Use The Bus Pass Instead of the Vaccine Passport...
5th Apr 2021
A lot of people have a bee in their bonnet at the
moment about vaccine passports and the supposedly grave threat they pose to our
rights, privacy and freedom to travel to different countries.
Chances are that most of us would happily hand over whatever data we're asked
for to be able to jet off on a sun holiday: our PPS number, a recording of
every phone call we've ever made, our entire internet history, a couple of DNA
swabs, video footage of a recent colonoscopy and how often you’ve been to Dubai
for a boob job.
With the recent change in how people are selected
for a vaccine to an age-based system and the overwhelming enthusiasm for
getting jabbed among the Irish public (which must be soul destroying for the
anti-vax crowd), surely there's merit in going back to the familiar system of
just having the date of birth on your ID checked by a menacing-looking bouncer anytime
you want to get into a potential super-spreader event for the great un-jabbed?
Take sports events for example. When the Cork hurlers and footballers open
their account in the 2021 Munster championship, most Cork hurling fans won't be
vaccinated so there's no chance we'll see the Blackrock Terrace or the Town End
of Semple Stadium bouncing to the rhythm of "Rebels! Rebels!" with
frantic flag waving and the odd red firework when Hoggie hits the back of the
net this year.
But with all over-65's jabbed by then, it would be shame to repeat the
completely silent stadiums of last season when this cohort of GAA-mad Corkonians
could add some much-needed atmosphere even if it means a lot of cranky auld
fellas shaking their heads as Hoggie slots over point number 17 saying
"yerra, he's no Christy Ring!".
Wouldn't it be great to let our Rebel Golden Oldies go and support Cork on
behalf of the whole county? A quick flash of a bus pass or a Viagra prescription
at the turnstiles should be enough to permit entry and a bring-your-own-blanket
policy should ensure no complaints about the cold either.
It'll be a chance for the young-at-heart to show us how loud they can roar on
the teams even if it means a constant barrage of false teeth piling up on the
edge of the pitch. And if it comes down to a heart stopping finish again
between Cork and Kerry, there are more defibrillators in stadiums these days
than you can shake a walking stick at.
If the vaccine rollout ends up becoming the inevitable HSE cluster-shambles
that we all fear, and people under 60 are still waiting for their first shot in
October because of "an unavoidable IT systems failure" then what better way to ensure the jazz still
goes ahead than making it a pensioners-only festival?
Indoor events are a big no-no for our NPHET overlords, as it's where the Boris
Johnson variant of covid-19 thrives - bouncing desperately from host to host
like a cornered Brexit negotiator trying to find an economic sector to destroy.
But if everyone in the room is up to their eyes in Pfizer and Astra Zeneca's
vaccine soup then let the oldies get down and boogie on their own while the
rest of us sit at home doing yet another painfully boring zoom quiz.
With genres like indie, pop and hip-hop, performers are considered over the
hill if they are old enough to grow a proper beard but jazz is the opposite.
The greyer and longer the beard the more musical wisdom you are considered to have
accumulated, so playing the same distressingly dissonant pattern of notes over
and over again on a xylophone for four minutes like a skipping CD is not a sign
of someone slowly losing their marbles, but a sign of their deep understanding
of the true value of repetitious harmonic undertones.
Anyway, the point is, unlike other music festivals
there should be no problem filling the jazz festival line-up with "legends"
– a label used to describe musicians who haven’t had any musical success since
1975. Fully vaccinated "legends", of course.
Even aside from who's on the bill, surely there's a lot to be said for being
able to go to a festival to enjoy some music and a pint of the black stuff
without the constant threat of some young langball stumbling on to the stage
balloobas drunk, and suddenly projectile-vomiting into an auld fella’s
Now, that’s a festival Cork could be proud to blow its own horn about.
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