Mandatory Humanitarianism for Europe?

What does she mean? Forced shots without consent? Rounding up the unclean into camps?

She can’t just be talking about fines like in Greece, can she? Would that count as the jab being mandatory? I’m told making an imposed either/or choice like whether to pay a monthly fine for the rest of one’s life or whether to submit one’s body for medical experimentation is a free choice so how can that be mandatory.

I’m going to tag a bunch of people I would be honored to hear from regarding their views what “mandatory” might mean and if they agree with such a policy.

@JohnGalt @S.Cheung @Schopenhauer @Ella-B @DataDriven @RayAndrews @c.d.eastmannagle @claire

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I have no idea what she means, cuz she seems to have said it several times, never defined it, and was never pressed to define it. Rather than navel-gazing speculation, maybe another journalist can ask a simple follow up question next time she holds a presser.

I’ve said before I don’t support uninsuring non-vaxxed people, because we don’t do this for other unhealthy or risky behaviors. Of course, some of those things like smoking involve addiction, and I have more sympathy for someone whose behaviors are driven by medical conditions than just dumb choices. But we cover people who ride without helmets too. OTOH, the Greek proposal sounds more like a surcharge.

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My dear Gamma, the pandemic is likely becoming a serious disease only for the unvaccinated.

Von der Layen is a humanitarian who wants to save not just over stretched hospitals and exhausted medical staff from being drowned by mulish dickheads who are too stupid to take good advice and get the jabs. She also worries about every one of those dickheads sufficiently to want to kick their asses to do the obvious that is manifestly in their and everyone else’s interests.

I am not a humanitarian. I do not give a row of pins if recalcitrants won’t co-operate for their own good. I am quite happy to see them suffer and die for their ridiculous beliefs in as a large a number as possible, so that there are fewer of them left to bother the rest of us down track!

They can thank their lucky stars that soggy humanitarians like van der L, against all reason, actually care about them. If it were left to the likes of me, the orders would be that if unvaccinated fool turns up to a hospital front door gasping for air, they should be sent home with an aspirin.

And if they survive, they may have learnt something about the extent of their own folly. Suffering is an excellent mind clearing purgative.

The age of indulging people is almost over…I count the days.

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This article does a good job of summarizing and responding to the arguments against mandates:

Many organizations and individuals are calling for the mandatory vaccination of all Americans against COVID-19. But others have objected to vaccine mandates, calling them unethical. As members of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors (an organization representing more than 90 bioethics centers in the US and Canada), we’ve had vigorous debates on these issues. We have concluded that broad vaccine mandates for COVID-19 are ethically justified at this time.

Of course, any mandate should exempt people who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons, but this is remarkably rare. And there are legitimate practical arguments about the impact of mandating vaccination for individuals with documented prior infection or who can prove some level of prior immunity, which we will not take up here. More commonly, those opposed to vaccination mandates have argued that they are unethical because they might infringe on personal liberties or because they violate religious freedom. We argue that avoiding mandates to uphold the ideals of personal and religious freedom is not worth the risk to others that would ensue in the current environment; imposing risk on others can justify enforcing limits to personal decision making.

Counterpoints To Common Arguments Against Vaccine Mandates

Personal Liberty Objections

What makes any public health mandate ethical, whether it’s for mask-wearing, social distancing, or vaccination? Answering this question, especially in the US context, requires us to start with our foundational commitment to the value of individual liberty. Liberty is grounded in the ethical concept of autonomy—or self-rule—and it is the primary value that guides medical practice in normal times.

Even in normal times, of course, choices have consequences. In particular, some personal choices have the potential to harm others. When one person’s choice might harm others, it can be ethical for that choice to be limited. That’s why we have speed limits and stop signs; both limit your right to drive as you might wish, but they are necessary for public safety. If you choose to drive recklessly and put others at risk, you should expect to pay a fine, possibly lose your license to drive, or maybe even go to jail. Other examples include laws about smoking in airplanes, firing a gun in an urban area, or shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater and causing a panic.

It is the risk of harm to others—impinging on their liberty to be safe while driving, breathe clean air, or not be shot or trampled—that makes it ethical to place limits on personal choices. Limiting personal freedom when it is necessary to prevent harm to others is widely agreed to be ethical under a wide variety of secular and religious worldviews and traditions.

In terms of limiting people’s choices about vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must consider whether one person going unvaccinated today is likely to cause harm to other people. Nearly all people interact and come into physical contact with others on a daily basis, and a person with COVID-19 can infect several others even before showing symptoms. The risk of one person harming many others, even inadvertently, provides ethical justification for limiting the choice to go unvaccinated during a pandemic.

