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Byron Shire
September 29, 2021

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: A vulnerable freedom

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‘The true measure of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members’. These are the words of Mahatma Gandhi, Indian lawyer and social activist who pioneered the principle of Satyagraha – resistance to tyranny through mass nonviolent civil disobedience. I thought of him as I watched the footage of the Freedom march in Sydney over the weekend and contemplated what he might have said about our current situation. The question here is something of a conundrum. Are the lockdowns (in Australia) and public health measures tyranny? Or is it simply a democracy attempting to protect their population, in particular the vulnerable, from the tyranny of a pandemic? 

In India 421,000 people have died from COVID-19. People in urban slums and those who live in close contact with each other in poorer villages, without access to the kind of sanitation, or healthcare that we take for granted, are the most likely to contract the virus and die. Many of India’s covid deaths go unreported as many don’t test for the virus and infections and subsequent deaths could be two to three times higher than what is recorded. They suspect the 421k death toll is a tenth of the real toll. That’s what it looks like when SARS-Cov-2, and its variants, rip through a vulnerable population. It’s a form of socio-economic culling. While the rich and poor are both at risk, it’s the infirm, the disabled, those living in poverty – the vulnerable – who fall victim most often. 

From the footage I saw of the various Freedom rallies on the weekend, ‘the vulnerable’ were certainly not present. For example, I didn’t see one person in a wheelchair.

I think we who boast of our healthy immune systems with emojis and memes need to focus less on our needs and more on the needs of the vulnerable. I wonder how the vulnerable feel when we refuse to wear masks, when we operate in defiance of public health orders? Do they feel more at risk? Unvalued? Do they feel cut adrift? Do they feel even more marginalised by a society that has decided that their value is ‘less than’.

There is a point of view, as iterated by those on social media, which declares COVID-19 is ‘just a flu’ and that the subsequent deaths are a form of natural selection. Meaning that the strong, the young and the healthy get to inherit the Earth. 

But at what cost? In order for us to have our ‘freedom’ (from public health restrictions) we offer up the immune compromised, the disabled, the elderly, those who have had organ transplants, and those who have had any sort of compromised health. We build our city on their bones.

This brand of freedom is more like Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism, aka, ‘survival of the fittest’ has been used to justify imperialism, racism, eugenics and social inequality for well over 100 years. And incidentally it was not what Darwin’s theory was all about, it’s a misrepresentation that’s vehemently opposed by scientists. Is it also how we now choose to transact our ‘freedom’? This is not the basis of a compassionate society. To live in a caring community might sometimes come at the cost of small individual liberties – like wearing a mask in the post office for ten minutes while you complete your transaction.

Maybe our governments have to start viewing us all as the vulnerable. Many of those who marched on the weekend have become radicalised through what they perceive as government spin and mismanagement, as lack of leadership, through loss of hope and a very real fear for the future. It makes them easy targets for an extremist narrative.

I think somehow Gandhi would have navigated this complex territory with peace and love and great care for those whose voices often aren’t heard by the rest of us. 

I think Gandhi would have worn a mask. Even if he didn’t want to.


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61 COMMENTS

  1. Mandy’s awareness of proportion is as unbalanced as her belief in Indian data.

    More death in India from economic contraction due to lock-down from bogus pandemic.

    “tyranny of a pandemic”…….. twists of desperation.

    Tyranny…… cruel and oppressive government or rule…. Tyranny..… unreasonable or arbitrary use of power or control.

    Gandhi opposed tyranny and joined the march.

    • I’m sure too that the data from India is unreliable and the rate of infection and death is actually much higher.

      Gandhi fought an oppressive, foreign, colonial occupier, the existence of which was indisputable with the consequences plain and obvious for all to see. He was actually advocating independence from the Brits and home rule not the absence of the rule of law.

      His brave followers, who marched to the sea to be bludgeoned by the British when they attempted to make their own salt, would I’m sure, have wanted a little more evidence than a few you tube videos, SM posts or outlier commentators before taking the whole protest thing to the degree they did.

      Gandhi was an educated man, a lawyer and very astute. I’m sure he would have wanted a little more evidence too, of some massive conspiracy, before risking the blood of his followers and playing fast and loose with public health and welfare.

