The Death of Altruism

We have a free medicine at our disposal that limits the deadly effects of a virus for those who contract it while also reducing our ability to spread it.

We have mountains of data proving the medicine is safe and effective.

We also know how vaccinations work – that to protect the population at large, we need to meet a threshold of more than 80 percent.

In the past, we simply relied on people’s altruism to do the right thing.

In the past, we trusted that the scientific and medical community cared about the health and wellbeing of their fellow human beings.

In the past, when faced with a medical crisis like this pandemic, we rolled up our sleeves willingly – because we had a strong sense of community and cared about more than just ourselves or our “individual rights.”

I’m a bit tired of those who complain that any mandate infringes on their freedom. These people have politicized a public health emergency, which has made a bad situation worse.

The millions of people who ignore the global medical community (and most likely their own doctors) are primarily responsible for extending the pain, suffering, and economic uncertainty. And their decision is hindering our nation’s ability to get on the other side of the pandemic.

I don’t support forced vaccinations, but I’m okay with individual businesses requiring proof of vaccinations.

Businesses have a right to make decisions in the best interest of their customers and their employees. It’s akin to a business not allowing visitors to smoke in their place of business. They’re not telling people they can’t smoke at all. They’re simply saying that because the visitor’s decision to smoke poses a danger to others, they’re not going to allow it in their place of business.

Like smoking in public, the decision to not get vaccinated endangers others. And, unfortunately, it also increases the likelihood of new variants getting a foothold and spreading and prolonging the battle against the virus. In addition, as we’ve seen all over the country, the unvaccinated are putting undue stress on our healthcare system. Hospitals are running out of ICU beds because they are filled with unvaccinated COVID patients.

Proof of vaccination to enter crowded venues or stores or fly on an airline is not optimal. Still, when altruism doesn’t work, society must try to convince people to do the right thing.

In a society, we all sacrifice some individual freedoms for the greater good – if people decide they are not going to do that, they should bear some cost or suffer a consequence for their decision.

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