While mitigation strategies—masking, social distancing, hand washing—are effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19, such measures carry their own harms and are much less appealing as long-term strategies. Only vaccines are capable of halting viral transmission to the degree of stopping COVID-19 from continuing as a pandemic-level threat. Herd immunity for COVID-19 will only occur through vaccination.

The choice of too many individuals to go unvaccinated has already resulted in the worsening of the pandemic and the COVID-19 virus itself. The best current estimates are that 80–90 percent of people need to be immune to reach herd immunity—that is, the point at which the COVID-19 virus will stop circulating widely and be prevented from mutating into more infectious and deadlier forms. The failure to quickly achieve herd immunity after COVID-19 vaccines became available allowed it to mutate into the Delta variant, which has now spread across the United States, killing many thousands of people and harming untold numbers more. The Delta variant has even infected some vaccinated people. Many states have been forced to go back to requiring mask-wearing and social distancing in public, practices that inhibit personal freedom and have socioeconomic repercussions.

While the COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective for the vast majority of people who have gotten them, there are still some people who cannot get vaccinated or who have responded poorly to vaccination, including those who are immunocompromised and children for whom COVID-19 vaccines are yet approved. There is nothing tyrannical about mandating vaccination for everyone who can safely take the vaccine to allow those who cannot get vaccinated to live without fear of catching COVID. Allowing some people the choice to remain unvaccinated severely limits the mobility and threatens the safety of other people, which makes the availability of that choice both unfair and dangerous for those who are especially vulnerable and who may not have other options to protect themselves.

Because autonomy is a very important value, authorities should use the least restrictive means possible to achieve the goal of minimizing the harms of COVID-19. While voluntary vaccination is preferable because of this, education and incentives have not worked to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates. Mandatory vaccination, therefore, is now the least restrictive way to minimize the virus’s damage.

For some, being mandated to take a vaccine might seem to be more of a restriction on personal liberty than other existing measures, including mandates to wear a face mask in public, stay at home, or stand six feet away from others. Yet, the harmful effects that these other measures have had on the economy, effective education, and mental health all indicate that mandatory vaccination is a less harmful way of minimizing death and destruction from COVID-19 than other strategies for limiting its spread. Vaccination carries a very small risk of serious negative reactions, and it frequently produces minor short-term side effects. Is it ethical to require people to take on this risk, however small, if it is mainly to protect others?

Major secular and religious worldviews and traditions—including Islam, Judaism, and Christianity—support individuals being required to accept some risk or sacrifice of personal comfort or well-being to help others. Indeed, the responsibility to help others who are more vulnerable is a central tenet in many religious traditions. One secular tradition speaks directly to the need for individuals to accept restrictions on some of their freedoms to protect the safety and well-being of their community: democracy. In a democracy, the people or their elected representatives are specifically authorized to pass laws and enact regulations that limit individual freedoms. People who disagree can pursue legitimate ways to protest and get laws changed. Many Americans presumably agree that a democracy, even if it’s not perfect, is still the best system for making decisions about the collective good. Even those who are disillusioned, frustrated, or disengaged from the principles of democracy still have an obligation to live by the norms and laws of their society.

Religious Objections

Most mandates from employers are legally required to allow exemptions for people with “sincerely held” religious objections to vaccination, as long as accommodating these employees doesn’t cause “undue hardship” on the employer. The US Supreme Court has ruled that a sincerely held religious belief can seem illogical or unreasonable to others, it can even be entirely false, and does not have to be tied to a major religion, but it cannot solely be a cover for political or social beliefs. More importantly, from an ethical standpoint, even if a religious belief against vaccination is sincerely held, it does not create the right to place other people in harm’s way. Religious freedom is a very important value in the US, but it is not the only value at stake in making public policy decisions.

All major religions, including those that emphasize faith-healing, permit vaccination under at least some circumstances. During the pandemic, religious leaders of the major faiths, including Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Mormon, have openly encouraged members to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Pope Francis has gone so far as to say that it would be “suicidal” not to be vaccinated in the current environment, and that being vaccinated is an “act of love” and a moral obligation.

Some oppose COVID-19 vaccines out of the mistaken belief that they were created using recently aborted fetal tissue. Factually, this is not the case. No abortions have been performed to create vaccines, and no fetal cells are in any COVID-19 vaccines.

It is true that some COVID-19 vaccines were developed or tested using “immortal” cell lines, and some of these cell lines are connected to miscarriages or abortions that happened decades ago. Some people claim to have a sincerely held religious objection to using anything developed using cell lines connected to abortions; however, at least one major religious tradition opposed to abortion has definitively stated that any of the COVID-19 vaccines may be taken in good conscience.

