I had a civics teacher in high school once tell us, |There is no freedom without responsibility. Freedom without responsibility is anarchy, and in an anarchy the bully and the thug win.” Those words have stuck with me my entire life.
Freedom doesn’t mean “I can do whatever the hell I want and fuck you.” Freedom means, “I am willing to accept responsibility for the consequences of my decisions.”
Freedom means you accept responsibility for your decisions; that if you make a choice to do something, you acknowledge that it is on you to manage the fallout. Freedom is not a blanket permission slip to do anything and everything and expect other people to sacrifice their freedoms to clean up your mess.
The moment the exercise of your freedom hurts others or puts other people at risk, it isn’t a freedom. Its you being an anarchist and terrorist.
See, I’m actually rather Darwinian on a lot of things.
If you want to smoke cigarettes, they are your lungs. If you don’t care that you might end up with lung cancer, that is on you. But if you want to blow cigarette smoke in the faces of other people or force others to breath in your second-hand smoke? Now, we have a problem. Because you are putting other people at risk and forcing others to bear the burden of your actions.
If you want to consume adult beverages to the point that you pass out on your sofa, it is your liver. Have fun with your hangover in the morning. But the second you get shit-faced and get behind the wheel of a car? Now we have a problem. Because you are endangering other people who will have to bear the burden of your actions.
If you want to smoke weed and watch Thor: Ragnarök on loop, make sure you ordered in plenty of pizza first and enjoy! If you want to smoke weed and then get on a forklift? Now we got a problem because you are endangering other people.
So long as your actions are only impacting you, I don’t care what you do. I got my own drama in life. I don’t have the mental capacity to be dealing with your drama, too. You do you so long as it only affects you.
But the SECOND your behaviors put other people at risk, we have a problem.
I don’t care if you think “I’m healthy, so I can handle Covid.” That may in fact be true. But what about the people you infect along the way?
Before we continue, time for a little science.
R naught (Ro) is a mathematical equation used to determine how contagious a disease is. If the Ro is less than 1, the disease will eventually die out on its own. Because each person infected only has a percentage chance of spreading the disease at all. If the Ro is 1 ((every person infected will pass the virus on to one other person), the disease will continue to spread, but not to the point that we have a pandemic. Above 1, we end up with a pandemic because each carrier is spreading the disease to multiple people. The original strain had a Ro of 2.7, which means the average infected person will infect between 2 to 3 others. Delta currently has a Ro of SIX. Which means if you contract the Delta variant, you are going to infect 6 other people.
And keep in mind, this is exponential. Each person YOU infected is going to go on to infect six other people. And those people are going to infect six other people each. Sure, maybe YOU personally didn’t get that sick and recovered with no issues. But do you stop to think about the six other people you WILL infect?
“Well, it isn’t my problem if they aren’t healthy.”
Who the fuck are you to decide that? Did you really just imply that your “right” to eat a Big Mac inside a McDonald’s means it is okay that the cashier might die because she doesn’t meet your definition of healthy?
“Oh, was your baby born premature and still has a compromised immune system? Sorry if he dies, but I need to go see Space Jam: A New Legacy on the big screen!”
“Oh, you’re on chemo? Fuck, you’re probably gonna die anyway. And me being able to buy ice cream at the supermarket without being vaccinated is more important to me than you not dying from the preventable disease I am carrying!”
“But the FDA hasn’t approved the vaccines yet!”
The FDA has already granted the vaccines emergency authorization. The current wait for full approval has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with government bureaucracy. The FDA generally takes twelve months to approve a vaccine. This includes six months of clinical trials and inspecting manufacturing facilities. There are built in “timers” on the approval process that stay the FDA from granting full approval. These are process problems, not safety problems. These processes are designed to prevent short cuts during normal situations.
In addition, full approval grants a lot of additional benefits to the manufacturers. For example, once they have full approval, they can start advertising. This opens up a huge matter of off-label promotion. What is off-label promotion? It is when a drug manufacturer promotes a drug for a treatment it was not originally approved for. So long as the statements are truthful, drug companies can promote their drugs for other therapies they were not originally approved for.
Clonidine, for example, was approved for the treatment of high blood pressure, but it has also been used successfully “off label” for the treatment of sleep and anxiety disorders. Tramadol is approved for pain relief, but it has an off-label use for restless leg syndrome. Many drugs approved as anti-depressants are used off-label to treat ADHD. The FDA has traditionally opposed promoting off-label uses, but several high-profile court cases have tied their hands on preventing the practice. Full approval grants vaccine manufacturers the option to promote potential off-label therapies, which they have no had a chance to actually look into yet.
“But what about those microchips?”
Don’t make me slap you. Seriously. You are not really that stupid, right? Besides the fact that frankly you are not that important that anyone in government cares to track you, just…no. Why would Bill Gates need to microchip you when you already have Cortana activated on your computer, you have Alexa connected to all of your devices, and Siri answering all your questions? I’m hoping this isn’t a legitimate concern, and I am comforting myself with the notion that anyone who actually believes this is too dumb to have made it this far in my essay.