And suddenly the vaccine, through no fault of its own, became the existential foundation for everything there is, including our divisions.
The world has become too small for these divisions.
Races, nations, religions, ideologies, generations, genders, sexual orientations, levels of education, places of origin, languages, cultural groups, styles, clubs, clans, genres… One of the seemingly most difficult tasks – especially in this logorrheic digital era – is the attempt of reconciliation or, God forbid, neutrality among opposing sides of the countless categories of belonging.
Our Balkan vicinity has historically grown accustomed to, and even addicted to, dying in the name of all sorts of flags; each new division was welcomed eagerly and with great love to hate. So, we are well prepared for this new one, very fitting to the new era we are living in.
Ladies and gentlemen, comrades, brothers, and sisters, these and others – after feudalism, capitalism, socialism, and consumerism, it is an honour to introduce you to vaccinationalism, our new cause for division.
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Those of you unfamiliar with the anti-vaxxer rhetoric are probably unaware of the expression ’muzzler’. This nickname (cousin of the flat-earther’s ’rounders’) is attached to those who wear masks with the – to paraphrase those opposing vaccination – ’insane idea to protect themselves or others from the virus that does not exist, and has been created with the intention to subjugate us’. The vaccine also serves to ’chip’ and therefore survey the human race, although some moderate anti-vaxxers consider the vaccine to be dangerous because it contains substances which are life-threatening to those who are wanting to protect their lives by way of immunisation. It’s complicated.
Opposite this army of pandemic sceptics are, for example, high-strung vaccinationalists, mostly found in the editorial board rooms of dissatisfied tabloids and news portals. They cannot start their work-hysterical day without publishing the next pandemic tragedy which will befall us unless we all vaccinate. Infodemics are the more mellow version of this ’wing’, and they dedicate every minute of their existence to new information about the vaccine, which would seemingly have less of an effect if we weren’t sufficiently informed on it. And we aren’t.
In short, these are the basic divisions within vaccinationalism, a social order based on the thought that our civilization is not suited to anti-pandemic measures.
So, the two-installment vaccine is the only way to prevent this very demanding illness – too demanding to healthcare systems, the economy, culture and politics. And suddenly, the vaccine, through no fault of its own, became the existential foundation for everything there is, including our divisions.
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In our local Vicinity it is no longer ’in’ to be an ’outdated’ national fundamentalist, because any mention of border reorganisation, a reevaluation of the historical context, reconstruction of ’the environment’ lead only to a bored response, followed by a yawn. ’We don’t really care, do you have anything on the Vaccine?’
And it no longer matters who Tesla or Ivo Andric, or Brcko and Prevlaka belong to – who does the surringe belong to? So, it is now trendy to be a Vaccinationalist. The new nationalism is tasked with promoting the Vaccine’s nationality. Pfizer (American), Sputnik (Russian), Sinewhatever (Chinese)… ’Our’ one, whichever that is, has so many advantages over ’theirs’. Psychologically entrenched chequers, eagles, lillies, and who knows what else, have been replaced by new flags with crossed surringes underneath farmaceutical logos. On one hand, this makes as much sense as any division we’ve had until now, and on the other hand it is the greatest legacy the Vaccine has brought us. We have downgraded from granades, bullets, and bayonets – we now fight with needles; a weapon entirely adequate to the role, power, and significance we all hold.
In the universe and any other vicinity.