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By Chris Marshall
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Twitter Sphere: Cats, COVID-19 & Cricket

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Whilst Cats, COVID-19 and Cricket have dominated by Twitter feed this week (not unusual to be fair) by far the most important, and distasteful, issue has been the cyber bullying directed at my blind friend.

They happen to be a journalist, as is their partner, and two more down to earth, kind, generous and understanding people you could not wish to meet. If it is possible to embrace a disability, they do so. They are not remotely sorry for themselves, have as warped a sense of humour as you will ever come across and constantly set themselves challenges that often seem the wrong side of reckless.

Recently accused of faking their own blindness they posted a somewhat graphic video of their prosthetic eyes, which unbelievably failed to stop the doubters and the subsequent comments can only be described as cyber bullying.

Understandably upset they have once again proved their class in the way they have dealt with this, offering support to others that have been on the receiving end, and offering to talk to as many media outlets as are prepared to cover the issue.

We lost our oldest cat, aged 15, last June and we comforted ourselves with the fact that she had not only had a good life, but a long life and she left quickly and with no suffering. Made us think though as we have cats aged 15, 12, 11, and 10, and we had a scare before Christmas with the 15 year old. So it was sort of reassuring, although obviously sad, to read of a couple of cats that died aged 19 and 20 this week.

The fourth test versus India started again this week and if we are lucky it will last until at least the weekend. After the abysmal 2 day loss in the last test hopes are not high, but opinions most certainly are, and once again the negative side of Twitter continued to prove just how quick people are to take sides: as evidenced between a rather public slagging match between a male England cricketer and a female England cricketer. On the flip side there are some very knowledgeable, funny and friendly people around. I have always been happy to meet up with people from Twitter that I interact with regularly and I am looking forward to when the season starts up and fans are allowed as there are some Yorkshire and Warwickshire members I plan to have a beer or two with.

And so to COVID-19, where I am mow the only one of our admittedly small family not to have been vaccinated. We never discussed if anyone was going to refuse the vaccine and I can’t say I know anyone that has, although I know of a few that have. I respect their decision and the fact that they have not tried to persuade others not too. I remain bemused by those whose sole mission in life seems to be to prevent others from doing what they want, but then again Twitter (as indeed life) is nothing if not two faced!

By way of example I posted my view that digital vaccine passports would be introduced, and I posed the question as to how many of those opposed to a passport would maintain their resolve when faced with ‘going without’ as a result of their decision.

At no point did I express an opinion as to whether I thought the passports were a god or bad idea (for the record, good), or is someone as wrong to refuse to use them.

Long story short, one user told me in no uncertain terms that they were LEGALLY ENTITLED to go into a pub, and the fact the vaccine was voluntary meant that they COULD NOT be penalised for not having it.

I replied that I was no legal expert and the fact that they were so sure (they wrote in CAPITALS after all) I would accept their superior expertise but could they please explain how a Landlords rights not to serve someone would be effected by this LEGAL ENTITLEMENT, how a restaurant requiring people to adhere to a dress code would hold up against this LEGAL ENTITLEMENT.

I am posting this here as 5 days later I am still waiting for a reply.

My point is that people seem very adept at picking an argument that has nothing to do with the original post, using CAPITALS to convince you they are right ie SHOUTING and then when they don’t get their own way sulking.

A final thought. Have you noticed how those that argue something is their Human Right regularly ignore the fact that the opposing position is more often than not a human right for the other person: yes you have a human right to not be vaccinated, but I have a human right to be protected by the government. Go figure that out an I will see you next week.

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