Roll Out! Roll Out!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

A slightly cynical look at the governmental decisions regarding vaccine roll out. Please, no one take offense - I am in the 'societal chaff' group.

Cover image:

Roll Out! Roll Out!

There’s a spider lurking in the corner of the room. It is unnoticed by all those that are gathered around the table, each one secure that their words will reach no other ears. It spins its web.

All those gathered have already received their double dose of vaccination, for no one can argue that governing the country is not THE MOST vital of tasks. Priority treatment went without saying, all kept quiet, for society as a whole might not quite grasp that fact. But that now done, there were important decisions to be made, for these were desperate times.

The man at the top of the table spoke up. “The elderly, of course, must be the first priority. The virus poses far greater threat to the mortality of those above the age of...” He paused, for different governments seemed to be opting for different figures. Some countries included all those at or above the retirement age, while others said the over 70’s and others the over 80’s.

A woman that was seated on his left spoke up. “I’d plump for 75 as the starting age. And those that are in nursing homes, of course. These are the ones that are most likely to suffer fatal complications.”

The man at the top of the table nodded. “That sounds reasonable to me. Goodness knows we would not survive as a government if we did anything less.”

A man seated half way down the right of the table raised his hand, indicating that he wanted to speak. “Those that are working in the care homes will need to be made a priority, as well as those involved in elderly care inside our many hospitals.”

There was a general murmur of agreement, and the man on the right made some notes. The figures were rising, but they should be manageable within two months or so.

“We mustn’t forget those with known health issues outside of that age-range. We’ll need to consult with the chief medical health person, find out what conditions must be included, and how many known sufferers there are.”

“What about those not yet diagnosed?” asked a woman at the far end of the table.

“Wake up, woman!” The man at the head of the table leaned forward. “This is a pandemic. New diagnosis are not being made, and therefore we do not have to concern ourselves with their existence.”

“There are a lot of essential workers out there,” someone else pointed out. “The most obvious ones revolve around health care, drug manufacture and dispensing. Then there are all those that work within the food chain, from farmers, hauliers, manufacturers, distributors, and those on the front line – the shop workers.”

“Figures, anyone?” The man with the notepad asked.

“Construction, house maintenance, emergency cover for water, gas, electricity. All those involved in the running of local infrastructure...”

No one replied, but everyone knew that the figures must have risen astronomically.

“Schools and higher education need to be up there too.” Another voice spoke up from somewhere. “We can’t do without educated students entering into the labour market.”

The man with the notepad scratched his head. “So, all educational institution staff and pupils.” He exhaled forcefully. “Seems to me that we are getting through almost the entire population. Someone is going to have to go last. The unemployed?”

“No, that wouldn’t be a good idea, for there are going to be an increase in vacancies as workers succumb to the virus,” a man almost seated opposite him said. “But I’ve got a good idea of who should be pushed to the end of the queue.”

All eyes turned towards the man, waiting, and he seemed to suck up the attention for he waited one, two... thirty seconds, before clearing his throat.

“I’d have thought it was obvious. There is a whole group that represent nothing more than societal chaff. Those who make no contribution, such as stay-at-home dependants, the long-term unemployed that are too old to ever have much, if any, chance of ever finding a job. Let’s say, those aged between 45 and 65 who fall into either of those categories.”

There were a few frowns around the table but no one voiced a challenge.

“There’s more,” he continued.

“Well, get on with it, man! This is a crisis meeting not a tea party.”

The man who had put forward the suggestion smiled. “There’s also the context of funds to consider.”

“Hang on a minute,” another man spoke up. “My sister would fall into the category of a stay-at-home partner and she does not receive government funding for anything.”

“But she will. Don’t you see; all these people are going to become the future pensioners. There’s been plenty of talk about the rising costs of this. If some of them should... die... well, we’ve saved their entire pension, haven’t we.”

“Society won’t buy it,” the man at the top of the table said.

“Forgive me for disagreeing with you, sir, but this is the only group of society that would not have organized representatives baying for their rights. No one cares, other than their own immediate family. It makes sense.”

Several heads around the table shook, but it was a half-hearted disagreement.

“Look,” he continued, wanting to push his point home. “This whole thing is costing a fortune. Any bit of money saved has got to be a good thing. And who knows, maybe none of them will even get sick. Someone has got to go last, and I say it should be this group.”

“Would anyone like to speak up against the motion.” The man at the top of the table looked at each individual in turn. No one met his eyes, but no one spoke up either. “No? Final chance? There will be no going back on it afterwards and we must present a united front.”

“What about those in that group that have underlying health problems, but have not sought medical help?”

“What about them?” The man stood slightly from his seat. “If they have not received a diagnosis then the condition, in our eyes, does not exist.”

“The fact is that someone is going to have to be last in the queue,” the man in charge said. “Does anyone have a different idea?”

There was silence in the room apart from the ticking of the clock. “Okay, then, that’s what we’ll go with. And who knows, maybe none of them will die. Meeting adjourned.”

As the chairs were pushed from the table and those gathered got to their feet, the spider scuttled across the ceiling and squeezed through a gap in the corner.

Submitted: January 13, 2021

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Donald Harry Roberts

hammer and nail, hammer hits the nail on the head and the truth is driven home...well said Hully Q

Wed, January 13th, 2021 7:43pm


Thanks, DH.

Wed, January 13th, 2021 11:48am

Mike S.

A fine scurrying spider tale, Hull

Wed, January 13th, 2021 8:39pm


Thanks, Mike.

Thu, January 14th, 2021 7:02am

Joe Stuart

Speaking as one of the 'elderly' I don't want priority over younger people, especially those who have families to support and whose jobs contribute to society. You made a good story out of this, Hully.

Wed, January 13th, 2021 10:47pm


It was never intended to be taken too seriously, Joe. Just a spider-on-the-wall listen in, on possible conversations that have been and still are taking place. Thanks for reading.

Thu, January 14th, 2021 6:59am

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