Think of Others When You’re Offered that Vaccine
If you have a safe and convenient means of protecting yourself from danger that does not hurt others in the short-run or long-run, take it.
If you have a safe and convenient means of protecting the lives of loved ones that does not hurt others in the short-run or long-run, take it.
Now that the obvious has been stated …
Governments and citizens are seriously talking about COVID passports. That should be enough to scare the living daylights out of people.
Actions speak louder than words. To contribute knowingly to a state of affairs in which the basic freedoms of individuals could be denied unless they have paperwork to confirm that the consented to have something they do not fully understand put inside them, is to help to normalize a society that does not recognize those freedoms – regardless of upside or intent.
That is one hell of a thing to do, and could only be justified by a statistically significant improvement in the health/safety of oneself or others that could not be achieved in any other way.
For this reason, the taking of a COVID vaccine by a young, healthy person is a completely different moral proposition from the taking of it by someone at risk or by someone who is dangerously close quarters with many others at risk in the course of caring for them.
It is up to those at risk to protect themselves now. It is up to those not at risk not only to protect those at risk - but also to protect the freedoms of everyone.
Too many people are saying that they were ambivalent about taking the vaccine but did so because they are concerned that if they don’t, they won’t be able to do all the basic things they need to do in life.
If that is your reason for taking it, you are declaring that your rights are being denied and you are complicit in that denial.
- this normalization of trading compliance for the liberties we are allowed (meaning that they are no longer rights, but privileges given to you by your government, as in China) will be permanent, in which case we should be on the streets to demand our basic rights;
- it will be temporary, in which case a few months of inconvenience is a small price to pay to keep a free society.
To repeat, the government and others are seriously talking about COVID passports.
That is proof enough that we are already on the slippery slope to having to choose among our rights-turned-privileges (privacy, bodily autonomy on the one hand vs. freedom of movement and association on the other).
There are only three things you need to know about slippery slopes:
They are slopes.
They are slippery.
Therefore, you have to get off them at the very top to be able to get off them at all.
To those of us fortunate enough to pose no more risk to ourselves or our loved ones by simply existing than we do by getting in a car and driving them a few miles, falls the responsibility of preserving civil rights.
Unlike our ancestors, we don't even have to fight for these civil rights - at least not yet: all we have to do is refrain from giving them up for a slightly easier life for a few months.
So when you're offered that vaccine, think of others. Make your choice - but make it freely - and with a view to preserving the freedom of others who come after us to make their choices, too.