      Comparing Gandhi’s actions with this petty anti-mask etc stance is an insult and just demonstrates the delusions of grandeur of some in the shire. Gandhi was serious about civil rights, not opposing on a whim and deluding himself he was therefore a “questioner” or otherwise enlightened. I’m sure he lacked the ego.

    • Your word salad is a desperate twist of uninformed opinion.
      Ghandi would have been saddened by your self interest.

    • Mandy has no idea of what she’s talking about. Mandy needs to look up the several states in India that used Ivermectin, which effectively stopped the Delta spread in its tracks.

  2. Spot on Mandy, Charles Darwin simply sought to explain why the various life forms develop, through eons of mutations and natural selection, characteristics that are so perfectly adapted to survival in their natural environment. He was a scientist giving an explanation of how things are, not a moral philosopher espousing a socio political philosophy of how they should be.

    Moral philosophers like the 17th century’s Thomas Hobbes held the view that, bottom line, we are capable of being motivated only by self interest – pretty well fits with Darwinism and always rang true to me. However he noted that individuals were prepared to forego their opportunities to murder, rape steal and pillage etc – which might be in their immediate self interest – for the protection afforded by a more ordered society or a social contract. He viewed this as enlightened self interest. Without it he perceived life would be “nasty brutish and short”.

    I’d suggest this also sits well with Darwinism because after all, scientists have suggested that Homo Sapiens emerged through ice ages by strategising survival rather than developing strong physical characteristics. With this surely came the capacity for higher order thinking, concepts of second order consequences and systems of social order and morality.

    But it seems that there were other more self-interested reasons for not letting the virus rip to let the devil take the hindmost. The virus is subject to its own Darwinian forces. The more often it replicates – the more the infection spreads – the more opportunities for mutations to throw up characteristics that foster its own survival like the several times more infectious Delta variant that appears to have the added propensity to affect younger, fitter cohorts. Suddenly the fittest aren’t quite fit enough.

    • Liz, your beliefs in the nineteen century philosphy of scientific materialism as espoused by your comments about Darwin and on which the official government and corporate polkicies are still based is the main reson why the world has gotten into such a mess, the ecological crisis of spiecies exstintion, the mad weapons races and resultant deprivation around the world leading to mass migrations, etc..
      Australian Nobel Prize winner Sir John Carew Eccles has this to say about scientic materialism: “I maintain that the human mystery is incredibly demeaned by scientific reductionism, with its claim in promissory materialism to account eventually for all of the spiritual world in terms of patterns of neuronal activity. This belief must be classed as a superstition. . . . we have to recognize that we are spiritual beings with souls existing in a spiritual world as well as material beings with bodies and brains existing in a material world.” — Evolution of the Brain, Creation of the Self, p. 241.
      Superstition still reigns supreme in the halls of corporate, government and media power.

      • Thanks, Theo for the heads up about what I have been espousing. Here I thought it was protecting the vulnerable and valuing life regardless of age, fitness etc. but no, I’m advocating corporate greed, species extinction and weapons of mass destruction. My bad indeed.

        But Theo I think it might be you being a bit reductionist. You see I have never believed that theism, and it’s related tenets, has a monopoly on morality.

        I think we are all aware of some supposed theists who have behaved abominably and few would believe that atheism or agnosticism is incompatible with systems of ethics and moral behaviour.

        As I said when agreeing with Mandy, Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” is a scientific theory not a moral philosophy. Many individuals who would describe themselves as deeply spiritual or devoutly theistic are not uncomfortable with the observations of Charles Darwin.

        • Hi Liz,
          I’ts fine with me that you don’t believe in a God, Divine Principle or a Universal Consciousness. As G K Chesterton would have it: “If there were no God, there would be no Atheists.” I never mentioned the word morality or moral behaviour and we may agree that that organised religion has an very unsavoury historical record. You are thinking of “protecting the vulnerable and valueing life regardless of age” and I agree with you. But how is destroying family businesses caring? How is shaming people into wearing germ collectors caring?
          Mandatory masking is a baseless violation of personal rights and freedoms. that do nothing to stop viruses. (You can look this up on the CDC website where they’ve reviewed 14 scientific studies on mask wearing. But will you be persuaded by the scientific facts?) How is forcing millions into unemployment and suicide caring? How is locking elderly people up in cockroach-infested long-term care homes caring? How is denying people needed surgical procedures caring?

