(or, whatever you do, don’t mention the vaxx)
By Phil Shannon
Put a blue bodysuit, dark cape and red underpants on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and it could easily be mistaken for Superman. All on its own, the ‘Covid’ Supervirus has been able to shut down entire economies, bust the government’s credit card, close schools and churches, cancel the sportsball and completely upend normal human social functioning.
At least this is the impression we were, and still are, being given by the verbal elision of ‘virus’ with the ‘policy’ adopted in response to it. Every cockamamie and disastrous policy that was devised in hysterical, panicked reaction to the virus gets unproblematically lumped into ‘the pandemic’ in the reflex linguistic framing we heard all the time from Covid officials and the Covid-crazy media once policy stupidity had set in. Every futile, bizarre, pseudo-scientific and damaging policy, from lockdowns, ‘social distancing’ and masks to contact-tracing, vaccine passports and employment jab mandates that were imposed to ‘flatten the curve’ or to achieve Zero Covid or just ‘to keep us safe’, we were told, was simply inevitable and the once-in-a-lifetime killer ‘pandemic’ gave them no choice to do other than what they did.
This is self-serving nonsense, of course. It was government policy – not ‘Covid’ – that devastated so many lives, crippled the economy, bankrupted businesses, harmed young children’s cognitive and emotional development and gave older children myocarditis. Yet, the convenient fudging of the distinction between (what passed for) the ‘pandemic’ (a concept rooted in basic microbiological fact) and the policy in response to it (which was a matter of political choice and ethical discretion) has the effect of letting the crazed policy architects off the hook for the damage they – not Covid – wrought. They didn’t have to do any of what they did yet they chose to act as if they had no choice.
The verbal subterfuge of treating Covid as interchangeable with the policy in response to it was at its infuriating peak during the ‘pandemic’ (prompting much shouting at radios and TV sets amongst the awake) and it is still going on. The latest exhibit of this linguistic chicanery is the Australian government’s National Skills Commission annual workforce skills shortages report for 2022. It finds a dramatic rise in worker shortages, doubling across the board in just one year and affecting nearly a third of all industries, with overall unfilled job vacancies up by 40% (reaching 309,000) in the year to August 2022. Australia’s workforce shortages are now the second highest amongst comparable (OECD) countries.
The nursing and social care workforce hardest hit (but not by ‘Covid’)
Registered nurses head the list of specific occupations most in demand but not filled (with 9,266 jobs currently vacant) followed by aged care and personal care workers, construction managers, motor mechanics and software engineers. Shortages for the latter three, however, have been “persistent over time” and predate the ‘Covid’ era, according to the report, and it is the health, aged care and disability services occupations which have emerged from the pack to take the lead. The broader ‘health professionals’ occupational group (which includes GPs and allied health professionals as well as nurses) has surged as a result and has recorded an annual rise in unfilled positions of 50%, the largest increase of any broad occupational group. The report also says that the “Health and Social Assistance industry accounted for the largest share of people [12%] who changed jobs” in the year to February 2022.
This much-worse-than-normal result for the caring professions is predictably being laid at the feet of ‘Covid’ with the report declaring that the record shortages are “mostly driven by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic”. The report doesn’t elaborate further but underlying its analysis is the blithe assumption, in unquestioning homage to its government master’s line on Covid, that there is a highly virulent virus out there still wreaking havoc on society by forcing Covid-affected care workers to be absent from the workplace through their own illness or mandatory quarantine, whilst the 20% of “frontline healthcare workers increasing their unpaid hours at the peak of the pandemic” from increased Covid-patient demand is resulting in burnout, and resultant work absences, of Covid-free nurses. Covid carnage is apparently still alive and well in Australia.
The media, for its part, is all over this taken-for-granted narrative that it’s ‘Covid wot done it’, with the Australian version of the BBC, the ABC, that zealous megaphone for government Covid propaganda, running with this line as the lede in its reporting which is almost gleeful in documenting yet another of the virus’ superpowers – the ability to cause massive skills shortages in the workforce, particularly in nursing and social care.
Now, I know what you might all be thinking. Ah, Covid Schmovid – it’s the vaxx, stupid. It is precisely nurses, disability and aged care workers which are the occupations most affected by still-ongoing employment mandates for useless, dangerous, experimental Covid ‘vaccines’, coupled with seemingly perpetual mandates for mangy masks, whilst nurse burnout is being caused by increased patient demand not from those ‘afflicted’ with Covid but from the steady patient stream of the vaxx-injured. Nurses themselves would also be amongst the victims of vaxx-injury, or ongoing viral illnesses resulting from their immune system being compromised by the vaxx, thus adding to the staffing pressure this would place on the remaining, healthy, nursing workforce. Ridiculous work absences for clinically meaningless positive PCR tests (a test which has, indeed, been officially retired by even the CDC in the US because it is so clinically inappropriate) is also adding to the burnout of those nurses left standing.
Why wouldn’t a significant number of the workforce in the nursing, aged care and disability sector (other than the Covid True Believers) vote with their feet against the dangerous jab (and stifling mask) requirements. To these ‘voluntary’ job-changers add those jab refusers who were involuntarily sacked and that would all add up to a significant chunk of a workforce who have been forced out or who have otherwise left their chosen occupation, not because of ‘Covid’ as such but because of the misbegotten policies in response to it. Get rid of all the crazy, damaging Covid policies and watch the skills shortage levels shrink back to normal (pre-‘pandemic’) levels.
