If receiving vaccination promotes acceptance, should the unvaxxed be vexed in this social status?
Being stuck onboard close to a year (or more) is akin to being away from civilisation. Just when a seafarer finally gets to sign-off, being unvaccinated turns him/her into a social outcast. For the right or wrong reasons, such is debatable.
It is common onshore today; vaccinated people would avoid their peers who did not receive the jab due to various reasons – mostly under the pretext of minimising health risks. Some of the world’s population remain adamant in refusing to be vaccinated unless they have full assurance of protection against the deadly virus. The reasons range from insufficient data to prove the efficacies, to genuine allergic reactions that could be fatal. Despite that, onshore discrimination has made its grand entrance. This is on top of the onboard discrimination seafarers often have to deal with, stemming from language and cultural barriers, plus working styles.
If societal connection and acceptance is determined by aligning difficult “differences”, the world at large owes the global cohort of seafarers a big apology. At the bare minimum, nobody has heard of seafarers refusing to work at high-risk countries. Neither has any seafarer been said to be non-compliant to COVID-19 related measures; multiple tests and quarantines.
Surely, most seafarers if given a choice, would go for the vaccinations. The major problem now is slow distribution and certainly not the crew’s fault. Till the time when seafarers are granted access to vaccines, some empathy would be desirable. Discrimination onboard is not for the faint-hearted, neither is it acceptable over disagreeing to disagree. While such behaviour is not encouraged, it is not enforceable either.
Crewing Online News Team
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