          My body is not the property of the state. I have sole and exclusive autonomy over my body and no politician, official or doctor has the legal or moral right to compel me to undergo any unlicensed, experimental vaccine or any other medical treatment or procedure without my specific and informed consent. The decision is mine and mine alone and I will not submit to blackmail by the government or emotional manipulation by the media, so-called celebrity influencers or ScoMO.
          Mandatory vaccination is illegal because:
          The UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, adopted in 2005, states in point 1 of Article 6:
          “Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention should only be performed with the prior, voluntary and informed consent of the person concerned, based on truthful information. Consent must be given, where appropriate, and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without prejudice.”
          It is clear to me that compulsory vaccination does not meet these requirements. Nor is informed consent possible in the current media climate when thousands of medical scientists are censored in the mainstream media and on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Google.
          Mandatory vaccination is also illegal because of:
          THE NUREMBERG CODE
          1. The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved, as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that, before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental
          subject, there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person, which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment. The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity.
          I thank for your attention.

          • Hi Theo
            Can you tell me what bits of my post that tell you that I don’t believe in God? Read it again carefully.

            In fact, while I think that natural selection and evolution are fairly demonstrable, I have some leanings towards your friend Eccles’ position that it doesn’t necessarily explain everything.

            You didn’t use the word morality, no, but listed off a number of directions of questionable morality – just about the total disintegration of society – and attributed to what you hint is an absence of a theistic view. I won’t here go into how you seem to have muddied “materialism” as Eccles used it with our more familiar contemporary usage.

            However I did suggest that the dilemmas of ethics and morality are not altered by the theistic/atheistic/agnostic divides.

            Is it caring to close down small family businesses? – clearly not. Some would argue this means doing everything we can to contain the spread of this virus 🦠 so that retail lockdowns (with all their hardships) are minimised across the country. Perhaps it means having the humility to accept the consensus of health opinion and follow it not cherry pick or twist bits to suit us.

            Is “locking elderly people up in cockroach-infested long-term care homes caring?” – clearly not. Perhaps they shouldn’t be cockroach infested to begin with? 🤔

            No-one has told you you must take the vaccine, Theo. Perhaps be a little more tolerant of the view held by those who do so choose. Perhaps consider they are motivated by a desire to protect both themselves and the wider community.

            Another home-grown Nobel laureate, Peter Doherty has said that no-one should deny that there are risks with these vaccines. However with an impressive background in pathology and immunology he has chosen to have it and promote its uptake.

            Amnesty International is an organisation with a proud history of fighting for human rights and for people whose rights are seriously abused or under threat. This is what they have to say about masks:

            “Mandatory face masks – cover your mouth, not your opinions

            “There is nothing in international human rights law against a state taking mandatory measures where there is a public health necessity, such as the prevention and control of COVID-19, however, mandatory measures must be implemented in accordance with international human rights law and key safeguards.

            “Amnesty continues to monitor government response to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure measures to contain the virus are proportionate and applied without discrimination.

            “ But common sense tells you that wearing a mask, if it is advised or mandated by health authorities, is a reasonable measure to protect your health and the health of others.”
            https://www.amnesty.org.au/its-a-covid-crisis-but-we-still-have-rights/

            Even Jesus, the New Testament would suggest, recognised the power of the state to make laws:
            “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s,”

          • OK Liz L, after you wrote: “Can you tell me what bits of my post that tell you that I don’t believe in God?”, can I now assume that you are are not an atheist? Then why do you hold atheistic beliefs? You don’t seem to understand that the philosphy of scientific materialism, which states that the only reality in the universe is “dead” matter? I am not writing about materialism as the desire to acquire worldly possessions here and the “muddling you write about is all yours. When Rene Descartes expunged “souls” from humans, souls which are not material things and when according to atheist Professor Richard Dawkins, a British evolutionary biologist, author, emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford and was Professor for Public Understanding of Science in the University of Oxford from 1995 to 2008, states that people are “lumbering robots”, he is not talking about organisms which have a soul, which is what theists believe. The word animal derives from the Latin anima, which means soul. According to this philosophy of scientific materialism, consciousness is merely an epi-phenomena of brain function and has the beliefs, amongst other ones, that we are at the mercy of our genes and that memories are stored in the brain. Darwin himself acknowledged that the influence of the environment also played a role in the development of evolution and not just blind chance random mutations, which is what neo-darwinists advocate, that why they are known as neo-darwinists. So, if you believe in a Devine Being, why do you hold atheistic scientific beliefs? Don’t you see that you hold self-contradictory beliefs?

