Novak ‘Cassius Clay’ Djokovic – The Beacon of Free Will in the Age of Covid Madness

The current week of adversity might just be the finest moment of Novak Djokovic’s life. If Cassius Clay had stood up as a ‘conscientious objector’ and had ‘refused to serve’ on a matter of principle, Novak has also remained firm on his convictions. Your body is the Temple of the Lord. Getting vaccinated or not is a matter of faith. It is not the place of Big Governments, looking for populist quick-fixes, and working in cahoots with Big Pharma, to tell anyone that he should necessarily get injected, else would be dubbed as a persona-non-grata. Free World should not be operating like that. Australia, India, Japan, Europe and US should not aspire to become China, Russia or Middle East.

Yes, there might be consequences, as Rafa has predicted. Pussies, pygmies and parasites occupy government positions across the world. They might hurt his life, restrict his liberty and harm his livelihood. Novak has staked his stronghold to safeguard his belief. His participation in the AO, where he has been emerging victorious for the past three consecutive years, and which he has won a record nine times, is now well-nigh impossible. What shall an appeal achieve when public offices have failed? Even if he is allowed to stay in Australia, and compete, five days in federal captivity shall ensure that he is totally unprepared for the Big Bash. But then, the pursuit of a mere Grand Slam is not grander than the human quest for freedom.

It is here that Rafael Nadal comes across as a conformist, a lackey, an ‘Uncle Tom’ for those in the authority. He has been programmed for submission. Uncle Toni made a champion out of him by asking him to hit hard, push harder and chase every ball. Rafa did as he was told, and has reaped rich rewards. He wears blinkers, executes orders and thrives on the court. Outside of it, he does not stand for anything. He lacks empathy and feels no solidarity with fellow players. While Novak is the force behind the PTPA (Professional Tennis Players’ Association), a players-only forum which aims to secure better terms and working conditions for all players, Nadal still supports the ATP Players’ Council. Rafa could have used his enviable position as one of the all-time greats to effect change in many fields, but has shied away from assuming the leadership mantle. That he chose not to stand in support of Djokovic’s ‘right to play’ in Australia, even as Isner, Becker, Cilic, Popseil, Sandgren and even Kyrgios- all ended up backing the Serb, and rather chose to sermonize on the virtues of vaccination and his own lack of awareness, comes as no surprise.

Amid all this, one must not forget that the Vaccines are not panacea for all ills. For one, their development has been rushed. Two, Covid vaccines have failed to prevent the transmission of various strains of the virus. At best, they provide individual protection against severe infection. Mildness of symptoms offer one better odds in fighting the affliction. In other words, a double-vaccinated person might still get infected, and infect others, but hopefully won’t require life support. That makes it a matter of private health, and not a public health issue. Omicron has made the limits of vaccination clearer. Boosters also present the risk of habitual/continous jabs till the kingdom come. Presenting vaccines as manna from heaven serves the politicians, bureaucrats and pharmacos well, hence they oversell them.

Of course, the pandemic has place huge pressure on governance structures. While most administrations have received flak for mismanagement, they have struck back by arming themselves with more and more arbitrary and extreme powers. Biden campaigned against supposed-mishandling of China Virus by Trump, but has not been able to control it himself. Hence, after a year in office, which saw more deaths than the previous one, he seems to have given up on ending the disease as he used to boast previously, rather would now be content to control the damage, he has declared. In this regard, it has been made mandatory for all federal employees, and workers in medium and large private enterprises, to get vaccinated (Supreme Court might yet intervene, for liberty is not totally out of fashion). Even the existing mask requirements have been made more stringent to reach ludicrous proportions.

France is currently facing a devastating Delta plus Omicron wave. President Macron, up for re-election in April 2022, is going nuts. Just last week he thundered that he wanted to ‘piss off the unvaccinated’, and would ‘make their lives so miserable and complicated’ that they would end up getting jabbed. The French Parliament has approved Macron’s proposal for Vaccine Passes, by which access to public places like restaurants and theater, and use of public transport shall be regulated. This is in line with the so-called 2G rule of Germany. Italy has now made vaccine mandatory for more than 50 year olds, with teachers and public health workers already obliged to get the shot. Austria has made Covid vaccination compulsory. Western Europe is fast losing patience.

The Free World is shrinking faster than expected. The ‘vaccinated ones’ are losing patience with the unvaccinated humans. Those who have consumed the bitter pill, would not like anyone to take a pass. Therein lies the danger of overenthusiastic policy-making- out of electoral compulsions, public health panic, rise of hate and intolerance, economic logic, pressure from Big Pharma, bureaucratic apathy or Judicial overreach. In India, it is possible for someone to visit a mall, watch a film in a cinema hall, eat at a restaurant or public function, attend a political rally along with thousands of others, and yet be fined for being unmasked in a moving car , even if he is driving alone !

Novak Djokovic has served a big one in these times of unscientific Masks, unreliable Vaccines and impoverishing Lockdowns. The Lineswoman has called him out. He has opted for a Review. There is still a slimmer of hope that it turns out to be an Ace.

But the hope is fading fast, faster than the sphere of freedom is………


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