A few thoughts on the balance between public health and personal freedom:
Exactly five years ago I wrote my first article on vaccinations. I had hoped it would be my last piece – and that for two reasons: I said what I wanted to say in that article, and I was aware that WWIII will ALWAYS break out whenever you dare to broach this topic. Some folks are fully convinced that vaccinations are essential and necessary, and some think they are utterly diabolical and evil.
When major warfare like that breaks out, I tend to want to head for the hills and be nowhere near the action! And there most certainly is real division here. Consider just one indication of this:
A majority of U.S. adults (75%) said in a new LX/Morning Consult poll they’d likely get a coronavirus vaccine, if and when it passes clinical trials. But even as the number of confirmed cases and fatalities continue to climb in America, only 30% of respondents indicated they’d be in a rush to get an FDA-approved vaccine. One in five respondents said they planned to be among the last Americans to get the vaccine (11%) or they wouldn’t get it at all (9%). www.nbcsandiego.com/news/coronavirus/poll-less-than-a-third-of-america-will-rush-to-get-coronavirus-vaccine/2298088/
The truth is, lots of people can get VERY impassioned about this issue! But as I made quite clear in my first article, I am not a doctor nor a scientist, so I have next to no knowledge about vaccines, and how good – or bad – they might be. Instead, I spent most of my time looking at concerns about matters of liberty and statism: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/04/14/vaccinations-the-public-good-and-big-brother/
Two major interests arise here – and they are often competing interests. On the one hand, we have the very legitimate concerns about public health and safety. On the other hand, we have the very legitimate concerns about the expansive state, dictatorial powers, and the erosion of personal freedoms.
We already have all sorts of laws and rules and regulations that seek to make us safer and healthier which also curtail individual liberties, at least to some extent. Not anyone can open a restaurant: various state guidelines must be met and followed to ensure customers do not get sick with food poisoning and the like.
We are required to wear seat belts, which infringe upon our liberties somewhat, in order to help keep us and others safe. Supermarkets have use-by dates on groceries, again to prevent any health risks. That means a lot of food is thrown away. Governments put restrictions (high taxes, etc) on unhealthy things like cigarette smoking.
And some religious groups can refuse what might be life-saving measures, such as blood transfusions. Sometimes these folks will have their religious concerns overridden, sometimes by a court of law. The examples of this are endless. We all accept SOME things, including restrictions on freedom, in the interests of keeping us safe and healthy.
Several recent things have spurred me on in writing this second piece on vaccines. COVID-19 is one obvious item that has everyone talking again about them. Many are speaking about possible vaccines, if and when they are found, for dealing with coronavirus.
And many are talking about mandatory vaccinations – some fully in favour and some fully against. People like Bill Gates are routinely mentioned in all this, with both true and false things being said about him and his intentions, and that of others. Second, I recently heard about some folks who are concerned with new Australian regulations soon to come into effect.
As one gal said on the social media: “I’m a nurse in aged care for 40 years and never had the flu vaccine, but the health department has made it mandatory for all workers in aged care and all visitors to these residences to have it by May 1st, or no work and no entrance! The residents are free to choose whether they have it or not!”
This is in fact correct. As one government document declares:
Although aged care providers have previously been asked to keep records of staff and volunteers who received influenza vaccinations every year, they did not have the power to stand-down staff members who were not vaccinated against the flu – until now. From 1 May 2020, anyone entering a residential aged care facility will be required to provide appropriate evidence of flu vaccination. hellocaremail.com.au/staff-visitors-refuse-flu-vaccination-will-not-enter-nursing-homes/
But then another gal replied to her with these words:
I understand the requirement for the flu needle in this situation. As a health care worker it’s a requirement and has always been so. I had to get my hep B booster to go on prac as I was in contact with high risk people. This protects me and those who are vulnerable in hospital. And honestly, it’s not forced on anyone (there is simply the choice to not visit). If you don’t want a vaccine (and it’s crazy to not want them) then don’t have them and work in a different industry or don’t visit until after the pandemic is over.
So already we have a wide divide here. So, my take on this? Regardless of what one thinks about vaccines and their value or lack of value, the idea of state-mandated vaccines – you WILL submit or else – can always be a worry. Here one will not be able to visit their own elderly family member if they do not go along with the new regulations.
Yes one can pull them out, but that would be a big hassle. And where would one be able to put this family member? If all the centres must follow these rules, that takes away a whole lot of choices. So the pro-vaxxer will have no probs here, but the anti-vaxxer sure will.
And one must ask: How many other such things will arise? What other compulsory rules will be pushed? Will people not be able to get access to health care, send their kids to daycare, or be allowed to get various government benefits? As far as I know, all these things are already happening in various jurisdictions.
So what will be next? Will the State insist that unless you get various vaccinations, you will not be able to buy basics, like food and clothing? Some may say that this is a bit far-fetched. But is it? Christians at least will immediately think of things like the “mark of the beast” as found in the book of Revelation.
Revelation 13:15-16 speaks about no one being able to buy or sell without having a mark on their right hand or forehead. What exactly this means is not clear. But with talk of implantable microchips and the like (again, some of it true, some of it bogus), various ideas come to mind.
I have already penned pieces on how political correctness and increasingly secular left Big Brother government can see the sort of things discussed in Revelation being realised now, or very soon. So all this is something worth considering. See here for example: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/09/19/babylon-its-fall-and-the-mark-of-the-beast/
The truth is, I am not a gung-ho anti-vaxxer. And I am not necessarily a gung-ho pro-vaxxer either. As I say, I am not an expert on such things, and I am always wary of various wild conspiracy theories. So I cannot say that all vaccines are good or that all vaccines are bad. The truth might be somewhere in the middle.
And I do not think every government is full of diabolical dudes out to enslave us all. Yes, there are many who are happy to use the totalist state for their own evil ends. Many of those pushing things like vaccinations may well be good people with the best of intentions.
But again, life is all about trade-offs. We want people to be healthy and want to be able to move about freely without undue fear of getting all sorts of viruses and disease. But of course the only sure-proof way this can happen is to have everyone locked down – permanently.
Otherwise life will always have its share of risks. Someone with a cold might sneeze nearby me, and I might get a cold. So there are degrees of risk, and there are degrees of trade-offs we might be willing to make in terms of restrictions of freedom.
I am worried about both matters to be honest. I think the State must have a modicum of provisions for public health and safety. But if it comes at the risk of most or all freedoms being lost, then that is a real concern as well. Getting the right balance here is always going to be a tough ask.
But I realise that all I did here is probably just stir up the old hornets’ nest. I will be hated on from all sides! Those who want to send me dozens of videos proving this or that are advised to reconsider. As is often the case, I am just raising some concerns here and asking some questions out loud.
Much more could be said on all this. The truth may well be out there, but we all see through a glass darkly! So those who are ready to come here to kill and destroy, please take it elsewhere thanks!