why does this happen, well, the population has been terrorized for years into believing things that are wildly untrue. The average Australian believes an unvaccinated person has a 33% chance of dying if they catch COVID. They think it's as deadly as smallpox or the plague. 40% of American Democrat voters believe half of unvaccinated people have been hospitalized with COVID! Half!

It'd be great if all the people who believed this nonsense were somehow excluded from the health system but of course they aren't. Quite the opposite: those who understand the true numbers and severity rates are much less likely to want to get vaccinated than those who think it's literally the plague and they're all being fired.


Responding to your rhetorical... Yes.

Covid is rampant at this point. An aggressive testing path and allowing him to play would absolutely be in the public's best interest.

It's clowns on both sides here but the risk of letting him in is definitely not high enough to balance the public benefit of him being allowed to play. Once he plays the special public benefit ends and so should his visa.


The issue imo isn't the covid-ness, it's lying on the immigration forms. If I did that, I would be barred from entering the country ever again.

He falsified information he submitted to immigration authorities.

That’s the match (to use a pun)


But he did it for Love!

groan...the humor on HN is going to really start changing as more of us become parents isn't it :)

What's the public benefit of letting him play? Letting everyone know that the rich and famous are above the rules?

Many people find value in watching great tennis players compete in a live tournament.

> The political cost of letting Djokovic stay was too high for Morrison > Australians have been barred from visiting a dying parent in hospital, blocked from seeing a new grandchild and forbidden from having a wedding. Should they accept that a tennis star gets the leeway they were denied?

This is bizarre logic. "I got screwed, so someone else should get screwed too!"

He got the exemption. It was challenged in court. He won that case.

Now a minister's "personal discretion" (why is this even a thing?) timed perfectly so that even if Novak wins the court case, it would be too late for him to participate in the Australian Open.


> He got the exemption.

By lying on his application and entry forms.

> It was challenged in court. He won that case.

The first visa cancellation was overruled purely on the grounds that it was issued too quickly and did not give him enough time to respond. It has nothing to do with whether his exemption was valid (which it clearly isn’t).


Djokovic won the original challenge on procedural grounds that the process was incorrect, not that his exemption/documentation was valid. He was never exculpated. And let's not forget that Djokovic screwed this up for himself.

> This is bizarre logic. "I got screwed, so someone else should get screwed too!"

Not at all.

The government sets a bunch of strict rules with no exceptions and tells people it's very important that they obey the rules.

It's entirely reasonable for people to take that at face value - if these rules are important, they should apply to the rich and famous just like they do to everyone else.


Perhaps you are unfamiliar with Australians - and I speak as one, now thankfully living elsewhere - but "I got screwed, so someone else should get screwed too!" is a big part of the national psyche, along with "How dare someone get something that I'm not getting!".

Dude, come to Slovenia, here it's "I want my neighbor to get screwed, even if I get screwed too, just that he gets screwed more!"

Sorry, but no. Expecting consistency in the application of law is fundamental to democracy. It's not Australian to think that celebrities and the rich receiving a different set of laws and treatment is unfair.

...which Djokovic still received, by the way. There are people in his detention centre that have been waiting for 10 years to receive half the time of the courts that Djokovic has received in a week. If Australians were as you described, then Djokovic would be held for 3 years in his current facility then sent to Nauru for a further five years of off-shore processing.


Djokovic has demonstrated recklessness in dealing with COVID precautions. Read his Instagram statement: https://www.instagram.com/p/CYnO7cDqbdj/

Would you paste it or quote from it for those of us who won't login to Instagram?


I pasted the text on the parent thread here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29931975

I don't think you need to be logged in to instagram to view that link, I didn't.

"STATEMENT BY NOVAK DJOKOVIC

12 January 2022

I want to address the continuing misinformation about my activities and attendance at events in December in the lead up to my positive PCR COVID test result.

This is misinformation which needs to be corrected, particularly in the interest of alleviating broader concern in the community about my presence in Australia, and to address matters which are very hurtful and concerning to my family.

I want to emphasise that I have tried very hard to ensure the safety of everyone and my compliance with testing obligations.

I attended a basketball game in Belgrade on 14 December after which it was reported that a number of people tested positive with COVID 19. Despite having no COVID symptoms, I took a rapid antigen test on 16 December which was negative, and out of an abundance of caution, also took an official and approved PCR test on that same day.

The next day I attended a tennis event in Belgrade to present awards to children and took a rapid antigen test before going to the event, and it was negative.

I was asymptomatic and felt good, and I had not received the notification of a positive PCR test result until after that event.

The next day, on 18 December I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfil a long-standing commitment for a L'Equipe interview and photoshoot. I cancelled all other events except for the L'Equipe interview.

I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L'Equipe interview as I didn't want to let the journalist down, but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken.

While I went home after the interview to isolate for the required period, on reflection, this was an error of judgement and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment.

On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf - as I told immigration officials on my arrival - and my agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia. This was a human error and certainly not deliberate. We are living in challenging times in a global pandemic and sometimes these mistakes can occur. Today, my team has provided additional information to the Australian Government to clarify this matter.

