Tennis Guy Might Take Ball And Go Home If He Has To Get COVID-19 Vaccine
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic is currently ranked the number one men's singles player in the whole world. However, as good as he apparently is at tennis, he is really, really bad at science, and not too good at reading comprehension, either.
In a Facebook chat with a bunch of other Serbian athletes, Djokovic — who is an anti-vaxxer — said that he would consider quitting professional tennis were he required to get a COVID-19 vaccine in order to play. What it is he thinks the vaccine would do to him, exactly, he does not explain. Is he concerned he is going to get autism at the age of 32? We don't know. Could be anything! He just says he's "opposed to vaccination," on principle.
"Personally, I am opposed to vaccination, and I wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel," Djokovic said in a live Facebook chat on Sunday with several fellow Serbian athletes.
"But if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I will have to make a decision. I have my own thoughts about the matter, and whether those thoughts will change at some point, I don't know.
"Hypothetically, if the season was to resume in July, August or September, though unlikely, I understand that a vaccine will become a requirement straight after we are out of strict quarantine, and there is no vaccine yet."
Now, what Djokovic understands and what is actually the case are two very different things. We are nowhere near having a vaccine by the time we are out of quarantine, or by July. The most optimistic thing I've seen is one company saying they might have one ready by autumn. Another article published the same day as the article about that vaccine says we are five years out from a vaccine, which is not quite as optimistic. But either way, July is pretty much off the table, as is "straight after we are out of strict quarantine."
Frankly, I'm not so sure that a guy who can't figure that out ought to be trusting his own "thoughts" about vaccines. He should maybe stick to tennis.
Thankfully, not all of the tennis players share his views. Last month, former world number one Amélie Mauresmo tweeted that there should be no tennis at all until there is a vaccine.
Je crois qu’on va devoir tirer un trait sur la saison 2020 de tennis. Circuit international = des joueurs et joueus… https://t.co/MPd8mhrEAm— AmelieMauresmo (@AmelieMauresmo)1585649021.0
I think we're going to have to draw a line under the 2020 tennis season. International circuit = players of all nationalities plus management, spectators and people from the 4 corners of the world who bring these events to life. No vaccine = no tennis
See, now there is a lady who makes some sense.
On the bright side, if you can call it that, one of the effects of the pandemic has been that a few anti-vaxxers have actually begun changing their minds after actually seeing what this virus can do to people. The thing about a lot of the vaccines we take is that people are not super familiar with the effects of the diseases they prevent. They see the measles episode of "The Brady Bunch" and think "Oh, that's no big deal! Not gonna risk my kid getting autism to prevent that!" They don't read the stuff about people and kids going blind or dying.
But right now, it's kind of hard to avoid hearing about many, many people dying by drowning in fluid from their own lungs, and there's not really a lot that is worse than that. What would they even come up with that would be worse? Are they going to say that if you take the vaccine you will be set on fire? Or flayed, somehow? I am racking my brain and knowledge of various deaths and tortures from Game of Thrones and I am really not coming up with much that is worse than than that.
Haley Searcy, 26, from Florida, told CNN she was "fully anti-vax" when her daughter was born in 2019. "I had seen so many accounts of kids dying from SIDS [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome] and having other dangerous reactions due to vaccines," she said, repeating the scientifically unsupported but common fear amongst vaccine skeptics that even those treatments that have undergone rigorous testing might still be dangerous.
"I was just as scared of vaccines as I was of the diseases they protect against."
Searcy said that after being advised by her daughter's pediatrician, she "begrudgingly allowed her to be vaccinated," but still suspected that vaccines were unnecessary and dangerous. The coronavirus outbreak has changed her view. "Since Covid-19, I've seen firsthand what these diseases can do when they're not being fought with vaccines," said Searcy.
"My mother has a lung disease, so if she gets Covid-19 there is no fighting it. I learned as much as I could to speak out against misinformation in the hopes that I could convince more people to stay home and follow social distancing so that she won't get sick."
"So many lives are at stake, including people I care about who are very vulnerable."
Yeah. Well, let's hope there are more like her and fewer like Novak Djokovic and the idiots at those protests screaming about how Bill Gates wants to vaccinate everyone for the purposes of depopulating the planet in order to make controlling it more manageable ... or whatever it is they are on about.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse