What do you do when someone comes up to you and asks if you’ve been vaccinated against Covid?
Now, some of you may be excited to share with everyone that you got your first vaccine, and which one it was, and that you were lucky and had no side-effects. But do you always share information about your trips to the doctor, your medical exams, your diagnoses, or maybe all the prescription drugs you’re taking? Some may argue that they have the right to know in order to protect themselves, but health officials have already reported that you can still be a carrier after being vaccinated, and you can still get sick. This is along with the fact that they don’t really know how effective the vaccine will be in the long term. Having said that, some people won’t be able to have the vaccine, and some aren’t comfortable with how fast it was rushed out. Do people have the right to their own bodies? Some may argue no, not when that goes against the public interest.
We seem to be in a place now where questions like this are the norm. Just the other day, I listened to discussions and phone calls among family and friends who were all over the place, with one family member saying no, and then outrage followed. In one conversation, a man who’d had his vaccine announced to a group, “Anyone who doesn’t get vaccinated should lose all access to healthcare.” That idea seems to be being put out there more and more, but it didn’t stop there, because the conversation continued when someone responded with anger, “So what are you saying, that maybe we should round all these people up and lead them into rail cars?”
Now, if any of you don’t have an idea where that line of thought was going, you should, because those atrocities from years ago are still raw in this world and should serve as a reminder of how that can’t happen again.
Should this have been the end of the conversation? Likely. But anger is anger, and human nature is to find someone to blame. You can imagine how the tension spiked. Instead of ignoring the man, someone else said, “So what you’re saying is that everyone who refuses a vaccine should lose rights.” The older man jumped back in: “Yes, absolutely.” Someone else responded with, “Maybe these people should be moved off to camps or something. Locked in.”
Those angry words should have everyone sitting up and understanding that their privacy is being invaded. Do you believe your personal information should be shared?
When I first heard this, I wondered where the anger that seems to be simmering below the surface is coming from. I was listening to a CBC radio show, and a doctor was speaking on Covid vaccinations and the importance of everyone having one and how low the risks are. The doctor said that if you know of someone who doesn’t want to get vaccinated, you should sit down and talk to that person about it and find out why, then encourage him or her to get vaccinated. I listened in horror, because there is a point—and I’m not sure how we got here—where lines of privacy are crossed, and this is being encouraged by public officials.
Some may say that this is different. But remember that countries are handling the global pandemic in different ways. A few actually have a handle on it, whereas others play politics with people’s lives. Everyone should be paying attention to what happens behind the scenes, where your privacy rights are slipping away, being legislated away.
Everyone wants an end to this pandemic and for life to return to normal. But I certainly do not want to go back to what everyone considered normal. Normal was what? Hiding the social inequality that very few would talk about, which exists deeply in society, companies, businesses, governments, and neighborhoods? Hiding police overreach, widespread systemic racism and corruption, the elimination of the middle class, and the growing divide between the wealthy and the poor? Hiding that women’s equality and rights still have a long way to go?
Then there is the reality that medical care isn’t equal for everyone, as revealed here in BC by a BCCDC leak to the media. Whoever did that deserves a medal. Add in that hate crimes have increased, and the working class work for very low pay while being exposed to Covid, then spread it to roommates, coworkers, and family members crowded in one house. They feel sick, just not feeling well, but by the time they get a Covid test and wait days and days to find out they’re positive, it’s too late. Vaccination is another hurdle, considering every rollout the government does is met with problems and more problems. But workers who aren’t feeling well still have to go to work, because they can’t afford to stay home. Should this not have been addressed from day one by every local government, by us as people? To stop the spread, people have to be able to afford to stay home.
Better yet, how about tackling the issue of high rent in the first place? I’ve heard the outrage at these people, but I will be the first in their corner, because no one talks about how these workers are not homeowners. They pay extremely high rent and always have that worry about keeping a roof over their head. Although talk has circulated for a long time about providing sick pay to workers, only recently after a public outcry have they talked about giving workers three days of sick pay. They still have to legislate this, and then workers will have to jump hurdles to get it. I guess it’s better than nothing, but aren’t people supposed to quarantine for fourteen days? Apparently, I missed something in the math.
If those Covid-positive workers don’t go to work, they can’t pay their rent, because their employers aren’t paying them sick pay. Then they have to choose between eating and paying rent with money they don’t have. If they don’t pay rent, they will be living on the streets, and how does that solve anything? All this does is keep the circle of inequality going.
This virus is running rampant and fueling anger, leading to people demanding of others, “Did you get your vaccine?” My daughter has been asked twice, and it’s making her very uncomfortable. My son too, though I’m not sure what he said in response. Likely, he just walked away. How have I responded to anyone who has asked me? “Not your business.” That may anger some, but privacy is privacy.
Coming Soon to Audio
NOTHING AS IT SEEMS
Available May 26, 2021
Book 1 in the Billy Jo McCabe mystery series will be available in audio format this Wednesday.
The social worker and the cop, an unlikely couple drawn together on a small, secluded Pacific Northwest island where nothing is as it seems. Protecting the innocent comes at a cost, and what seems to be a sleepy, quiet town is anything but…
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