While I felt it was important to address and clarify misinformation I will not be making any further comment out of utmost respect for the Australian Government and their authorities and the current process.

It is always an honour and a privilege to play in the Australian Open. The Australian Open is much-loved by players, fans and the community, not just in Victoria and in Australia, but around the globe, and I just want to have the opportunity to compete against the best players in the world and perform before one of the best crowds in the world."

[source: https://www.instagram.com/p/CYnO7cDqbdj/]


Didn't he lie that he wouldn't do international travel 14 days before entering Australia?

I think there are plenty of evidence for the government to cancel him on this one.


> This is bizarre logic. "I got screwed, so someone else should get screwed too!"

Or, I had to follow the law, so everyone else should too. I'm getting upset if the law is only for the simple people like me, but not for big sports stars and other hotshots.


No, it’s not bizarre at all. If he really was positive in December and attended several events while knowing that he was positive without taking any precautions it’s a criminal behaviour and they have all the rights to ban him on these grounds. If he wasn’t positive then it means that he forged his test certificate, that is equally bad. I don’t see any issue in banning someone that has been proven to be an health danger for the general population.

in the first case he's on the hook in Serbia, not in Australia

in the second case, these documents resolve to an official Serbian covid certificate web page and it's the country of Serbia responsibility to explain to other countries in the world how that was possible to happen and to find out who did it

now, the fact that Novak visited Spain and his agency "forgot" to mention it in the PLF that's a leverage that could be used


> This is bizarre logic. "I got screwed, so someone else should get screwed too!"

That has been the entire logic behind extending covid restrictions to apply beyond vulnerable groups.


> Australians have been barred from visiting a dying parent in hospital, blocked from seeing a new grandchild and forbidden from having a wedding. Should they accept that a tennis star gets the leeway they were denied?

No, they should not have accepted being barred perhaps. When you are oppressed just insisting no other one is treated justfully (the way the court decided in accordance with the law) is not a morally right solution. Also expelling a person who has already got in the country physically and attended a courts makes no sense from the epidemiological point of view - he has already brought the virus in if he had it.

And by the way attending a wedding or a family meeting where people stand close, often in a small room, is quite different from just visiting a country or playing tennis (which doesn't require you to stand close to anybody, let alone in a room).


> No, they should not have accepted being barred.

But what if most accepted those limitations, and while personally a disaster, found it on the other hand right to follow common sense and obey rules applying to everyone for the greater cause of society? Rules applying to everyone the same is one of the basic foundations of a just society...

> Also expelling a person who has already got in the country physically and attended a courts makes no sense from the epidemiological point of view - he has already brought the virus

No matter what you argue beyond, the epidemiological aspect is now not really the point here anymore. He faked stuff for entry one or the other way (I think it is even more likely he wasn't positive at all, but that the second test was just created so he counts as recovered, which was the requirement to get in if not vaccinated..) - so its good to see consequences on that.


> obey rules applying to everyone for the greater cause of society?

Sounds like communism. No cause can be considered greater than freedom.

> No matter what you argue beyond, the epidemiological aspect is now not really the point here anymore. He faked stuff

He should be investigated for faking then and expelled/imprisoned/fined by a court if evidence proves him guilty.

> second test was just created so he counts as recovered, which was the requirement to get in if not vaccinated

Just test him antibodies/T-cells + PCR and you know if a person used to be sick and recovered. No necessity for speculation here. Presence of immunity (which one only get through overcoming the sickness or a vaccine) is an objective thing. Is it not?

I would also suggest introducing a law sentencing people who falsely claim they are immune or expose others to a risk of being infected any other way to serve a sentence aiding in a hospital taking care of infected people.


> Sounds like communism. No cause can be considered greater than freedom.

Are you a 10 year old American from the Cold War? What you're saying is so comprehensively stupid I'm not entirely certain you're a real human.

No, that's not what communism is. If you want to know what it really is, go read "Das Kapital" and the "Communist Manifesto", you might learn a thing or two.

As for freedom... it's subjective. Absolute freedom is obviously incompatible with living in a society with other humans. And as we've seen time and again, most people value many things over freedom. Just look at Singapore and Rwanda, people there are happy with the prosperity and stability even if they're really not free on a lot of levels.


> Are you a 10 year old American from the Cold War?

No, I'm from a former communist country, we developed antibodies to "higher causes" rhetorics.


I see, but it's hard not to see a pandemic as a legitimate emergency and "higher causes"-invoking situation. It's not just a leader inventing a paper foreign subversive enemy out to get us, it's actually a thing which isn't hard to see and comprehend for oneself. I don't think any country's experience under communism is in any way applicable to the current situation.

There can be legitimate higher causes and situations when such are painfully obvious like overcoming pandemics. Nevertheless politicians (let alone masses incompetent in relevant subjects) can never be trusted as actually pursuing such as their primary aim. Appealing to such to justify anything always is a huge red flag (pun intended).

Politicians apparently are driven by the game theory and will do/say anything they believe will help them maximize their own power and safety (elections already mentioned) rather than sustainable wellbeing of the people.

