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Before you object to vaccine mandates, take a look at what you are already doing

Dec 15, 2021


Everyone seems to have an opinion about COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and the discussions are on display for all to see. Even actor Matthew McConaughey got caught up in the commotion, grabbing headlines when he raised questions about mandates. While the mega-star side-stepped the controversy, many others are jumping right into the fray, claiming they have solid reasons for taking a stand against vaccine orders. But when you break down some of the objections and look at the facts and a bit of history, there’s really no debating the right choice here.

Here’s a topic sure not to ruffle any feathers: Vaccine mandates! I’m looking forward to the comments under this one. Look, we’re all aware that COVID has become wildly politicized to the point where the mere mention of a mask or a shot has the potential to throw a regular old, boring school board meeting into UFC territory. 

That’s unfortunate. It’s also the byproduct of a political landscape that has gone way off the deep end and has divided us to the point where our sense of shared humanity is less important than proving the other side wrong. 

Any perspective put forward by someone who we perceive as being on that other side is just automatically rejected. And that goes for Democrats and Republicans. Democrats are not blameless here. 

But on the subject of mandatory school vaccination, I still think it’s worthwhile to try to cut through all the hysteria to try to get at the essence of what we’re trying to do here.

I think we can all agree, Democrat, Republican, in between, that we want our children’s educational environments to return to some semblance of normalcy. I also think we can agree that we care about public health. We care about people. 

So let me offer some counterpoints to some of the objections to mandatory school vaccinations that I’ve heard from parents over the past few months.

One, you don’t trust the vaccine. It came out too quickly. Yeah. It came out super quickly. I get it. It’s wild. It’s also amazing that we live in an era where scientists have the capacity to come together on a global scale in order to change lives. It’s a miracle from God or science. Take your pick. 

Two. Sure other people can get the vaccine, but I don’t want to. And I get that too, except for there’s a key problem here.  You may have heard about the most recent variant, Omicron. The reason that these variants keep arising is that viruses, they’re smart, and they want to survive. And if they have to change in order to keep jumping from potential host to host, that’s what they’re going to do. So we have to reduce the pool of potential hosts for them to jump into. Maybe that way they’ll stop hanging around our little species and go park somewhere else.

Three. You don’t think that you or your children should be made to do anything with your bodies that you don’t explicitly choose, except we already do so many things that are required of us by the federal and local governments. We wear seat belts. We don’t smoke on airplanes. 

And remember how, like a couple hundred years ago, people used to poop in the streets, allegedly, I wasn’t there. And now we don’t poop in the streets anymore because the government realized that that’s really bad for public health. And so now it’s illegal, basically that.  

Look, part of the contract that we sign when we decide to become members of a society and we reap all of the benefits that comes with said membership, for example, public schools, is that we agree to care about and participate in the common good. 

And when we make choices that have the potential to harm the public, we can reasonably expect to face consequences.

I hate wearing a mask. You hate wearing a mask. Nobody likes getting shots. None of this is fun, but if we want to return to normalcy, and we all do, we have to recognize that public safety and public health, they’re everybody’s responsibility. 

And when it comes to vaccine mandates, the choices we make affect the lives and deaths of others, I think it’s hardly a choice at all.

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