  3. Nice one Mandy
    Perhaps we have become so entitled “our human right ” is now an overused prefice to really mean ” I’m more special than the rest ”
    Maybe we in the indulgent west need to spend time in the slums of India helping out.
    What a great gap year.
    Perhaps rather than protest about ” our human right ” to do whatever we want without consideration for others is actually a product of our privilege.
    I suggest all those protesting against covid restrictions go and volunteer in a covid ward for a week.
    Keep it up Mandy

    • Agree Sujay, but I don’t think the smugness or sense of entitled is something new to the rainbow shire.
      I’ve been in this community since the mid nineties and I have always been aware of an element of smug, sanctimonious self- righteousness among the chill out, peace, love and flower power culture that otherwise draws us to the area.

      It does not surprise me at all that the Qanon-type conspiracies have found fertile ground here. They hold out that seductive temptation to a cult like belief that tells its followers they are special, and singularly enlightened with a capacity to see what the common herd can’t.

      • What BS Q never said that the people were special. Q said research for yourself. That’s it, because 99% are still using search engines that block, fact check, and give one view. You never even get to see what’s really happening as it’s deleted. Nothing special just millions of people that decided the world is not as we thought and who is really ruling the world. And can we just get this straight cause the media can’t even research the basics. There is Q and there are anons
        You would be so horrified to see and know what we know. It is the exact opposite of a cult. Think for yourself, research for yourself and ultimately follow the money. That literally tells you everything
        Right now we don’t have a pandemic, we have a casedemic fuelled by the fear porn media and Govt that doesn’t give a shit about you or I and their coming for your kids and the food shortages are next, along with next variant. Gladys out having her coffee no mask, Chant taking a tissue out of Buzzards hands to blow her nose, the whole vile lot at the G7 no masks, hugging and holding hands. They were positively terrified NOT! Lock them down, all of them, and give them 600 bucks to pay rent and food and homeschool the kids. Whose really vulnerable? Every bloody one of us when there is no income, no job to be had, no business and the entire economy just bleeds out.
        Have you seen the food prices starting to rise, have you seen the supply chains overseas coming to a halt?
        Maybe not yet ….but it’s coming , hyper inflation.

    • Excellent ideas, Sujay! A gap year in the slums of India would change lots of minds.
      Thank you, Mandy for your essay!

  4. The government is infringing my rights by making me drive on the left side of the road. Lucky we have the brave freedom fighters of the northern rivers who totally ignore such tyranny.

    • If I’d listened to the experts , they would have me believe in evolution and that there is no God , well after having a near death experience that answer has been settled.
      There is a God and his name is Jesus Christ.
      Funny how they cannot find the missing link and that you still can’t seem to shake the fact that all of the Prophets of the Bible were 100 percent correct including the rise of a new world order and a global rise of a 1 world society and global government.

      • And if it hadn’t been for that damned temptress, Eve there wouldn’t be a pandemic to worry about – or world government even!

    • Agree totally.
      These protesters are attention seekers and the same nut jobs that turn up at any protest.
      Just have some common-sense and respect for others health and get vaccinated.

  5. Good one, Mandy. The memes, ‘I’m alright Jacks’ are easy to read along with the fog
    thinking that ‘human rights’ are right when taken out of the real meaning – like its
    true translation is not–‘to hell with the rest’ of the planet’s people. Further, Gandhi
    [I believe] would go ahead and ‘mask-up’ to show the act was harmless and life
    saving. Furthering yet again – I know India well. People in ‘lock up’… nope, there’s
    nowhere to place them. Bogus pandemic!!! My Editor’s there – born and bred there
    along with his highly respected family.