Masses are driven by even more chthonic energies like unconscious xenophobia and value the chance to unite by any attribute to attack anybody they can (especially those enjoying a benefit they don't or trying to achieve a benefit they enjoy) above everything and will use any excuse they are given.

Simply saying politicians have already made a too many of suspiciously inefficient (and logically obviously futile even before proven such) decisions to trust them competent and benevolent and the mob will believe and shout any nonsense you tell them as long as this justifies them carrying torches and pitchforks.

Imagine president Trump, seeing himself loosing the elections and actually facing a real prison sentence risk, would have said nuking China is going to end the pandemics and we need to do so to make the whole world great again. I would bet the number of people supporting him would be way far from zero, all over the world.


Yeahyeah, freedom over all, and everything natural is also good, right ? :D Please also reflect on the rhetorics you bring up here :D This is black and white painting, there are a lot of levels between..

qwerty456127, have you ever seen a commie drink a glass of water?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J67wKhddWu4

War is too important to be left to the politicians.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1KvgtEnABY


One the one hand: Australia is the wrong country entirely to try this shtick on. The "fair play" ethos is strong, the "tall poppy syndrome" (1) is evidence of Australian reflexively reacting angrily to the "don't you know who I am?" routine, to someone asking for the rules for normal people to be set aside for the rich and famous.

He might have gotten away with it, but once it was in the papers and the public eye was on him, game over.

Australia also takes border biosecurity _very_ seriously, even before the pandemic. Remember Johnny Depp and his dogs having to leave when they were smuggled in via private jet. (2) Remember the TV show (3)

I feel little sympathy for Mr Djokovic trying to bend the rules in favour (for reasons that appear frivolous: it would be trivial for him to actually just get vaccinated) and being found out. What was he thinking?

On the other hand: it does seem like various branches of the Australian government are infighting and contradicting each other. If Mr Djokovic was not good to arrive, could they not have got their act together, and told him so clearly, before he set off? It's a media-legal circus now.

1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_poppy_syndrome

2) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-32732313

3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border_Security:_Australia%27s...


> it does seem like various branches of the Australian government are infighting and contradicting each other. If Mr Djokovic was not good to arrive, could they not have got their act together, and told him so clearly, before he set off?

It’s not an appearance, scotty from marketing wanted the states to bear the brunt of the issue, so Djokovic was “good to arrive” in Australia, which didn’t mean he was good to arrive in Vic, or that everything was ship-shape with him playing.


I think Amber Heard smuggled the dogs and not Johnny Depp. My understanding was that he was already in the country filming a movie. I think she is even being investigated about to again in Australia?

> it would be trivial for him to actually just get vaccinated

That's not even required. He could have quarantine for 14 days too, but I imagine that would have been way too inconvenient for him. There didn't seem to be any reason why he couldn't of come earlier.


Quarantine was the option last year, I don’t think it was avaialable for this Australian Open.

There was an option of a medical exemption (subject to independent review), were exempt players not quarantined?

9/10 Australians think this guy is a grade-A dickhead. It would have been politically unpalatable for him to have been allowed to stay.

As someone that speaks Serbian, him and his family offer an endless source of entertainment. Like for example his father comparing the situation to Jesus' crucifixion, or Novak's regular pilgrimage to Bosnian "pyramid" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnian_pyramid_claims) for its magical healing power.

I'm a Serbian who used to be a fan of Djokovic in spite of the fact that I'm not big into tennis, but after losing a family member to Covid seeing him deciding to die on the anti-vax hill broke my heart and I don't want anything to do with him.

I’m Serbian as well and I haven’t heard him say any anti-vaxx statement. It’s more of a result of witch-hunt than him actually being anti-vaxx.

Another thing is, why he needs a vaccine? He had Covid, giving him long lasting immunity. Vaccines stop the spread at the same level or even less than Covid immunity, so what’s the point? Just politics, there’s absolutely no reason for someone like him to risk myocarditis, he is immune enough.


He's had covid twice, once in June 2020 and now in December 2021, a good example of immunity by infection not being worth much.

This is illogical.

Did he die? Did he suffer severe symptoms? No.

What makes this different than a vaccinated person contracting the virus and having mild/no symptoms?

You took a vaccine that has not been updated since it was created to target the Alpha variant. He caught a previous variant, and both of you are not protected from contracting omicron. However, both of you are at far lower risk of severe illness due to the previous exposure your immune systems have to the virus. The only difference is the payload. He was exposed to an entire virus, and therefore his antibodies/t-cells are less targeted and broader. You were exposed only to the spike protein which coats the virus, and therefore have a highly targeted immune response that is less broad. So what?

The results are what matter. This is just religious posturing. You want everyone to take the same sacrament as you, regardless of outcomes.

There are multiple studies with massive cohorts (the Israeli study has 2.5 MILLION people in it) that show that this virus is TYPICAL in the sense that when someone catches it, then clears it, the immune system is behind this. Previously infected people were proven in this study to have superior immunity to delta than fully vaccinated people, and the margins were not small.

But sure, ignore that and focus on your sample size of 1 to confirm your priors.


Looks like people are so overcompensating antivaxxers that logic went out the window. Everyone is so polarized that I’m losing faith in returning to normal life. And honestly, both sides are appearing to be equally bad, equally engulfed in their own black and white world.

