DJOKOVIC DECISION: Vaccinated watching the unvaccinated isn’t right

Cath WilcoxCredit:Cathy Wilcox

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If an unvaccinated man with untenable views on the science of immunology, who chooses to mix with children without even a mask one day after testing positive to COVID-19, is inexplicably allowed to compete in a sporting event in Melbourne, the holders of tickets to the Australian Open should demand an immediate refund.
Residents of this state cannot enter a sporting event or hospitality venue without appropriate vaccination, so why should they risk being exposed to an ignorant, arrogant, selfish individual who has no good reason to not be vaccinated? Legal gibberish should be no substitute for rational thinking.
Tennis Australia should be held accountable for this disgrace.
Dr David Edgar, Williamstown

What a lucky man he is
What a lucky man is Novak Djokovic, who refuses to be vaccinated against COVID. To catch and recover from COVID a short time before the Australian Open, thus receiving a medical exemption from being fully vaccinated so he could enter Australia.
For him, catching the virus had a silver lining. Not so for the unvaccinated and those with serious underlying conditions who contract COVID, become seriously ill and die from complications.
Harry Kowalski, Ivanhoe

A question of convenient timing
The question that still needs to be answered is what would Novak Djokovic have done if he had not conveniently caught COVID three weeks before he was due to arrive in Australia?
Alan Inchley, Frankston

Fairness flies out the window
So Novak Djokovic can come into this country unvaccinated and not quarantine at all, but my partner’s mother in Bolivia, who is fully vaccinated with Sputnik and an AstraZeneca booster, would have to do two weeks’ mandated quarantine at her own expense. Where is the fairness in that?
James O’Keefe, East Melbourne

Total disregard for others’ safety
Novak Djokovic was photographed at a public event without a mask the day after he claimed he was told of his infection. This shows total disregard for quarantine procedures and protecting his fellow citizens. His visa should be revoked based on this alone.
Peter Heffernan, Balaclava

Maybe he should redeploy his lawyers
It would be nice if Novak Djokovic employed his lawyers to get the rest of the refugees free from detention at the hotel in Carlton he thought was so horrific.
Toni Marshall, Mount Martha

So he can go out and work …
The people in Australia who have lost or been denied employment due to not being vaccinated must be feeling highly aggrieved following the opportunity given to Novak Djokovic to work and earn an income in his chosen profession. It is hoped that the mandated vaccination requirements for all people in this country to earn an income can be reviewed in light of this decision.
Bob Speed, Trafalgar

Here’s hoping … for a loss
The Djokovic case has demonstrated that at least our justice system of separation of powers works fairly. It would be an international disgrace if the government overturned this decision. I hope now that Novak has a humiliating loss at Melbourne Park.
Peter McCarthy, Mentone

FORUM

Cancel the visa
Federal Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has the power, under Australian law, to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa. No amount of comment by Judge Anthony Kelly can deny the minister’s power.
If the law requires everybody entering Australia to have two COVID-19 vaccinations, with appropriate time separation between the first and the second and, if Djokovic cannot meet this test, then his attempt to stay in Australia must fail. That will be minister Hawke’s call and it should be made.
I understand Tennis Australia’s desire to have this superstar playing in Melbourne, but the absurdity of every spectator needing to be double vaccinated in order to watch a non-vaccinated player perform is insulting to millions who followed the rules through trying times and would make your great country a laughing stock. Minister Hawke should cancel the visa. His authority is clear.
Sir Kerry Burke,
former minister of immigration,
New Zealand

It was un-Australian
I am no fan of Novak Djokovic, people who choose to remain unvaccinated in a global pandemic and our politicians who treat refugees like pawns in a political game. However, Australia is obligated to apply due process to everyone seeking entry to Australia. Cancelling a legally issued visa, without giving the visitor the opportunity to consult with those who could help him (legal advisers, Tennis Australia) is an absolute travesty. The treatment of Djokovic on his arrival into Australia was illegal, inhumane and un-Australian.
Linda Skinner, Mooroolbark