  6. “cruel and oppressive”, ” unreasonable or arbitrary “, do you see that you’ve already lost the argument ?
    If wearing a mask and trying to avoid infecting others with a deadly disease is such an imposition on you Richard, it is neither of the above , nothing could be more reasonable, it isn’t arbitrary nor cruel and if you think it is oppressive try a fortnight in intensive care.
    But Liz and Mandy show a lack of understanding of ‘natural selection’ and the’ fittest’ as it certainly doesn’t mean “the strong, the young and the healthy” survive , it merely means, those less affected by the threat and that could be the old or red-headed etc.
    Cheers, G”)

    • Nothing in my post suggested the young and healthy have ever been immune to Covid 19, though statistically age and co-morbidities appear to be risk factors. Indeed what I suggested was that random mutations are thought to be occurring that seem to make previously more protected groups more vulnerable.

      • Sorry Liz,
        I was referring to Mandy’s misconception there, your juxtaposition of Hobbes and Natural Selection being based on self-interest, is as wrong as attributing any kind of morality to the concept.
        Survival and procreation is the driver and if that is favoured by size, strength, intelligence, colour, viciousness or loving kindness , that is immaterial, ….and can all easily be undone by the vagaries of meteor strikes, global warming etc.
        The Lovelock Gaia theory does pose the possibility that there is a benevolent, global intelligence, this appeals to me, but the Australian Government has no part in this intelligence.
        Cheers G”)

        • Nah – I think I am aware how natural selection works.

          I just gave my own view that I think Hobbes was pretty much on the money when he suggested that all our actions/decisions are motivated by self interest. Whether we follow rules because we want a general social contract so that others will observe them in our interests, or whether we would rather forego doing something selfish because we don’t want the guilt or like to think of ourselves as virtuous, we are still acting in self interest.

          Ultimately it can’t be proved or disproved – it’s the underlying assumption. Nor can I prove that it was the forces of natural selection that favoured its presence. It’s just my inkling that there is an obvious advantage in self interest (even enlightened self-interest) for survival – along with all the other adaptations like fight/flight etc etc etc.

          You’re perfectly entitled to disagree.

      • Nobody seems to notice that Britain, The Netherlands, Cyprus, Malta and Gibraltar have the highest vaccination rate in the world and also have the highest infection rate during the six weeks after their vaccination drives. And nobody has noticed that the spot outbreaks in Australia also follow vaccination drives and that countries with the lowest vaccination rates also have the lowest infection rates. But do not allow the facts to bring you out of the hypnotic trance and the divide and rule tactics of corporations carried out by governments and endlessly driven by media hype. Talking about Mahatma Ghandi, enlightenment is the ultimate bullshit detector. When asked what he thought of Western civilisation, he retorted: “That would be a good idea.”

        • When asked what he thought of Western civilisation, he retorted: “That would be a good idea.”

          Yeah great reply indeed. Was he referring to Mullumbimby?

          • There’s no reply link below Steve but I do apologise for my remark. I am sure that there are many rational, thinking people in Mullumbimby and generalisations are inappropriate.

        • Could it have something to do with the countries with the most infection rates making the biggest efforts to vaccinate and having a greater lack of hesitancy in the population? Where did you get the six weeks bit? Those with low infection rates eg Australia and New Zealand haven’t been really great at getting the vaccines out there and the population has shown more inertia.

          What is your theory here – that vaccination lowers rather than raises immunity? Or that it actually infects people – six weeks later?

          Outbreaks in Australia have tended to be linked to a particular breakdown of quarantine efforts eg a limo driver being infected by his OS passenger, infected removalists taking it to an apartment block in Melbourne where someone infected goes to a match at the MCG and so on. Great efforts have been made by contact tracers to track the chains of infection and none have led to a “vaccination drive”.

          Beware the post hoc ergo prompter hoc pitfall. I’m surprised Steve was impressed by this wild unsubstantiated conjecture. As for Gandhi’s quip, it’s fabulous but I fail to see the connection with his attitude to wearing a mask.