Most people are pretty calm about it. It's just there's very noisy fringe elements who are dramatically overrepresented online.

It blows my mind how many otherwise smart people think that online comments are remotely representative of the real world. How many times have you seen a prominent online personality see racist/misogynistic comments from a handful of trolls and then claim that "racists are everywhere!"

It's the same with this.

Frankly, the biggest source of derangement is fear that is utterly detached from reality. Gallup's polling has revealed that 40% of self-identified Democrats think that 50% of people who catch COVID require hospitalization. The rest were slightly less wrong, but still far, far higher than the reality. The actual number is between 1-5%. It's the mirror image of immediately after 9/11, when self-identified Republicans dramatically overestimated the terrorism threat.


Also if We believe that He got it in December, that is probably a lie to not get the vaccine and enter Australia.

By your logic... I know personaly two people dead two weeks after vax and one paralyzed on half body week after vax. Schould I consider Djokovic as hero?

Was all this the consequence of the vaccine or the Covid itself?

Heart-failure (healthy, 69y man, two weeks after second dose), myocarditis (79y woman, month after 1st dose, I'dont know what was her health condition exactly), half body paralysis (55y, man, week after fisrt dose).

The half paralysis sounds like Guillain Barre syndrome which can happen after the flu vaccine, after the COVID vaccine or after gastroenteritis. It can be temporary or permanent or kill you. i

I know also 2 kids with terrible health condition after hexavaccine. And also friend of my parents that get dermatomyositis after hepatitis vaccine (back in 80's). His name was Julius Varga from Czechoslovakia (you can google more info, there is documentary about him with his mother: https://www.ceskatelevize.cz/porady/1185258379-cesty-viry/31...

Vaccines do harm.



What I thought amazing was how in the court case the judge clearly sided with ND and the case was essentially decided because the immigration officials didn't follow the correct process.

I wish judges like that would have shown their spine like this when it came to the awful treatment of refugees. But it seems that immigration follows lawful processes is only important if a tennis millionaire is entering the country.


Did the question around potentially doctored documents ever reach a conclusion?

Djokovic admitted in a statement on his Instagram page that there was a mistake in his travel documents: https://www.instagram.com/p/CYnO7cDqbdj/

I don't think his statement puts him in the best light. He also admitted that he publicly took an interview when Djokovic knew that he was positive for COVID without giving a heads up to the interviewer. Although it was brief, he also removed his mask. I'm a fan of Djokovic, but that demonstrates either he is reckless or has a poor understanding of how dangerous COVID can be to individuals who aren't elite athletes like himself.


He did however not address the issue that his positive PCR test was probably falsified. https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/does-not-match-dj...

I wonder how his supporters deal with the fact that, if his test wasn't falsified, then Djokovic's plan for getting into Australia was apparently to catch COVID almost exactly when he claims he did.

I.e., at some point Tennis Australia told Djokovic's team that he would/might get an exemption if he'd had COVID recently. In early December Djokovic hadn't had COVID recently and didn't qualify for any kind of exemption. It is very fortunate for him that he then caught COVID, and in time to recover before the event. In early December Djokovic must have been expecting to NOT compete in the Australian Open, right?


My guess is he expected non-medical sponsored visa as a person of special interest to Australia. And as a 9 time winner, he had every right to at least hope for such case. If political circumstances in Australia were different, and/or if he was less vocal, he just might got it.

Has Australia granted any such exemptions to anyone else?

No. It wouldn't fly in the present climate.

It's not even just about the opinions of the Australian population. Other tennis players have a right to ask why he can get around the rules that even other top players (Nadal, Federer etc) can't avoid. The ATP itself came out saying that players should all be vaccinated, and the only complaint it raised on behalf of Djokovic was over the circumstances that led to him ending up in immigration detention. But with the new details about his activities that have emerged since then, I'd be surprised if they are very combative on his behalf now, given they represent all the male players, not just him.


I haven't seen this. Thanks

"mistakes were made"

On a slightly lighter note, this rather frank exchange by a couple of Australian TV newsreaders "off-air" during the ad break was leaked and created some local amusement and outrage. Something along the lines of, "They're just saying what we are all thinking," was a common sentiment.

https://nitter.actionsack.com/MelbTigerTalk/status/148085196...


He should consider himself lucky he wasn’t jailed for forging a positive PCR test before being deported.

I’m not saying it was faked or not, but that was not prooven at all and nobody officially makes that accusation.

It was bloody naive of Djoko to even think that he would be eligible for entry into Australia, Victoria, and the Tournament, all with the same muddy paperwork. Whatever assurances he got from one party (A state representative, a tournament representative) obviously doesn't carry over to the next instance.

If he's allowed to play in the tournament but not enter the country, then he's out of luck. Same thing if he's allowed to enter the country but not the state or the tournament.


Now the path to the finals has cleared right up for Michael Ymer. Go Sweden!

Who is going to respect such a vicory when the current champion has been blocked from participating?

He blocked himself from participating by being an anti-vax idiot.

After the current champion showed how little respect he has for other people's lives? Lots of people.

