Archives for posts with tag: mask

Paul Waldman here is convinced that it’s “Time to say it: We’re done with the vaccine refusers

I say this makes absolutely no sense. It’s not only insulting for the nay-sayers, it’s actually dangerous for ourselves.

For all of us. Vaccinated, unvaccinated and unvaccinables.

Let me explain.
The US Army, and all other successful ones, live by ‘no one left behind’. Far more than its technological prowess, this constitutes its main strength. Each of the individuals involved feel that they belong there. That no matter what will happen in the battle field, none of them will be ‘left behind’. It is this collective sentiment which transforms a motley collection of ‘misfits’ into the most powerful army in the world.
The fact that the ‘home team’ foots the bill for the most technologically advanced ‘tools of war’ only adds to that strength. That huge bill being itself a proof of the powerful bond which exists between those who ‘serve’ and the general population. ‘No one left behind’ once again.

Flash back to the nay-sayers.

I’m convinced they’re completely mistaken.
That Covid is for real, that vaccines work – even if imperfectly, that the mask is useful – and that calling it ‘face diaper’ is insulting.
And I’m also convinced that we should rather hear them out than call them ‘unhinged’.

For two reasons.
The first, and most obvious, being that calling them names opens up the door for them calling us names. How soon after a session of name-calling do you think we’ll regain ‘mutual recognition’? How soon after a session of name calling will we able to regain our ability to ‘speak freely’? And to listen in earnest what the others have to say?
The second, and the more important one, being that it’s hugely important for us, for all of us, to understand the reasons which fuel this ‘nay-saying’. What made the nay-saying propaganda so successful.

What made so many people believe that “drinking livestock dewormer” might be good for them. What made so many people believe internet propaganda rather than official information. What has transformed, for so many people, ‘official’ into a cuss-word.

Writing in a national newspaper – hollering, actually,

“I’m pretty sure that if between swigs of horse dewormer, your uncle is booing his god-king Donald Trump for saying a good word about vaccination, gentle persuasion isn’t going to have much effect on him.”

isn’t going to bridge the growing gap which yawns our society apart.

The fact that Trump – and his minions, have been instrumental in the digging of the gap is one thing. His ‘thing’.
In which direction each of us pushes – what each of us does about the present situation, is quite another thing.
Our ‘thing’, this time.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/23/time-say-it-were-done-with-vaccine-refusers/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/08/21/facebook-coronavirus-vaccine/

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I’m not OK with businesses refusing flowers/cakes for gay marriages but I can understand their owners’ point.
On the other hand, I also understand people who don’t want to wear masks. I’m not OK with it but I understand their quest.

What I don’t understand is the insistence with which some people want to ‘discriminate’ between these two situations.
Why should a business be able to refuse to serve a gay couple but not able to refuse to serve those who refuse to wear masks?!?

How can people discriminate between liberties? What makes a liberty more valuable than the other?
Specially when love between two people sharing a similar sex is still love while sharing viruses is potentially deadly…

And what’s so ‘progressive’ in calling other people ‘assholes’?!?

When are we going to cool down and start making some sense of what we’re living through?

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Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Get a vaccine, wear a mask…

“You can’t deprive others of their liberty without forfeiting your own. Liberty is lost with every person seeking to control others for their comfort and sentiment.”

Getting a vaccine and wearing a mask are sensible things to do, right?

Establishing a free environment, where all individuals might enjoy their liberties, is also a sensible thing!

For the simple reason that even a casual examination of history provides ample proof that freer societies fare far better than those which curtail individual freedoms.

Simpler said than done…
Mention the mandatory mask and the imperative advice to get vaccinated to those passionate about individual liberty and you have a hornets’ nest on your hands.

Or maybe this is an excellent occasion to discuss the ‘gap’ we constantly need to bridge between individual freedoms and a free society?

Can you have a free society composed of slaves?

The answer depends on who gives it to you.
I’d spent the first 30 years of my life under communist rule.
My country, Romania, was declared, by those who were ruling it at that time, as being free. Both domestically and internationally.
The only free individual was the ruler. Nicolae Ceausescu. He was the only guy who could do as he pleased. And only for a while… Until 25 December 1989…
In the end, the regime had crumbled and the only ‘free’ individual had met with the consequences of how he had chosen to use his freedom.

So no, you cannot have a free society when one individual, or a group of individuals, impose their will on everybody else.

‘Your liberty to swing your fist ends where my nose begins’

Otherwise put, if you refuse to get vaccinated/wear a mask you might be instrumental in getting me sick. Or dead.

‘Might’! It’s the ‘might’ part which troubles you!
Why should you shoulder a minimal risk/discomfort for my safety? Specially when you’re not convinced that my safety is in danger… Or, maybe, you’re thinking ‘let him take whatever precautionary measures he considers to be necessary!’

Because of India, that’s why!

Do you consider present day India to be a free society?
Do you consider that people currently living in India are truly enjoying their freedom? Today?!?

And no, I’m not going to contrast what’s going on in India with what the Chinese government had done.
First pretend nothing had happened then lock up the entire population.

No!
I’m going to contrast what’s going on in India with how the ‘other’ China had reacted to the Covid pandemic. Or with the South Korean response.

Different economic realities… Different cultures…
Maybe!
But also different levels of economic and social disruption!

Don’t tell me that what’s going on in today’s India won’t have repercussions!

As some of you might already know, two weeks ago my wife tested positive.
Hence we had to spend 14 days in isolation.
During which we had some interaction with the government bureaucracy. Through mail and telephone.

Meanwhile we witnessed, with an even keener than before interest, the public discussion about the whole thing.

Here’s what I learned.

The government bureaucracy, no matter how well intended its members might be – many of them on temporary positions, as expected during an emergency, is very close to the brink.
Meanwhile, the public – at least too many of those sharing their thoughts on FB, is still far from realizing the depth of the crises.

And here’s what I experienced.

Not knowing what’s going to happen to you is the worst thing.
Not knowing what’s going to happen to those you love is even worse.

Because you’re so busy worrying, you’re practically useless.
OK, you know statistics are on your side.
But statistics are not infallible. Hence ‘what if?’!

On top of being worried for your own, and your family’s, fate, comes the ‘political’ incertitude.
That sowed by the ‘naysayers’. And trafficked by the equally worried citizens. Specially by those who find themselves backing the opposition.

Things like ‘the mask is no good’. From ‘the mask cannot protect you’ to ‘the mask is a nuisance’ and ending with ‘the mask is dangerous’.
And besides being ‘no good’, the ‘mandate to wear one in public infringes upon our human rights’!

On top of that, the naysayers attempt to convince us that ‘we’re on our own’! That ‘government will not lift a finger to help us!’.
That its entire attention is focused on serving the ‘special interests’ which control it.

For all it’s worth, here’s my ‘official position’ on the matter.

We’re indeed on our own.
As we’ve always been!
The ‘government’ – all governments, is composed of humans.
Of people, like you and me.
Hence no government will ever be willing to do more for us than we are willing to do for our neighbors!

We are the ones who need to survive.
Because in order to thrive – as we all wish, we need to survive first!
As a fully functional social organism, mind you.
Hence we are the ones who need to start doing things!

And the first thing we need to do is to determine what comes first.
Our right to walk without wearing a ‘muzzle’?
Or our right to protect each other against a disruptive virus!

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