          • Dear Liz L, Don’t allow the facts confuse you. In June, there were several days with zero new COVID infections in Israel. The country launched its national vaccination campaign in December last year and has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with 80 percent of citizens above the age of 12 fully inoculated. COVID, most Israelis thought, had been defeated. All restrictions were lifted and Israelis went back to crowded partying and praying in mask-free venues.
            Fast forward two months later: Israel reported 9,831 new diagnosed cases on Tuesday, a hairbreadth away from the worst daily figure ever recorded in the country—10,000—at the peak of the third wave. More than 350 people have died of the disease in the first three weeks of August. In a Sunday press conference, the directors of seven public hospitals announced that they could no longer admit any coronavirus patients. With 670 COVID-19 patients requiring critical care, their wards are overflowing and staff are at breaking point.
            “I don’t want to frighten you,” coronavirus czar Dr. Salman Zarka told the Israeli parliament this week. “But this is the data. Unfortunately, the numbers don’t lie.”
            The massive surge of COVID-19 infections in Israel, one of the most vaccinated countries on earth, is pointing to a complicated path ahead for America and all other countries striving to reach the “magical” 80 per cent vaccination rate to reach herd immunity. To me this looks like the current vaccine against a corona is failing, like every vaccine against a corona virus ever concocted before it.
            Logic is unlikely to sway the vaccine pushers. They want mandates and it will take the combined efforts of those who love freedom to prevent America from becoming like Australia… or worse. Love and Peace to All.

  7. Basically Mandy Nolan has aspirations for a political position and she starts to talk exactly like a politician…whatever appeals to the masses is what i will say as this is what gets me elected…I can understand it,and I could understand it if we would have really put the resources into protecting the vulnerable,instead most of the money goes to the already wealthy and powerful and protecti a health system that is completely dominated by the pharmaceutical industry,they could not care less about health,disease is their business and they use their almost unlimited resources to dictate their agenda onto everyone,this is the sad truth,the politicians are just used as their lobbyists and they have little choice as they loose their job very quickly if they don’t do so!The whole medical approach to health is pretty poor and sick,that’s what needs changing,we don’t need a dictatorship by highly questionable health experts,who are largely lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry themselves!

    • This, and last week’s Soapbox seems to me to be pretty consistent with the position Mandy has taken on this stuff for years – ie before the political aspirations.

      But sure, everyone is a n’er-dox well with a secret agenda – everyone that is except the influencers behind the “scamdemic” theory.

      Yes pharmaceutical companies are businesses and make money, vast amounts. The more profitable drugs no doubt influence research priorities and direction but the research and trials of new vaccines and treatments (to establish efficacy and safety) have to be paid for. Some have vast amounts invested to become aborted eg the Queensland uni vaccine. But consider also that per dose our main vaccine, AstraZeneca, is also far cheaper than for either Pfizer or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, in part because AstraZeneca has committed to not profiting from the vaccine during the pandemic.

      The businesses that produce those shelves upon shelves of alternative therapies in chemists and supermarkets make vast profits too without having to meet the standards of proof of pharmaceuticals.

      But I hope that everyone in this area so concerned about “Big Pharma” never pollute their bodies with any prescription they ever receive from their doctor (if they see one) because someone’s bound to make money from it.

    • Absolutely, Herbert. Today I saw the contract that govts were made to sign off on, where no therapeutics were to be offered in place of the vaccine. Now we know why all the pollies are saying, “the vaccine is our only ticket out” when that actually is not true.

    • Yes, Salermen sell second-hand cars the same way Sell real estate , Sell Bank shares. Sell the Harbour bridge
      The truth is no where near where they are.

  8. Thank you for your eloquence and insights. I always go straight to readIng your soapbox as I know you will put words and meaning to what I already feel.
    You, Aidan Ricketts and David Heilpern. All of you. Thank you

  9. “Many of those who marched on the weekend have become radicalised…” Wth are you on? None of these people are “radicalised.” They are normal, everyday people, who come from all walks of life, each with their own story to tell, of how the lockdowns etc are affecting their lives adversely. Byron is in a bubble, has never had to deal with the harshness of a real lockdown, for weeks on end and yet you sit there and write about what you think Gandhi would have to say about all this. What a joke.

      • Have a look at the video footage (if you can find it) not the still photograph.

        You will see that the guy, who may well be a goose, did not punch the horse.

        Try focusing on the issue rather than the few “radical” looking individuals the media love to feed on.

        An old trick that you and many others fell for.

        Very easy to pass judgement from TV studios, Macquarie St or here from our privileged position on the Northern Rivers.

        The media will have you think the BLM protests were ok during lockdown because only wholesome people attended who don’t rob or loot etc.