This is like he opted not to practice or opted to drink a bottle of vodka before the finals. He hasn't been "blocked".

Exactly. It's still a victory but its value is nil. It's like removing Bayern Munich or PSG from the Champions League and being happy that Benfica or Villareal get to the finals.

If Bayern or PSG cheated or broke the rules somehow, nobody would complain. Nobody cries over Serie A titles while Juventus were in Serie B for the Calciopoli scandal.

It would be easy to take part for Djokovic if he wanted. Maybe he was not feeling like he could win so he did this circus.

Anyone who thinks Djokovic is at fault. I don't support executive power bypassing courts but I think this doesn't diminish the merit of the winner. He was more intelligent.

Why wouldn't he be? He could have just gotten vaccinated. And then, he could have not lied to them about his travel.

I mean, seriously, most folks that lie to immigration/border security get deported and aren't allowed back in. They are used as political pawns, too, but simply are a number instead of a person. I don't know why this man is supposed to be treated differently.


> He could have just gotten vaccinated.

He could have just gotten carreer-ending myocarditis from the vaccination. The risk in his cohort to get it from vaccination is higher than getting it from covid, which he already had. How is that mandate justified?


The vaccine risk is mostly for Moderna, and I'm not sure it is higher than getting it from covid. Moderna is not the only vaccine out there. There are slews of other effects of Covid that would definitely end his career.

I have little patience for folks that refuse to get vaccinated. You are more likely to catch and therefore spread covid (possibly killing others) and much more likely to add to the stress on the healthcare system when you get covid. If you do decide not to vaccinate after knowing this and understanding that the risks from a vaccine are less than the risks from the virus, I fully expect you to stay home and minimize your effect on others. This is partially so that folks that cannot be vaccinated don't have to suffer because you won't do your part.

Of course, staying home - the responsible thing to do if you aren't going to get vaccinated - would end his career anyway. On the other hand, he is probably monied enough for it to not have dire consequences. Unfortunately, many of the folks he inspires are not in that position.


> There are slews of other effects of Covid that would definitely end his career.

He already had covid that did not end his career.

> I have little patience for folks that refuse to get vaccinated. You are more likely to catch and therefore spread covid (possibly killing others) and much more likely to add to the stress on the healthcare system when you get covid. If you do decide not to vaccinate after knowing this and understanding that the risks from a vaccine are less than the risks from the virus, I fully expect you to stay home and minimize your effect on others. This is partially so that folks that cannot be vaccinated don't have to suffer because you won't do your part.

When the vaccine efficacy against transmission is as low as it is, this makes little sense to me. Covid vaccines seem mostly good for protecting yourself individually from severe disease and death. For everything else they don't seem to do much. Not enough to mandate them and for guilt-tripping the hesitant. Folks that cannot be vaccinated will catch omicron regardless of the vaccination status of the rest of the population.


The risk of getting a myocarditis from COVID itself is higher for him, if we compare the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine. Only for Moderna for people below 40 the risk was higher for myocarditis, and even that comparison doesn't include all the other risks from a COVID infection.

Is he not a male under 40?

He can take Biontech/Pfizer and not Moderna (which is also the recommendation in some countries for younger people)

Just for correctness: the myocarditis risk for Pfizer second and third dose exceeds the myocarditis risk from covid for this group as well.

That still has an elevated risk. And he already had covid. What is the justification for asking him to take the risk again?

He also runs the risk of being stabbed on the court during a match by a deranged fan of his opponent like Monica Seles was, or taking an errant serve directly in the groin then getting knocked backwards and striking his head on the hardcourt surface like Dick Wertheim did. So what?

Tennis is a dangerous sport. Get used to it.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/tennis-star-moni...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Wertheim


What would you think about mandatory tennis then?

For players competing in the Australian Open? I’m for it.

Squid Game Tennis!

Mandating that players who are in the highest risk group for myocarditis must be vaccinated had no good basis to begin with

What are you saying? That it makes sense for anyone in any age group to avoid the vaccine because the risk of myocarditis is so much higher from the vaccine than from the disease? I think that's not very good math

Because that's one of the easiest arguments to dispel. No one should be avoiding the vaccine for that reason. Not even those who had the disease once or twice already.


He is a male under 40, isn't he? He already had covid.

So he took the risk of myocarditis from Covid-19, over the risk of myocarditis from vaccine once already. That was a poor choice.

He still faces the same risk in the future. He still has the same choice. It doesn't change because you are a healthy young person. The risk of this complication is higher from the disease than the vaccine in every group, (the male under 40 doesn't really make a big difference - there you have about a breakeven risk)


> He still faces the same risk in the future.

He surely has some immunity now, no?


Yes but that immunity wanes regardless of whether it's natural or from vaccine.

And so does the severity of the disease, look at omicron. The benefits of the vaccine over a natural infection get weaker by the day, especially because vaccine efficacy is not great anymore. Particularly too weak for justifying mandates, in my opinion.

I am a fierce anti conspiracy person, but this covid situation is having me thinking.

They say natural resistance is better or equal than from the vaccine, everyone apart from anti vaxxers like Djokovic has had a shot or two or three, there's no herd immunity or herd protection

Can someone explain the math to me?