Australia is not alone in the sacking of ‘unvaccinated’ workers – this particular facet of the bio-fascistic Covid policy zeitgeist was a world-wide trend. In Britain, for example, it is reported that there are some 165,000 vacancies in the nursing and other care sector, of whom some 40,000 were sacked when they declined to be perforated but it is Australia that is at the top of the authoritarian medical tree due to the world-leading fervour of its no-jab-no job mandate. Australia’s ranking as second highest in the OECD for skills shortages, therefore, is directly correlated with the fact that the land downunder is in the absolute top tier of OECD nations for the percentage of the population jabbed, so Australia’s corresponding leading role in the jab-induced shortage of workers makes complete sense.
The Covid Narrative demands nonsense, however. The hysteria, policy panic and vaxx/mask/PCR theatrics must be continued in some way to maintain face otherwise people might conclude that all that befell us was a monumental waste of time, a gigantic and damaging (even criminal) mistake by those who pretended to know what they were doing. The economic, social, political, educational, intellectual, psychological, health and ethical disaster that was thus visited upon us was an act of deliberate political choice by scared politicians wanting to avoid looking bad by ‘letting the virus rip’. It achieved nothing but harm.
Yet, our Covid policy wizards have so much reputation invested in their spells and incantations, their masks and vaxxes, that they can not admit to responsibility for the harm they caused and, so, what they are busily doing is giving us the lame excuse that ‘please Sir, Covid ate my homework’, blaming their poor work on the convenient fall guy of Covid, whether for screwing up the workforce skills issue or any other negative outcome of their Covid policies.
The Covid ‘Left’
Alas, too many people, including those in the Establishment media (whether corporate, state or ‘liberal’ like the Guardian), are buying this thoroughly implausible the-dog-ate-my-homework defence, with no questions asked about any of the Covid policies, especially the disastrous vaxx frenzy, that are actually at fault.
To these bad actors we must add the Covid ‘Left’ which has also been sucked into the “‘it’s all Covid’s fault” fantasy as well. This is the Left that once, quite rightly, used to refer to the language deployed to propagandise imperialist war as a ‘noble cause’ for ‘freedom and democracy’ as being pure bunkum designed to cover for the harmful pursuit of global power and profit. That sort of perspective has gone now, however, and ‘the pandemic’ is taken by the Covid ‘Left’ as read, as the sole, viral, cause of all the disasters of the Covid Era, thus exempting the virus policy suite of Big Pharma and the capitalist state from any scrutiny, let alone blame.
Any self-awareness has evaporated from the Covid ‘Left’ as demonstrated when Australia’s largest ‘Marxist’ grouping, Socialist Alternative (whose Trotskyist genealogy traces back to the SWP/IS, for those interested in political party esoterica) protested the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in Australia which gathered together Australia’s right-of-centre parties and movements (and which was headlined by Nigel Farage).
Socialist Alternative were untroubled by the fact that many of the speakers and participants, some of apolitical background, at the conference had been at the forefront of the Covid wars in Australia by defending, with great courage and at some personal cost, freedom from arbitrary authority, democratic rights against bio-medical power, civil liberties and free assembly, medical autonomy and other values which the Left once proclaimed as their own. Any sense of self-awareness of irony also went missing from the ‘socialist’ protesters whose aim was to physically cancel the free speech rights of the attendees – and, just to make it an irony-free trifecta, the self-proclaimed socialists who were protesting, inter alia, the Right’s dereliction on the science of climate change were all wearing masks, those pre-eminently idiotic symbols of anti-scientific thinking.
Whatever you do, don’t mention the vaxx!
So, whatever they do, the Covid caste must never mention the vaxx as the cause of many of the problems of our Covid Era. Everyone knows it’s the vaxx, of course, but if you’re in charge of the Covid narrative it can never be raised as having anything to do with workforce skills shortages (or with excess deaths, morbidity, disability, etc.).
On the contrary, it is by now second nature to all government ministers, public health bureaucrats, big media-mouths and other Covid collaborators that it is ‘Covid’ the ‘pandemic’, not the deadly vaxx or the laughable ‘Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions’, that must be intoned as the cause of whatever resultant societal ailment we are lumped with. And so, the new killer disease with a near 100% survival rate will be ushered with undeserved fanfare into the viral pantheon of Australia’s four (genuine but ever more moderate) pandemics (the Bubonic Plague of 1900, the Spanish flu of 1918-19, the Asian flu of 1957 and the Hong Kong flu of 1968).
When it comes to what to do about the problems created by the vaxx, anything other than withdrawing the toxic goo (and its associated mandates) is the only safe path to go down for the Covid lunatics. So, Australia’s Skills Minister, the Labor Party’s Brendan O’Connor, sticks to the straight and narrow pollie-speak of more “investment in our own workforce” by throwing yet more money at trades education and apprenticeships, making relevant tertiary degrees (such as nursing) fee-free, financially inducing retired workers back into the workforce, all coupled with the old chestnut of more “permanent skilled migration pathways”. Whatever you do, never, ever address the hypodermic pachyderm in the room.
Basil Fawlty always had ‘the war’ on the tip of his tongue when his hotel guests from Germany lobbed in but he skirts around it until a moose-head wall-trophy falls off and scones him, disabling the impulse control provided by the pre-frontal cerebral cortex – and then he mentions nothing but the war, frequently and volubly. What will be the trigger that opens up our Basils of Covid and gets them to talk about ‘the vaxx’? More celebrity deaths and injures from the jab? A landmark court case? The mooted Royal Commission?
What if the truth is never allowed to come out? Just what will it take to get the ruling Covid class to spill the beans about the vaxx and to offer an apology, reinstatement and compensation for all the former care staff and other workers who have been criminally dudded by the insane policy response to Covid?
Has anyone got a spare stuffed moose-head wall-trophy to hand? I can think of a very good use for it.