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2022, a short story.

I've never understood why people don't get vaccinated. I was nervous, but apart from a sore arm for a couple of days, I was fine.

I felt safer after the the second jab. No one wants injections, but it's what you have to do. To keep everyone safe. For the community. I just want things to go back to normal.

Finally we've hit 80% and I'm back at work. We could have been there sooner if it wasn't for those selfish anti-vaxxers. We are over lockdowns for good!

I am so looking forward to 2022, I'm saving for a trip to Bali with my friends, and my favourite cousin Emma has her wedding in May. It's going to be a great year. Things will be back to normal.

It's Christmas and I'm in Melbourne visiting Mum and Dad. We had the best day ever, I cried after not seeing them for over 2 years. Thank goodness the worst is behind us and I can visit them whenever I want.

The only bad part of the trip was getting stuck in traffic for 4 hours thanks to those idiot protestors. I don't even know what they're protesting about. Why don't they just get the jab? It's what you have to do.

It's the New Year and I was a little surprised to get a text today telling me I need a booster. I suppose it wears off and it is 6 months now. I'm booked in for Tuesday.

I had the booster but it didn't go so well. Immediately I got the most awful headache, I had to lie down for the rest of the day. I vomited all night. My eyes went blurry, I had trouble standing up. I nearly went back to the doctors but my friend Sam told me it just means its working. It's no big deal. I'm sure I'll be fine in a few days.

4 weeks has passed and I'm still sick. I'm tired all the time. I have these strange bruises and I don't remember how I got them. I have nausea all the time and I've lost my appetite. Sometimes my heart feels like it's beating too fast. I went to see my doctor. I told him it was from the shot, but he didn't say anything. My arm is still sore. He ran some tests and told me to rest. He said I'm probably coming down with the flu.

I got the flu. It was the worst flu ever, I mean really, really bad. I don't recall ever being sick like that. I couldn't get out of bed for days. And I still have a sore arm. I used up all my sick days. I don't know how I'm going to get through the next week at work. We're short staffed, some people left because they wouldn't get the jab. My friend Jo tried to sue our boss, but she lost the case. It cost her a lot of money. Stupid really.

My cousin Emma cancelled the wedding. Her boyfriend and the best man are anti-vaxxers. They could only have 10 in the wedding party. No singing or dancing. I'm kind of glad because I'm still sick, I don't feel up to a wedding and I don't want to be around anti-vaxxers.

I went back to the doctor for the 8th time. I wish I never got the booster. I was fine til then, and it's been 5 months. I asked my doctor to report me as a vaccine injury, but he wouldn't do it. He's given me a heap of pills to take, I don't even know what half of them are for, but I can barely function without them. I get the feeling he doesn't really know what's wrong with me.

I've had to cut back to working 4 days a week. It's getting harder to make it through the split shifts. I just get so tired. But I've still got enough saved for my Bali trip. Thank goodness I have that to look forward too.

I got a text today. My next booster is due because of the new variant. They say it's more deadly. They say we'll be going into lockdown unless enough have the booster. I still don't know anyone that's had it, but they say it's bad. I'm really scared.

I haven't booked in yet. I'm really worried. I'm still sick from the last jab, although my doctor says it's not related. I know it is. I was fine before then and I was so sick afterwards. How can it not be related? I'm going to find another doctor. I've lost a lot of weight. I can't eat a lot of the foods I used too. My friend Sam says I look terrible. Thanks Sam.

I went to meet Sam for a coffee. I haven't seen her for ages. I was so embarrassed when my check-in didn't work. They wouldn't let me in the cafe. The lady called me an anti-vaxxer. It was awful. I was so humiliated. I'm not an anti-vaxxer!! I didn't know what to do. I don't want another shot. I cried for hours when I got home.

Then my work rang, they need my updated certificate. I panicked and lied that I had it and I'll bring it in next week. I'm so scared. I don't know what to do. I don't want another shot. This is so unfair.

Then I had another episode. This time I vomited up blood. I'm really worried. I found another doctor but they'll only treat me by Zoom because I'm 'not vaccinated'. I felt like screaming. The receptionist was really rude to me.

My new doctor says I have 'gut issues'. She prescribed more pills. They don't seem to making much difference. I can hardly eat except very plain foods. She say I should take the booster but I really don't want to. I'm so scared of what might happen.

I was fired today. I went to work but they kept hassling me for my certificate. I told them I was still sick from the last shot and I can't take another one but they didn't care. I had to cancel my trip to Bali. I needed the money for rent. Mum and Dad are very worried about me. They offered to pay for me to visit but I realised I can't travel to Melbourne without my certificate.

I need help. I need someone to talk to who understands. I remembered Jo who I used to work with. She was always going on about the vaccine injured and going to protests. I tried to find her on Facebook but Sam said they deleted her from social media because she's an anti-vaxxer.

I can't go anywhere, not even to the hairdressers. My doctor told me to exercise but they won't let me in the gym. I had to cancel my membership. It's so unfair. How can they treat people like this?

I applied for unemployment benefits but they refused my application because I'm not vaccinated. Mum and Dad sent me money, but they are pensioners. They can't afford to support me. I'm so scared I don't know what to do. This is a nightmare. I can't believe this is happening!

My friends are avoiding me because I'm not jabbed. Sam promised to visit but she didn't show up. She's off to Bali with the girls. They don't care about me anymore. I hate them all. How can they treat me like this?

I had another episode, I fainted in the backyard hanging out the washing and the neighbour called an ambulance. They tried to give me the booster but I refused. They told me I had to have it or I had to leave, so I left. It was horrible. How can they treat people like this?

I felt suicidal today. I don't see a way out. I've been sick for nearly 8 months. I've lost my job, my friends, my whole life. I can't even visit my parents. I never thought things would end up like this.

I'm so scared I don't know what to do. How can they treat people like this? Forcing injections on people is not right. I feel like I'm in a horror movie.

Why didn't anyone speak up when Jo got fired? When I got fired?

Why didn't anyone do something?

Why didn't I say something? Now it's too late. I'm so scared. I don't know what to do.

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