Also people said the regular flu does not exist anymore, give or take, because everyone is wearing masks. Nothing could be further from the truth, full family had flu twice now, me three times(never had that before in my.life, once a year max was normal) and I see the regular flu wave still existing. I haven't had covid that I know of, did tests and am vaccinated.


> They say natural resistance is better or equal than from the vaccine

Who are "they" and what exactly are "they" saying? I think there is a consensus that even if you had the disease, it's wise choice to get vaccinated. Protection from vaccination and recovery is better than protection from only one of them, as far as I understand it.

> Can someone explain the math to me?

What math?

> Also people said the regular flu does not exist anymore

Seasonal flu will of course continue to be a thing. But restrictions obviously meant that last years flu season was kept low in many places around the world. This however means that there could be a worse wave coming this year (and it has happened too in many places - we are in the flu season in the wintery part of the world now). In places with good mask adherence, no big public events and so on, obviously ALL respiratory diseases will have a harder time spreading. But these restrictions are - hopefully - temporary, The flu will be fine.


Can't speak for the whole world, but in Canada my experience is that they're not testing for the flu anymore. Only COVID. In years past if you went to the doctor during flu season they'd do a throat swab for flu. Now it's only for COVID.

I know lots of people who were sick but only tested for COVID. One of my friends was out of work for a month with a bacterial infection they missed for 2+ weeks because they only tested for COVID....


I never heard about testing for flu in the past either, except when admitted to hospital with severe disease. There is "monitoring" i.e. some random statistical testing only as far as I know.

> What are you saying? That it makes sense for anyone in any age group to avoid the vaccine because the risk of myocarditis is so much higher from the vaccine than from the disease?

No, what I am saying is that mandating them is a stupid idea. Everyone should be free to do a personal benefit/risk assessment before undergoing any medical procedure. Politicians are no medical doctors and they should have no power to prescribe me a medical treatment. If you mix science with politics, you get politics.

I can see, how the vaccine may be utterly pointless for Djokovic, while it may be very important for others.


> No, what I am saying is that mandating them is a stupid idea. Everyone should be free to do a personal benefit/risk assessment before undergoing any medical procedure.

And I absolutely agree. Apart from specific situations (e.g healthcare workers) no one should be required to get the vaccine.

But requiring it for crossing borders or playing in a tennis tournament isn’t a mandate. It’s a requirement for a very specific activity that people can just choose to not do. Sure, it’s his job - but such is life.

Remember that vaccines were always mandated for travel, going to university etc.

> I can see, how the vaccine may be utterly pointless for Djokovic, while it may be very important for others.

I don’t think it’s pointless. Protection from vaccine helps even in the recovered, healthy and young. But whether he should get it or not isn’t really relevant, what’s relevant is that Australia required it and they can’t exempt him due to past infection (apparently).

Also, one shouldn’t let an antivaxer free from criticism just because he got the disease and no longer feels he needs the vaccine. He was against it to begin with.


> No, what I am saying is that mandating them is a stupid idea. Everyone should be free to do a personal benefit/risk assessment before undergoing any medical procedure.

And I absolutely agree. Apart from specific situations (e.g healthcare workers) no one should be required to get the vaccine.

But requiring it for crossing borders or playing in a tennis tournament isn’t a mandate. It’s a requirement for a very specific activity that people can just choose to not do. Sure, it’s his job - but such is life.

> I can see, how the vaccine may be utterly pointless for Djokovic, while it may be very important for others.

I don’t think it’s pointless. Protection from vaccine helps even in the recovered, healthy and young. But whether he should get it or not isn’t really relevant, what’s relevant is that Australia required it and they can’t exempt him due to past infection (apparently).

Also, one shouldn’t let an antivaxer free from criticism just because he got the disease and no longer feels he needs the vaccine. He was against it to begin with.


> But requiring it for crossing borders or playing in a tennis tournament isn’t a mandate. It’s a requirement for a very specific activity that people can just choose to not do. Sure, it’s his job - but such is life.

I don't think that makes sense. If you cannot see your family again without vaccination, that is a clear mandate to me. If it is not based on clear scientific evidence that shows that there was no better option, then the mandate is arbitrary. Arbitrary mandates are tyrannical.

If Djokovic only has the choice between getting vaccinated or to give up his title, and if that mandated choice was not justified on a scientific basis, then that mandate was arbitrary and hence tyrannical.

> Also, one shouldn’t let an antivaxer free from criticism just because he got the disease and no longer feels he needs the vaccine. He was against it to begin with.

I think what we are experiencing right now, goes way beyond criticism. Instead of demonizing people with a certain belief (and treating rational critics as collateral), people should try much harder to demonstrate the benefits of the vaccine in an intellectually honest way. And they should be brutally honest regarding side effects. This is almost not happening, as far as I can see.


> If you cannot see your family again without vaccination, that is a clear mandate to me.

That makes it a bit of a gray area. "Mandated" as in "you have to take it" is one thing (which few states would hopefully ever try) or "Mandated to do X" is a different thing. Then how much overreach is involved really depends on what X is. Working in hospital? Very reasonable. Attending university? Well, that was always a thing. Crossing borders - this was also always a thing.

