Saturdays are usually our down day because the rest of the world is sleeping in. But to my surprise, I got a mid-morning email from someone purporting to be a digital nomad in Malta wanting to write an exposé the draconian quarantine requirements there. We’ll give anyone a hearing, so I said, “Yes, we’re interested and we pay.” She sends me her proposed post and I realize it’s an anti-vaxxer propaganda piece.
Not going to happen.
I have to say I’m shocked it’s taken so long to happen. The anti-vaxxer is a persistent strain of COVID deniers who just cannot understand why the world can’t understand how we’re all being manipulated by the Deep State or Bill Gates or whomever they see as the global boogeyman.
This person wrote how she had applied to – and been accepted in – Malta’s digital nomad residence program. Great. Except she’s unvaccinated, and Malta requires quarantine in assigned hotels. You know … to keep people from countries with high infection rates from spreading COVID-19 to their population.
‘I’m special ….’
In her post, the digital nomad describes two weeks of “imprisonment” in a filthy hotel on a busy, noisy street … and the worst birthday of her life. That two-week prison sentence included Internet access and the staff fetching her special food and daily deliveries from Starbucks, which I’m pretty sure they don’t do at Rikers Island.
Oh, the humanity!
She never says why she’s unvaccinated, but I’m guessing it’s because she’s special. The rest of the seven billion people on the planet might be sheep and follow the vaccination protocols … measures that are rapidly reopening Europe. But not the anti-vaxxers!
I found her post especially pathetic in that she thought officials would waive Malta’s COVID entry rule if only they knew her “unusual situation.”
When I told her we weren’t interested, the invectives flew.
I just didn’t understand:
(The post) is about the experience of traveling in Europe while unvaccinated, and other unvaccinated readers may be interested in those challenges. I know I was before traveling. Also, just bec u personally are vaccinated it doesn’t mean that others who are not should be discriminated against. Also, u should allow different view points on your site.
Lady, this has nothing to do with discrimination. And what the hell are you thinking?
Everyone can get the COVID-19 vaccine and it’s free. Should you forgo immunization, you’ve surrendered your access to international travel.
A new age of unreason
Part of the agreement we make in civil society is that we’ll follow the rules and requirements that are in the best interests of all. In the case of a global pandemic, we all knew new rules would go into place so as not to have a repeat of the Spanish Flu pandemic. And yes, that includes mandatory vaccination rules. You know … like the ones we’ve required for decades for kids to start the school year.
As I pointed out to our friend in Malta, I’m 65 years old and in possibly the best shape of my life because I’ve gotten vaccinated for everything from polio to COVID-19. Yes, that’s anecdotal evidence, but the data showing infection rates are dropping in every European country that has reached or exceeded 70 percent of the population vaccinated is pretty strong empirical evidence the three major vaccines work.
If you’re going to start ranting about how the vaccines were rushed and unproven, you’re wasting your breath. This isn’t 1950 when it took years to bring the polio vaccine to market. This is 2021 and we have advanced understandings of genetics, viral architecture and mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from three different companies.
And at this point, it’s no longer experimental if nearly three billion people across the globe have been vaccinated.
We also know that viruses need hosts to mutate, and that’s exactly what the unvaccinated are … willing hosts for COVID mutations that could render all of us once again susceptible to this incredibly dangerous, debilitating and often fatal virus-borne respiratory disease.
As we reached the end of this pandemic, I don’t really give coronavirus much thought anymore. I’m fully vaccinated and will be in line for the booster when it’s available.
I am worried about this emerging resistance to reason. The Age of Reason brought us (relative) societal stability and high-functioning democracies. This Age of Unreason seems to be a petri dish for breeding a reactionary new political virus. This global infection clouds the judgement while causing heightened paranoia and fears that everything is a conspiracy.
It’s a political virus that’s spreading around the world … one no vaccine can cure.
About the author:
Terry Boyd is co-founder of Dispatches Media, based in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Boyd has been a military reporter, business reporter and an entrepreneur, selling Insider Louisville, a pure-play digital news platform, in 2013.
Boyd & Family are long-time expats and have lived in Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.
You can see more of his Dispatches posts here.
Check out Terry Boyd’s portfolio on Third World Photos here.
Co-CEO of Dispatches Europe. A former military reporter, I'm a serial expat who has lived in France, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.