        • ‘‘Twas an allusion Steve – a bit of levity. Sometimes taking it all less seriously is a relief from the otherwise despair created by all the indoctrinated BS that floods the debate.

  10. Well put Micky Foss , I totally agree . I applaud an aspiring politician for clearly stating their position about this most bizzare divisive time we are living In . You have my vote Mandy .

  11. After some fact-checking I can reveal the details re India are accurate but the reference to average waiting time an Australian post office is way below the mark!

  12. Agree totally Micky Foss …Mandy is spot on every time & continues to demonstrate intelligence & compassion without fear or favour. I just can’t believe some of the conspiratorial rubbish I read in the comments section, for example “bogus pandemic” ??? The millions of people that have died across the world (with more to come) must have FAKED their deaths ? I had not heard of ‘bogus deaths ‘ before so please explain? Maybe Pauline should be approached on this one, as she would certainly provide more madness & mayhem into this debate. This is not merely another flu Hello ! so listen to the epidemiologists and not the politicians. Those taking the vaccine are protecting those that are NOT taking the vaccine….ironic isn’t it.

  13. Mandy you’re spot on……again.
    Wearing a mask every now and then is no big inconvenience when weighed up up against the possible/probable benefit.
    registering your QR code is also no biggie compared to the benefit of promptly being able to trace someone at risk.
    The young are at less risk, BUT they can still be carriers so just do the right thing.
    We’re so lucky here, but let’s not take that for granted and sink into selfish complacency.
    Thanks Mandy.

  14. Hi Lindy,
    While awaiting patiently for the moderator to make up his or her mind, amuse myself with the following covid memes:
    “Just because you don’t like my posts, doesn’t mean you don’t see them. I keep planting seeds. Your subconscious mind is awake even if your conscious mind is asleep.
    “Pfizer pled guilty and paid US $2.3 billion dollars in fines for bribing doctors and suppressing adverse trial results in 2009, but I am sure nothing like that will ever happen again!”
    “I almost caught COVID yesterday, but I quickly stood on a social distancing sticker and put an end to that sh*t!”
    “I AM GOING TO WEAR A CAST, just in case it’s broken, FOR MY ASYMPTOMATIC BROKEN ARM!”
    “GOOD CITIZENS WEAR OBEDIENCE MUZZLES to keep us all safe from dangerous facts and unauthorised opinions”
    ” HOW COME THE ONLY PEOPLE STILL WORRIED ABOUT COVID ARE THE PEOPLE THAT ARE VACCINATED FROM IT?”

  15. Over many years I’ve been in more protests than most have had breakfasts. So let’s get real
    & stop promoting what’s a general waste of time. Sure Ivermectin helps treat skin troubles
    & such but it cannot turn the virus around due to the mutations expected. Playing with lives
    is unforgiveable. Our politicians play us for fools because we let them. A pity. India’s state’s
    a horror & to be learned from.

  16. I came to the area as a child in 1985. Coming from a city far away, this place seemed pretty weird, but in a good way. The people had a real love of the area and the people in it. They were family. The community would come together to protect one another in hard times.

    Now the feeling of family is gone and the only real love is for oneself. Personal responsibility has been replaced with a warped notion of “freedom”. Freedom has never come without responsibility, otherwise it would be anarchy.

    The Delta variant is a lot more transmissible and harmful than the initial covid variants. Can you imagine if a child at a local school contracted it and it started spreading as is happening in Brisbane? It would spread like wildfire here as too many entitled wankers think that there is a conspiracy to control them, so they take no precautions as it is infringing on their right to “be”.
    You wear a seat belt when you drive, a hat when you go in the sun, what’s the bloody difference with wearing a mask? Grow up. It only takes ONE person to cause a situation like Sydney is facing. Do you think we have the medical facilities to deal with hundreds of cases? Are you prepared to watch a family member struggle to breathe? Are you prepared to go into hard lock down because you decided you were too important to wear a mask? At least if this happens I know I tried my best to avoid hurting our community, how about you?

    Stay safe.

  17. Why do people promote invecterin, do they have a lice problem? A drug prompted by an anonymous website with no evidence of effectiveness. Anyway looking at the comments no wonder the poor people at the post office need a security guard to help enforce some cooperation rather than abuse and arrogance. Hope these people have good luck trying to enter the farmers markets this week.

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