> If it is not based on clear scientific evidence that shows that there was no better option, then the mandate is arbitrary. Arbitrary mandates are tyrannical.

One can argue that almost all restrictions during the pandemic had to be based on very shaky science because there simply isn't time to first await the science and then make the decision. And there are surely a lot of restrictions that are much worse to have, than vaccine mandate for immigration. Shutting down schools or banning gatherings, for example.

> then that mandate was arbitrary and hence tyrannical.

Yeah I mean I don't necessarily agree with all the restrictions around the world and got knows Australia has the most shitty immigration politics on the planet - even outside the pandemic. But what I do think is that they should have the right to have whatever restrictions they want (even tyrannical ones) and there isn't much to do about it.


> One can argue that almost all restrictions during the pandemic had to be based on very shaky science because there simply isn't time to first await the science and then make the decision. And there are surely a lot of restrictions that are much worse to have, than vaccine mandate for immigration. Shutting down schools or banning gatherings, for example.

That's my point. People are basing a witch-hunt on unscientific thinking in 2021 on arguments that are not based on solid science. It does not look good and I think that historians will talk a lot about that.


That's oversimplifying it. It's not that decisions are "unscientific" because the science isn't rock solid. Politicians and authorities have the unenviable job of having to make decisions that some times have to precede science. Acting out of caution is a thing.

Besides, it's not as if you ask scientists their response would always be "well our science won't say very much until a year from now, so of course we recommend the status quo until we know more!"

Scientific consensus and consensus among scientists can be two different things (i.e., scientists may well agree or even recommend politicians and authorities to do X, well in advance of science being clear).


I agree, but I meant something else and I probably was not clear with my wording:

I think that there is a witch-hunt against people who are considered to think unscientifically, but the hunters do not have a solid scientific basis for their battle calls themselves. I find that ironic and tragic at the same time.

People in this thread and elsewhere attacked Djokovic for avoiding the vaccine, but nobody was able to provide evidence that would explain why Djokovic needs to be vaccinated, given his condition and history. It boils down to "the rules are the rules" and "same rules for everyone". Read that with Hanna Ahrendt's voice. Pure ideology and decoupling from actual reasoning and common sense. We are supposed to base medicine on science, not on ideology, aren't we?


The difference between saying "Well now there is omicron and I'm young and healthy and have just had covid so I should do some back-of-the-napkin-math" versus "I don't believe in the idea of vaccinating populations as soon as the individual risk outweighs the population risk" (i.e. antivax) is pretty large.

Novak is now in the former category, but he was in the latter - which is why I don't want to give him the benefit of the doubt any more.


I have no idea, I'm no doctor. I find it surprising that a doctor would advise him to play at a competitive level nevertheless if he has some cardiac problem but who knows.

Anyway I want to say that as a matter of fact if a court allows him to enter and play he should be allowed. Not interfering with court decisions is much more important than whether or not a player plays tennis, I don't care if it's an important player on an important tournament, because for me it's not important. I think also he should not enter if he is not vaccinated but for me the "why" is much more important than the "what". We always ask politicians "what" are they going to do, not "why" and "how" and so we keep rewarding luck. So the thing is not if politicians did this or that when the pandemic started, the question is if they were motivated by political interest or followed doctors advice. In this case politicians should follow courts decisions.


> he has some cardiac problem but who knows

He doesn't. He want's to avoid them. For males under 40 the risk for getting myocarditis is higher than for getting it from covid. That has been discussed on HN.


If that bothers him perhaps he should stay out of Australia.

That would be ok, if there were an option for him to defend his title somewhere else or at a different time. This way it is like:

"Take this vaccine against a strain that is not spreading anymore, that you also already had, while we cannot really prove efficacy against the current dominant strain and where you have a higher risk of side effects than others, or just give up your title. Your choice."

They are blackmailing him.


In the past when your risk of getting the disease was perhaps smaller maybe you could start doing this math. Now that it's clear that everyone will get the disease (multiple times) it's not so easy. Not least because even if you are a "make under 40", you eventually won't be.

Besides there are numerous other side effects from the virus than myocarditis. Focusinig on this particular one and ignoring all the others is pretty strange.

Relevant passage from the article I believe you are refering to shows that the disk is first of all extremely low in all groups, and second it's not very different in the younger group.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.23.21268276v...

In males aged less than 40 years, we estimated an additional 3 (95%CI 1, 5) and 12 (95%CI 1, 13) myocarditis events per million in the 1-28 days following a first dose of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273, respectively; an additional 14 (95%CI 8, 17), 12 (95%CI 1, 7) and 101 (95%CI 95, 104) myocarditis events following a second dose of ChAdOx1, BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273, respectively; and an additional 13 (95%CI 7, 15) myocarditis events following a third dose of BNT162b2 vaccine. This compares with 7 (95%CI 2, 11) additional myocarditis events in the 1-28 days following a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. In older males, we estimated 3 (95% CI 2, 4) and 73 (95% 71, 75) additional myocarditis events per million following a third dose of BNT162b2 and a positive SARS-CoV-2 test, respectively.


