Majorca vaccination Programme

Majorca vaccination Programme.

27-04-2021C. VIERA

It was a song about a council worker who saved up his money and let someone into the secret about what he was going to do with his savings. He was going to buy a dinghy and he was going to call it Dignity.

Deacon Blue had their council worker sailing up the west coast of Scotland. People would say: "Isn't she pretty? That ship called Dignity." Ricky Ross has given no particular explanation of the song other than that he was messing around with some lyrics while on holiday in Greece (there is a reference to raki).

But it isn't difficult to place an interpretation on it. Despite everything, i.e. a low-paid job, the protagonist wanted his boat. And in calling it Dignity, he was projecting what he himself sought - dignity. As the ship sailed up the west coast, the admiration of the pretty boat was for him as well.

There was an article the other day, the specifics of which concerned dignity. Jaime Amador in Preferente had headlined his piece - 'The dignity of residents in tourist resorts'. The main point he was making had to do with vaccination. We want the tourists, we want them desperately, but the dignity of residents cannot be forgotten.

Yes, there will be tourists who are vaccinated and some will be immunised, but true respect for residents comes from the requirement to be vaccinated - visitors and residents.

This was a call both to speed up the vaccination programme here and to seek to ensure that the virus isn't imported by tourists. But how realistic is it to believe there can be a wholly risk-free situation? With full immunisation perhaps such a situation will exist, but even if it does not, can dignity be defined purely in terms of vaccination? Is there not also the dignity that comes from working, a dignity that has been stripped away from many in the resorts?

The loss of dignity has been immense, and while vaccination will go a long way to bringing it back, the scars will last. These include asking for help. So many people who had never asked, never wanted, but who have been so reduced in their means that they have to go to the food banks, whose fabulous efforts reflect a particular dignity - that of the generosity of those who give.

Furloughing people cannot substitute the denial of dignity that comes from the workplace and taking pride in one's work. There are those who I have encountered over the past months who have displayed great fortitude, great dignity, but you know that they're aching.

The sense of purpose has been taken away. It is still taken away all these months later. A sense of solace and the clinging-on to dignity comes from the collective experience: so many who have been affected through absolutely no fault of their own. They hold their heads high, they shrug it off, but then there is what they are really thinking.

None of us can be said to have not suffered a loss of dignity. How can we when confronted by scenarios that run counter to all we believe and indeed to what our political masters believe? But there has also been a collective dignity in understanding and accepting the affronts to personal dignity. Observing the lockdown or curfew, adhering to social distance, keeping that mask on.

The collective will of dignity has been that strong that when it is broken and is disrespected, we have every right to feel indignant. Put that bloody mask on! Invoking an individual's human rights counts for nothing when the collective has appreciated that these rights have to be subordinate to the common good and interest.

Now that the mass vaccination process is in as full a swing as it is possible to be, given the supplies, this provides a further example of a collective dignity that would previously have been unimaginable. At the vaccination centre in Inca, I was struck by the processing. Efficient, yes, but there was a feeling of dehumanisation.

A mass production system of step by step - in goes the needle and then it's off to the waiting area, where the human end-products spend their fifteen minutes staring at a wall with, of all things, a large banner publicising tourism in Inca. But everyone is perfectly dignified, as they are all part of the same processing.

This is all about restoring dignity - the normal way of life, the normal way of working, the normal way of tourists in the resorts. The dignity of residents of the resorts (and elsewhere) is being respected, even if there might appear to be a rush of tourism desperation that places this dignity at risk.

We accept it. But nevertheless, there is still the loss. I wonder about a worker who had been saving for a dinghy - a pretty boat for sailing along the west coast of Mallorca. A ship called Dignity.

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