An iconic Tassie venue will make vaccination mandatory for its employees, according to a memo from its owner.
MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart, which also owns the city’s famous Dark Mofo festival, sent a memo to its staff from David Walsh last week explaining the move.
“Most of Mona’s staff are exposed to the public,” he said in the memo.
“Most people who visit Mona are nice, friendly, and respectful. But there’s a small chance that each of them is a reservoir for that beastly COVID virus.
“I’d like to mandate vaccines for the public, too, but that’d be unfair to, for example, kids. We like kids at Mona. And we like risk at Mona. But we like our staff more.”
Walsh said that while some might think the move was harsh, the alternative would be worse.
“A few staff might think we are trampling on their rights, but the one right they think we are restricting doesn’t exist,” he said.
“Yes, it’s harsh to deprive someone of their livelihood for the good of others. And it’s harsh to deprive someone of their licence for running red lights. Harsh, but necessary.”
In the memo, Walsh used a story about his decision to obey traffic light rules while driving his children to school to illustrate his stance on vaccination.
“Of course I could have ignored those dastardly traffic lights, but ignoring them, potentially, has consequences. I might get in trouble with the very authorities that I’m resisting. Is running those lights a legitimate protest?” he said.
“Perhaps I should run those lights, window down, arm out, middle finger extended. But if I run those lights, others might suffer.
“Most times, though, I’ll get through unscathed, and cause no diminishment to others. Am I feeling lucky, punk? And anyway, aren’t we a bunch of self-interested, greed-is-good, motherf**king capitalists? Why should I look after others?”
Despite this, the eccentric millionaire said he stopped at the red light, and so did everyone else.
“If traffic lights are a part of a global conspiracy to turn us all into pawns of the government, or Bill Gates, or 5G, then I’m a government tool. Or just a tool. And so is everybody else,” he continued.
“I’m going to make vaccination mandatory for staff at Mona.
“When you go to work unvaccinated, there’s a small chance you’ll get COVID, and an even smaller chance you’ll die.
“But, each time you take that risk, there is a small chance you’ll kill someone else (it’s multiplicative). That’s not okay.”
He went on to liken the risk of dying from a COVID-19 vaccine to the risk of drowning in a bathtub.
“Sometimes traffic lights fail. But we don’t turn them off. That’d kill more people. We keep them on, because mostly, inefficiently and grudgingly, we serve the greater good,” Walsh said.
He promised to give a “decent interval to get vaccinated” and said that MONA would even help make appointments if necessary.
Walsh, who is also a professional gambler, opened MONA in 2011 after making his fortune by creating a gambling system to bet on horseracing.
Featured image source: Facebook/MONAmuseum