Ben O’Shea: COVID anti-vaxxers returning to work in WA should look in the mirror

Anyone who thinks that the divisions created in our society by the COVID vaccine will disappear now that the McGowan administration has abolished the mandates is kidding themselves.

I love sitting around the campfire as much as the next person singing Kumbaya, but there hasn’t been enough water under the bridge to forget the behavior of that one percent of West Aussies who refused to get the jab.

Just bringing this point up will make some people angry, but don’t shoot the messenger – I wasn’t one of the plonkers who made the puppet of Mark McGowan as Kim Jong-un.

Your loyal columnist also did not send death threats to journalists or post dangerous and embarrassingly idiotic misinformation on social media.

Camera icon Anti-vaccine protesters outside Perth Police Complex. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

While the rest of us rolled up our sleeves to protect ourselves and the most vulnerable in our society from a pandemic that cost millions, these selfish few chose ignorance; they chose Joe Rogan over epidemiologists.

Colleagues, friends, and relatives, who previously may have seemed reasonably sensible, were labeled conspiracy theorists at best and complete madmen at worst.

Is that the kind of coworker you look forward to at the water cooler?

It’s like finding out that your buddy is a die-hard fan of the boy band Hanson – how will your friendship ever recover from that?

The Western Australian received an internal memo from Rio Tinto confirming that the mining giant would welcome workers without vax from June 10.

Good luck with that.

Someone willing to leave a FIFO job paying a high six-figure salary for refusing to get the jab will likely be on the more end of the anti-vax spectrum.


So we’re talking about constant Facebook posts about the pandemic being fake, Big Pharma, and who knows what else.

They would have hijacked Warnie’s death as proof that the vaccine was causing heart attacks or even part of the protests that took over the city.

Camera IconAnti-vaxers target 7NEWS reporter Geof Parry. Credit: 7NEWS/7NEWS

And how do you think someone who continues like this will handle his return to the workplace?

With gratitude? With remorse?

Maybe, but I’ve already heard of an anti-vax worker who returned to his company after his tenure and wasted no time calling his colleagues “sheep” who will face vaccine-related health problems for years.

Is that the kind of coworker you look forward to at the water cooler for a Stranger Things debrief?

Who needs Vecna ​​when you have a resident anti-vaxxer in the office constantly telling you that the Pfizer shot made you infertile?

I’m not advocating discrimination against anyone, and if we all got along, that’s the best outcome for WA.

But if anti-vaxxers feel ostracized when they return to the workplace, they should look in the mirror before blaming someone else for their predicament.

John D.Mayne
I love to write. When I wasn’t writing for my school newspaper or college blog, I was writing personal essays and journal entries. Then I discovered I loved to write. In college, I wrote for my school paper and my campus radio show. I started doing freelance writing for the Huffington Post in 2009. Then, I joined the team at Newsmyth as a writer/editor. Now, I spend most of my time writing for Newsmyth and as a guest blogger on a handful of other blogs. When I’m not writing, I like to read, travel, cook, and spend time with friends.