Watching the BBC interview with Novak this morning and seeing all the the “respect”, “true champion”, “legend”, “professional athlete” comments floating around social, eugh.
This is the problem of the media and the way sensationalise. At cursory glance, the key takeaway for anyone from that video — put yourself and your body first. Kudos Novak!
Digging deeper, it’s actually very misleading.
I completely respect that as an athlete, or anyone, you have and should have ownership over your body and how you treat it.
I will roll in pain refusing to take a paracetamol despite knowing that it’ll make my life better, but I’ll winge anyway — because I hate putting in unwanted chemicals.
I will not take birth control despite knowing I will have needless panic attacks regardless of other contraception — because I don’t want to fuck up my normal functioning womanly systems.
But unlike the examples above — the argument here is not about taking vs not taking something. The argument is not about taking a vaccine vs NOT taking a vaccine. It’s about taking a vaccine or potentially getting infected with COVID and/or passing it on to other vulnerable patients. And that’s the flaw.
Novak has apparently seen enough evidence to know that he doesn’t want vaccine in his body — but has he nor his advisors seen the evidence of the impacts of COVID short-term and long-term?
The severity of symptoms are higher when you’re not vaccinated.
The impact of long COVID is higher when you’re not vaccinated. (Fun Fact: BBC releases this article as well at the same time)
Long COVID symptoms include reduced lung capacity, fatigue, breathlessness — stuff I would imagine an athlete would worry about.
“The principles of decision-making on my body are more important than any title” — but I will risk getting infected and potentially suffer the health consequences of never playing ever again?!
Not to mention that unlike paracetamol and birth control which are individual health choices, we’re talking about a global pandemic impacting EVERYONE — a choice that you make not only for yourself but for people around you.
So, you’re putting yourself and everyone at risk because of the principles of decision making on your body? That fine line between self-care vs selfish leaves a bad taste in my mouth.