> the disk is first of all extremely low in all groups

Not by official WHO definitions.

101 in a million is equivalent to 1.01/10,000. With 1/10,000 it falls into the bracket for the definition of "rare", not "very rare" or "extremely rare". I wish the media would use these official definitions.

https://www.who.int/medicines/areas/quality_safety/safety_ef...


Fair enough, I didn't know there was a formal definition of "extremely rare" vs. "rare". But it's "about equally rare" between vax and infection for the healthiest group, and rare for all groups.

This is why I think it's so weird to avoid the vaccine due to that risk. It's not like people taking the vax are spinning a roulette wheel with 1/10000 risk of complication, and if they reject the vaccine they don't need to spin it. If that was the case, then I'd understand it.


The roulette wheel is being spun with every injection. I think this aspect is underrepresented too. Having three jabs means having a 1/n chance three times, with varying n each time. We are not only talking about vaccine mandates, but also booster mandates. The basis for these is even thinner, because especially since Omicron, the benefit/risk ratio is even worse. The risk has not changed, while the benefits just visibly decreased.

"The risk is about the same" is not even a good ratio to begin with, and it also does not match with what has been communicated to the public over and over - that the risks would be astronomically small, compared to the benefits. With the ratio that is currently known, the vaccines would have had a harder time to get approved. I don't think that mass vaccination mandates can be upheld as soon as the public becomes aware of the actual ratios.


> The roulette wheel is being spun with every injection.

Yes - as with any medication. But my point is, it's some times seen as being a roulette wheel with the vaccine but no one mentions the elephant in the room which is that the side effects are at worst much more common, and at best about equal, with infection. Basically if you don't get vaccinated, you are spinning a worse roulette wheel.

> The basis for these is even thinner, because especially since Omicron, the benefit/risk ratio is even worse. The risk has not changed, while the benefits just visibly decreased.

There are three levels of risk here. Individual risk, group risk (protecting people in a more vulnerable group, for example), and societal risk (preventing spread, or limiting the damage to publically funded healthcare by limiting your own risk). Now with omicron, the individual risk for a healthy 30 year old is obviously way down. The societal risk from the disease is very high due to infectivity (staff shortages etc), and the group risk is also rather high as the disease is still pretty bad for the oldest age group, especially without boosters.

But even so: vaccines aren't only about individual risk. And vaccine mandates aren't only acceptable when it's a net positive to the individual! On the contrary, when it's a net positive, they may not even be needed - people have incentive enough to get vaccinated anyway!

Mandating vaccines despite unclear individual benefit (and to be clear its STILL very much a solid benefit even for healthy recovered young people, but for the sake of argument) is no easy ethical problem. The answer to that has been different in different countries, or even within countries (e.g. some countries have had varying degrees of mandates for adult vaccine but not even approved it for healthy young chilren because the individual risk is too low).


> There are three levels of risk here. Individual risk, group risk (protecting people in a more vulnerable group, for example), and societal risk (preventing spread, or limiting the damage to publically funded healthcare by limiting your own risk). Now with omicron, the individual risk for a healthy 30 year old is obviously way down. The societal risk from the disease is very high due to infectivity (staff shortages etc), and the group risk is also rather high as the disease is still pretty bad for the oldest age group, especially without boosters.

So it seems like a good idea for vulnerable people to get boostered. People can protect themselves from severe disease with the vaccination. The evidence that others are protected through a vaccination is pretty much non-existent. A reduction of societal risk is not a strong argument in this case, because the absolute reduction of risk by the vaccine is very small. Below 3%. You need to vaccinate about 100 people in order to prevent one more case, based on data from before last April. I bet it is worse now with Omicron:

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5...


> The evidence that others are protected through a vaccination is pretty much non-existent

No the evidence that it protects against severe disease is pretty strong. But there is no need to even go into that discussion.

The evidence that hospitals will be less stressed if more people are vaccinated, so that my risk of (say) getting care delayed for a heart attack or broken bone, is important.

> in order to prevent one more case

We aren't preventing nearly any cases now with Omicron. The protection is just too low. But the protection against severe disease and death is good. Everyone will get omicron (or a later even more infectious variant) eventually. The question is: how many of them will be severe? How flat will the peak be of severe cases?

Vaccinations at this point are about societal risk and severe disease. It's not about individual risk or preventing infection.


He just had Covid as well? So most likely he is better protected than vaccinated people.

If a champion did steroids and were disqualified, it would be the same. A victory is a victory.

Its not like he is some hapless victim. He knew the rules, he had enough time to get vaccinated but is choosing (and relishing) his anti vaccine posture.


Its kind of a victory that if I would participate and broke hands or legs of every reasonable player, I would win (a bit extreme but you get the point). Meaningless victory on its own, but trophy, bragging rights and sponsors contracts will follow nevertheless.

This distraction has worked marvellously. No time to cover the lack of food and tests in the supermarkets or any strategy other than sacrificing the weak for the sake of 'the economy'. Regarding immigration rules - it seems that if you're an au pair for the right family, incorrect entry forms can be fixed with a direct call to the minister.

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