The poll that matters
Your correspondent (Letters, 11/1) wonders what would happen if an opinion poll was conducted to determine how many of us actually support the abhorrent treatment of refugees. An opinion poll is conducted, every three years. It is called the federal election and for nearly 10 years the party with the most inhumane refugee program has been re-elected.
Samantha Keir, East Brighton

No, no, we’re Kiwis
Once upon a time young Australian travellers would sew an Australian flag on their backpack because it signified that we were a people who got along with everyone. Since then prime minister Tony Abbott threatened to shirtfront Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Scott Morrison fell out with China, short-changed the French and has now managed to inflame Serbia it may be wiser to sew a New Zealand flag on their backpacks and start ordering fush ind chups.
John Mosig, Kew

Pressure on teachers …
I suspect a great many teachers will be considering leaving the profession in the face of this “schools must never close again”, “the children are suffering” pile-on. I don’t know what rock people were living under but teachers were doing their best to manage remote learning, which is nothing like home schooling, while keeping everyone safe. Now they are being told loudly and clearly that the safety of themselves and their families is far less important than having kids attend school. I wonder what the employees of the School of the Air would make of this nonsense.
Kristen Hurley, Seaholme

… on many fronts
With primary school-aged kids just starting to get their vaccinations now there will still be many unvaccinated by the time school is due to start. What contingencies are in place to reduce the risk of teachers getting COVID as they inevitably will and to replace the many that do?
We are seeing a multitude of industries being impacted by this variant now so there is no reason for the teaching profession to be any different. In the case of other important services, reserves have been called up to assist but we have heard nothing from governments, state or federal about how they will support teachers with this looming issue. It is doubtful that there are enough emergency teachers now available to fill the breach.
Teachers, along with many others, have done an extraordinary job over the past two years. It’s about time our leaders listen to the teachers’ unions and give teachers the consideration and respect they deserve.
Judith Geraghty, Strathmore

A dreadful decision
So the decision was made to ″⁣let it rip″⁣. No consultation with the community and no planning for an increase in testing, hospital and ambulance capacity or for the well-being of front-line health workers.
If the decision was made in an effort to protect the economy, it has failed on that front, too.
It may be mild in most, but my deepest sympathies to those who have lost precious family members since this decision was taken.
I never thought we would be reduced to such devastating chaos.
Jenny Barker, Bentleigh

Is this too much to ask?
Home care package providers are obliged to apply some very strange restrictions.
I am exasperated. I’m in my 90s and quite vulnerable. My hearing is barely 40 per cent in one ear and a mere 17 per cent in the other. I’ve had a heart attack, have angina and a spinal fracture.
I have a home security system that is monitored 24/7. I wear a panic button day and night. If the button is inadvertently pressed, the security company are on the phone immediately and if I don’t pick up, they work their way down the list of family phone numbers until they are satisfied that I’m OK.
Wouldn’t you imagine that monitoring my safety would come under the provisions of home care package funding? The provider says, ″⁣no″⁣. I’ve ploughed my way through the Health Department’s 110-page Home Care Packages Manual, and it seems a no-brainer to me that my subsidy should be available to pay the security company for looking after my welfare. The manual states that ″⁣home modifications or assets that are not related to your care needs″⁣ are excluded. Fine: we paid for the actual security system many years ago.
All I want now is funding for the regular monitoring which, to quote the manual again, lists one of the purposes of the program as being to provide ″⁣assistive technology: such as devices that help with mobility, communication and personal safety″⁣. Must go now and pin the panic button to my pinny.
Name and address withheld

Bordering on farce
Considering the amount of money it cost to establish Border Force, the recruitment, the training, the boats and the snappy uniforms you would think it could stop one unvaccinated tennis player from coming in.
Peter Ramadge, Newport