These cell lines are also regularly used in the development of many processed food additives and over-the-counter medications. According to the Conway Regional Health System, examples of products developed using these cell lines include Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, aspirin, Tums, ibuprofen, Maalox, Benadryl, Sudafed, albuterol, Preparation H, Claritin, Zoloft, Prilosec OTC, azithromycin, and many others. It is unlikely that most people who say they object to COVID-19 vaccines for this reason also avoid using all of these other common products, and it is ethically justified for employers to question whether one’s belief is sincere if it is inconsistently applied.

We conclude that many of those seeking religious exemptions to vaccine mandates are likely exploiting these exemptions as cover for personal, political, or social beliefs or fears about the safety of the vaccine. But even for those for whom their religious beliefs against vaccination are sincere, the harms to others associated with having unvaccinated individuals in close contact creates an undue burden on the organizations and communities in which these individuals live, work, worship, and play. For example, the sincerity of a religious belief that promoted public intoxication would not make that belief ethically or legally allowed because of the potential harms that would be caused if people acted on that belief.

Why Vaccine Mandates Are Ethical In This Moment

Mandates should only be used if they are needed. Individuals should first be educated about vaccination and its effectiveness—along with any potential risks—and then be encouraged to get voluntarily vaccinated. Incentives to encourage voluntary vaccination should also be tried.

A public health mandate should also only be instituted after robust public debate, in which there has been an opportunity for all people to voice their opinions. This has already happened. Indeed, social media have enabled all voices to be amplified and heard, sometimes over and over again. Those who prefer to remain unvaccinated will be disappointed to feel the pressure of a mandate. Not getting your way when you live in a democracy, however, does not mean you were excluded from the deliberative process.

Unfortunately, public debate and voluntary means have not been enough. When education, encouragement, prodding, and even incentivization have failed, and when harms from outbreaks are ongoing, then coercion in the form of mandates is ethically justifiable.

By “coercion,” we do not mean that anyone is going to be strapped down and jabbed with a needle against their will, or that this should happen. There is still a choice not to be vaccinated, but because that choice imposes substantial burdens, risks, and possible harm to others, it is reasonable for it to carry significant costs. For some, choosing not to be vaccinated will mean not holding a certain job, not enrolling in a school, or not being allowed to attend a public event. These implications are admittedly coercive, but coercion is justified when we are facing a terrible public health threat that involves many people getting infected and dying every day.

I’m not necessarily persuaded by the authors’ arguments but I think they’re worth considering. Of course, individuals will come to different conclusions if they disagree with the authors’ factual assertion that the vaccines are safe and effective. The same is true in debates about the appropriate response to climate change – if someone rejects the consensus view of scientists about its causes and likely consequences it’s very difficult to have a constructive conversation.

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Good example of the fact that one can oppose the mandate because one thinks it is wrong on principle (thanks Neil), or because one does not believe it’s good medicine, or because one does not give a damn.

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Can you provide some clarity on this point? Are you saying you count the days until they all die horribly from the disease or until the forced injections start? If the latter I do appreciate your candor, but it’s unclear what you mean. If you’re waiting for all the unvaccinated to die off as a result of their choices, you’ll be waiting some time. The average age of death by covid is higher than the average age for death itself. And it kills about 2% of all people it infects, give or take. Most of them at deaths door already.

I tagged you because I wanted to see what you’d say. And you didn’t disappoint. First, you called Von Der Layen a humanitarian. Another Saint Bill, I take it.

(^^ @Schopenhauer @S.Cheung tagging you both as you’ve both recently made comments that the jab situation is dire in the developing world–the above linked article shows how Gates and his trademark monopolistic M-O had its substantial hand in that).

Ursula’s husband seems like a Saint too. From the Wikipedia article on Heiko von der Leyen (also a medical doctor):

“Since December 2020, he is Medical Director of the US biotech company Orgenesis which is specialized in cell and gene therapies. Orgenesis Inc. is a pioneering global biotech company committed to accelerating commercialization and transforming the delivery of cell and gene therapies (CGTs) while lowering costs. Orgenesis has a cell-based vaccine platform targeting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as other viral diseases such as Zika, West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, MERS, HCV and Cytomegalovirus infection (CMV).”

Husband making vaccines against SARS-2 while wifey in the EU pushing mandatory shots for all. Orgenesis has recently reached an agreement with the Greek government for a €32 million joint venture. Their revenue for the third quarter of 2021 is up by 425% compared to 2020.

Then, you indulged in more of your own trademark gruesome retribution fantasy, the kind of which can be found peppered throughout your manifesto. People gasping for air being denied help, boys being beaten within an inch of their lives for disobeying their hivemind sister mentors in the post apocalyptic feminist resistance… these recurring themes of people who think differently than you getting their violent commeuppance, does it help you sleep at night?

But please, so I understand what you mean, what are you counting the days until? My takeaway is forced vaccinations. Am I wrong? If so, what is it?

