Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday January 11, 2022
Novak Djokovic and trying to understand the divisive tennis-Jesus
Why try to explain the anti-vaccine creed of the world’s most-reviled refusenik? I guess because the most radical thing you can currently do is try to see both sides.
“A global shift will occur when each individual finds the courage to awaken from the mass amnesia.” Yes, I read the personal manifesto of Novak Djokovic’s wellness guru so you don’t have to.
It is no secret that the world’s No 1 celebrity Covid outlaw, currently awaiting his fate in an agreeably everyday Melbourne hotel, is a long-term student of somebody called Chervin Jafarieh, described, on his own website, as “one of the most respected and influential health experts in the world”. Jafarieh is a familiar type, the magnetic personality, the handsome and piercing spirit guide who accepts all major credit cards and looks like he might smell of musk and whale-song and concentrated human-power while he stands slightly too close to you in the lift.
The manifesto is lush and persuasive and, frankly, bang on about lots of stuff. Novak’s guy is worried about pollution and climate change, also “militarism, urbanization, carbon combustion, mining of metals and toxic materials, manufacturing of chemicals and biological poisons”. Mainly he’s obsessed with intake and the body, and this seems to be the thing about Djokovic’s vaccine hesitancy, at least in public. Djokovic has staged his own super-spreader event, has provided an anti-science role model, but he has also bought ventilators for hospitals, set up a Covid fund and done generous, charitable, believer-type things.