Tanks for nothing
Peter Dutton suggests that the “new Abrams will give our soldiers the best possibility of success and protection from harm”.
Wrong. The best protection from harm is by diplomacy: a forgotten craft with the Morrison government. If the Americans want another war, don’t go.
Chief of Army Lieutenant-General Rick Burr claimed the vehicles “were essential to Australia’s ability to contribute to combat that could be integrated with other forces”.
What “other forces”? Is Rommel still out there?
The only possible purpose for this equipment is to prop up the US arms industry and reassure the Americans of our ongoing subservience. This purchase is a long-term gesture of future support for US warmongering.
Why not just give them a whole pile of our money?
Surely, the $3.5 billion would be better spent on foreign aid and diplomacy. Maybe funding RATs instead of desert rats.
What good are tanks against viruses either biological or cyber?
Chris Hughes, Rye

Support is urgent
Re ″⁣Solve this crisis of paramedics″⁣ (Letters, 11/1), as an ex-ICU nurse I find it ridiculous that paramedics have to hand over directly to the doctors.
There are emergency nurses who can take the handover and then communicate the relevant information to the doctors when they are available. This is what is called triage.
Also what about documentation? If everything is written down precisely, surely medical staff and nurses can read the patient’s history and the treatment given to them prior to arrival.
Doctors are overwhelmed. They work exhausting shifts that leaves them tired and vulnerable to mistakes. Doctors need to be given proper breaks so that they can function properly. Hospitals need to employ more doctors to help overcome this crisis.
Maria Liew,
Woodend

Waves of delight
It was good to hear from the Prime Minister that we were going to ″⁣push through″⁣ Omicron as I finished ″⁣riding the wave″⁣ yesterday and had been sunbaking on the beach.
David Robertson,
Wheatsheaf

Change priorities
Despite an eye-watering debt, hospitals and schools desperately needing funds, no likelihood of us being invaded, the government is spending billions of dollars on the military. Is appeasing the US more important than looking after our own people?
Judith McNaughtan, Mont Albert

Not his problem
Child’s vaccine booking cancelled because of no supply? Not my problem, see the lieutenant-general that’s his job. Can’t get access to a rapid antigen test? Not my problem, just shop around the GP network. GPs and hospitals at breaking point? Yeah. Nah. Let it rip. The market will sort it out in the long run.
As John Maynard Keynes observed, ″⁣In the long run we’ll all be dead.″⁣ So, not my problem.
Brian Derum, Fitzroy North

Fit and proper?
Is someone who is COVID positive but out and about for public photo opportunities a ″⁣fit and proper″⁣ person for Immigration Department purposes?
Ian Powell, Elsternwick

AND ANOTHER THING

COVID
Now a return to an even bigger stuff up – the pandemic.
Arthur Pritchard, Ascot Vale

″⁣Let it rip.″⁣ Famous last words.
Reg Murray, Glen Iris

Is it a coincidence that COVID got out of control just when the politicians took over from the medical people?
Pat Horan, Sebastian

Djokovic
I’m told I can’t go to the tennis, cricket, football, restaurants, even my golf club, without providing proof of vaccination. Yes, that’s right, I’m not Djoking.
Doug Perry, Mt Martha

The umpire calls “fault” against Border Force, but the government resorts to its own Hawke-eye for a final decision.
Kevan Porter, Alphington

Let’s hope Alex Hawke shows the same compassion to Djokovic as he showed to the Biloela family.
John Russell, Bonbeach

The Prime Minister: “Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules.” Oops.
Graham Fetherstonhaugh,
Carlton North

Vaccinated people cannot dance but an unvaccinated tennis player can play – go figure.
Margaret Sullivan, Caulfield North

Can all unvaccinated people who have recently had COVID come to Australia, or just unvaccinated tennis players?
Neil Montfort, Viewbank

Djokovic could learn from five to 11year olds who are enthusiastically rolling up their sleeves to protect their school mates.
John Rosenberg, South Melbourne

The judge asked what more could this man do? Well, he could have been vaccinated.
Geoff Charles, Mt Waverley

Finally
We have upset the Chinese, French and the Serbs. Please don’t upset Tassie.
Gerald Ettershank, Sandringham

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