Vaccine Mandates and Passports Are Apparently a Fascist Affront to American Freedom (Unless Conservatives Want Them)

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

The paradox of freedom and safety is that you can never have both perfect freedom and perfect safety at the same time. In order to be protected, some amount of freedom must be lost in the bargain. In order to be fully free, you have to take responsibility for protecting yourself.

You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by wearing a mask and getting vaccinated. Or you can prioritize freedom, choosing to flex by refusing to wear a mask or get the shots, leaving yourself open to serious health complications, should you become infected.

But the two options are not morally equivalent. You don’t just risk your own health when you refuse to take reasonable precautionary measures; if you should become infected, you then risk infecting your friends and loved ones. It’s a profoundly selfish thing to do, especially if you know that you are going to be around people who cannot get vaccinated or who are in high-risk categories, such as elderly people, overweight and obese people, and people with compromised immune systems.

So, requiring people to get vaccinated in order to come to work is a reasonable thing, in a lot of ways. People who can’t get vaccinated (or, I suppose, people who choose not to be vaccinated) should be able to do as much work remotely as possible, and their employers should help to facilitate this.

Even if I believed COVID-19 was a hoax (and I don’t) I would wear a mask for two very simple reasons:

  • just in case I’m wrong; and
  • to avoid being yelled at

My partner and I have been self-quarantining since late January 2020. When we have to go out, we mask up. Even after I got my second Pfizer shot, I had decided that I would continue wearing a mask, because the vaccines’ true efficacy, and the duration of said efficacy, cannot be known. Still, getting the vaccine was preferable to not getting the vaccine: not doing so seems to put me and everyone I come into contact with at much greater risk than any potential side-effects from the shots.

In general, I don’t think anybody should be forced to undergo medical treatments. But that’s not what this is about.

I’m disappointed in a lot of people’s lack of critical thinking skills, especially when it comes to COVID-19 and what, if anything, the government can do to make people get vaccinated. My aunt, who has a doctorate in education and teaches third grade, also happens to be a born-again Christian and a Trump supporter. And she legit believes that Biden and other democrats want to throw people in jail on sight for not having their vaccine papers.

Really, she thinks the antifa secret police are going to be stopping people on the sidewalk and demanding papers. And she’s not the only person in my circles who believes this and equally bizarre things.

Fox News bears a great deal of responsibility for these people being the way they are. But the way things are going is extremely predictable. Fox vilifies the democrats for wanting people to get vaccinated, for even thinking of anything approaching a vaccine passport system, and then what do they do? They require proof of vaccination, themselves.

I really wish I was shocked. Instead, I’m just tired.

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London Graves

London Graves

Queer vegan cryptid trying their best to survive late-stage capitalism while helping others do the same.