When the proprietors of the Curlwaa Caravan Park stated that they would soon only be admitting customers who had been properly vaccinated against COVID-19, they did not consider themselves to be being controversial.
Ric Young, the owner of the caravan park, which is located on the banks of the Murray River, said that he made the decision to require guests to be vaccinated out of concern for their safety.
He was worried not just for the often-elderly customers who came to the park, but also for his father Brian, who was also a frequent visitor.
A persistent lung condition has caused Brian, who is 78 years old, to live in a cabin in the park, where he says he “has difficulty breathing at the best of times.”
Everything would be the end of it if Brian were to get COVID, he said.
However, when the park announced on Facebook that it would be enforcing obligatory vaccination, the response was sudden and disturbing
In the space of 15 seconds, comments on the announcement were pouring in.
People were threatening to sue them, indicating they would boycott the park and spread the words to their friends to stay away.
Like any announcement of this type in these times, negative feedback was expected, but they were floored as to the extent and duration as to which it has come.
The policy was referred to as “illegal” and “discrimination” in the remarks, which were accompanied by furious criticism.
They were sitting there, really taken aback by what we were seeing. The way in which people spoke and commented online was so disrespectful, Ric states.
However, after the publishing of this story, the tide started to change, with more than 1,000 positive comments made on the Facebook page in response to it. The comments on the post are now up to 3000 and climbing.
One person stated: “I just read the ABC story, and although I have no idea where you are, I would be delighted to visit and stay at a park that requires vaccinations of all visitors. Congratulations for taking the initiative.”
Hundreds of emails and 300 Facebook messages of support have been received by Ric Young, according to him.
Ric was delighted with the outpouring of comments in support of their decision.
This is Not a Contentious Issue.
The Caravan Park’s statement was in accordance with the state’s plan for moving out of lockdown.
As soon as 70 percent of individuals over the age of 16 have had both vaccinations, fully vaccinated people throughout NSW will be permitted to travel inside the state.
However, the Caravan Park made its objectives clear from the beginning, and although Mr Young anticipated some negative feedback for the position, the magnitude of some of the reactions was disappointing.
This is not the Australian way of doing things, according to him. “We’re meant to look out for one other, and that’s not happening.”
We are Not Backing Down.
Despite the uproar, Mr. Young and his wife Margot chose not to take the post down from the social media site.
Mr Young said that the abuse was being perpetrated by a loud but tiny minority and that the support he got in private gave him confidence that they were making the correct choice.
He had some reservations whether or not they should keep the notice published, but his wife urged him to stick to his guns. This was their business and their beliefs.
They have since been receiving private messages from supporters indicating their intention to visit the caravan park once the borders were open.