We interrupt this travel documentary for a news update
Finally, a bit of good news. Despite not declaring his vaccination status, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic was allowed to remain in Australia (although it is not clear yet if he will be allowed to play, or if they will cancel his visa later on).
Germany has delayed its mandatory vaccination program, and it might not be made into law for now. The large protests here appear to have made a difference.
Italy actually has some sort of mandatory vaccination for over 50s, but the fee for non-compliance is relatively low (100 Euro), so I don’t think it will affect much those who really don’t want it.
More importantly, many people are slowly realizing that authoritarian measures such as lockdowns, “vaccine passports” and mask and vaccine mandates not only cause much discontent, and lots of other social and economic problems, but are also pointless to contain the disease, which in the latest variant is much milder anyway, so they might as well be scrapped.
I don’t know if it’s “Omicron”, but I have talked to a few people who had the disease recently — some vaccinated, some not — and all the cases were pretty mild. There was not the same feeling of panic that there was last year; corona may or may not be here to stay, but it’s no longer the scary story it once was.
As winter slowly fades, I’m optimistic that things will be improving also on the bureaucratic front, with stricter measures being quietly removed.
Perhaps the sanest thing that the authorities can do now is, like Bush in Iraq or Biden in Afghanistan, “declare victory” against corona and end all restrictions. I don’t know if it’s going to happen, as authorities have not been acting very sanely for a while, but it no longer feels like this general state of craziness will last forever. And this is good.
But of course, it’s not over until it’s over.