It’s late 2024. The queues at the Covid Clinics Incorporated outlet move swiftly as people “QR” in and head for their gate. At the station they press an arm against a hard plastic shape moulded into the wall. There’s a hole through which a robotic device administers a jab. It’s like a tattoo machine hooked to a sheep drench pack full of BoosterTM.
The current Covid strain is the Ku variant (we’re up to the 21st letter of the ancient Mayan alphabet) but there’s been a split among the people. Society now comprises the “vaxxed” – who can show they’ve had their eighth booster – and the “unclean” – who can’t.
The second group is widely shunned by officialdom, colleagues, friends and even family. It includes the original Refusenicks – the ones who first felt the force of the bans and exclusions for eschewing the vaccines. They proudly call themselves “cleanskins” and some of them know about Bill Gates’ plan to use vaccine shots to ID chip everyone with a latter-day Mark of Cain. We’ll need one to pay for our Microsoft App subscriptions and protein.
The second group includes people from all walks and beliefs, many of whom are on their sixth and seventh booster. They are in the unclean group for many reasons – including simple exhaustion from trying to outrun the virus.
The unclean go to the shops as little as possible, fearful they’ll be stopped by a masked police officer.
Keeping South Australians safe is a key police mission (it’s even written on the side of their cars) so when a driver tests low for “hygiene status” they’re hit with a five-day “counselling camp” inside a medi-hotel.
On the whole, the unclean are happy to wear a mask in public for two main reasons. They think masks hide their identity (they don’t) but, more importantly, recent research has shown a facemask makes people look more attractive.