New Zealand's most beautiful city (it's official) saw some ugly scenes on Wednesday as protesters disrupted the Prime Minister's visit.
It was a stain on our city's reputation, but it should be remembered these were the actions of a few.
That doesn't mean we should disregard what they've done. These things have consequences, whether it's keeping people who need vaccinations away from the clinic they surrounded yesterday, or preventing Jacinda Ardern from supporting local efforts to make a difference in the roll-out.
New Zealanders have the right to protest. It's one of our valued freedoms.
But freedom from the bounds of Covid is something a lot more of us are looking forward to.
And we know that freedom is tied to a strong vaccination turnout.
Epidemiologist Rod Jackson said this week it's only a matter of time until we're all immunised against Covid-19. It will be those who willingly refuse the vaccine who will be immunised the most painful way, by getting Covid.
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Many of those who protest may well have had the jabs, but are unhappy about vaccine mandates.
But until we reach a higher percentage of vaccinations, such restrictions are what sit between what we have now and a much wider outbreak.
Nationwide, 76 per cent of people are fully vaccinated. In the Whanganui DHB area, that number is 69 per cent. Whanganui is sitting at position 45 out of 66 towns and cities when it comes to full vaccination.
It'll take just over another 12,000 doses to get our region to 90 per cent vaccinated.
The Prime Minister makes a good point in her interview with the Chronicle: "There'll be more people who are vaccinated in Whanganui today than those who attended a protest."
And that's where the true battle lies — not fighting the "tyranny" of the state, or complaining of Nazis or apartheid in complete ignorance of history. The true battle is reaching beyond the noise and outrage and being heard by those who need to hear the important messages about vaccination, safety and doing what is right for us, our families and our communities.
That some would try to drown out that message for the sake of their petty insecurities is unconscionable.