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Me neither. A lot of it rests on the false assumption that covid vaccines will prevent infection and spread. But the Texas Dem lawmakers fiasco fleeing their duties via airplane and all catching covid and spreading it to the Whitehouse despite everyone being vaxxed… and the case of the cruise ship where it passed through all the vaxxed passengers with ease. Those two events can pretty much refute like half of that article because it keeps leaning back on that one faulty assumption.

Also according to that article we already have mandatory injections, the kind that already exist in European countries, so Ursula is talking about more than coercion. I’d love to be a fly on that wall for that EU “mandatory vaccination” discussion.

Neil Oliver is right. If they’re serious they’re going to have to take off the mask at some point and own the cold fact of their tyranny. This will put a lot of people off, both vaccinated and no.

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OTOH can you even imagine telling homosexuals that they must practice safe sex under penalty of law? Or going back to criminalizing the use of cannabis?

Comparisons with traffic regulations are valid but also miss the point that the government is not going to strap you into a car and force you to drive whereas they are contemplating strapping you down and injecting you with artificial protein fragments. Surely there is a rather large difference in degree if not abstract principle? I’ve had my jabs and I wear my God-damned mask but forcing me to get the booster? Nope, I’m beginning to think I’ve been on the wrong side of this.

But the science seems to say that the virus mutates into more infectious but LESS deadly forms. They say that Omicron is hardly worse than the common cold. What? 5 million out of 8 billion people on the planet have died of Covid. The worst is long over, but the governments are getting more and more totalitarian every day. Things are out of balance.

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Saw a clip on the news a while back. Some group in the US suing the feds over some vaccine regulatory overreach. Guy said that it’s not that the proposed mandate was bad science, it is rather that, good or bad, it was regulatory overreach. Point being that the government does not have arbitrary power and I hafta say I’d agree with his suit even if I thought the content of the proposed regulations was in itself, good.

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Disclaimer 1: I didn’t watch the video. For me, I’m pretty much over thinking of this situation as a pandemic. IMHO we are now in a long-haul medium-grade endemic situation. Things will change this way and that way, infections will go up here and down there. There will be hot spots and vastly more places where things are relatively normal.

Disclaimer 2: I am a fan of the vaccines. They are the reason things are “relatively” normal. But I do have some concerns, see the next paragraph.

I’ve got all kinds of problems with cross-the-board mandates, both medical and ethical. Regarding medical reasons, I don’t want to get into them all, but here’s an example: Not a single vaccination conversation I’ve seen or heard takes into account the (vast) difference between natural childhood immunity/resistance vs. the typical course when an adult is infected. Anyone mandating childhood vaccination needs to have answered the long-ball question: by vaccinating kids rather than allowing them to contract immunity from the virus itself are we doing them a disservice? And as they age and bring their natural immunity forward into adulthood, contributing more and more to herd resistance, will we be blunting that broader beneficial societal effect?

Ethically, people proposing solutions need to examine not just potential benefits, but the costs and risks as well. For example, given the steady march of government officials bypassing the legislative process and just giving orders, I rather think that we’re going to see major blowback at some point. Has anyone proposing mandates analyzed that potential? Are they even aware of it?

Finally, I have huge problems with the fact that no policy person putting forth proposals such as this can provide a rational end-point. Is mandated vaccination our exit strategy? Or is it just more flailing? What happens if it doesn’t succeed?

I need a serious discussion to take place and it’s not taking place at all.

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The WHO has stated that the best vaccines only prevent infection and spread at a rate of around 40%. This protection declines 25% after three months. The argument for mandatory vaccination falls flat on its face, by this metric alone. We’ve seen that the modelling has been flawed from the start. Vaccination doesn’t reduce R numbers for Delta or substantially reduce spread. In this light, one can only legitimately argue that vaccination is useful for reducing risks for the individual, and its their choice to which risks they want to submit themselves.

This may seem contradictory, given everything we have been told, but in August in the UK antibody rates amongst adults (from both vaccination and natural immunity) stood at 94%, and if anything this figure has risen since then- especially amongst children- who, for a time, consisted of a significant percentage of new daily cases. Israel is contemplating its fifth round of shots- only a few months ago this was a meme! It’s useless to continue to pursue a strategy which has proven a failure. All the empirical data points to the conclusion that vaccines don’t really limit spread. The virus is simply too contagious. It will always find a way around the knee high hurdles of vaccination- even if it doesn’t jump over them, it will find an alternative route to the immunologically vulnerable. We should return to the notion of the Great Barrington Declaration:

It may all be a moot point anyway:

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-03614-z

Early reports linked Omicron with mild disease, raising hopes that the variant might be less severe than some of its predecessors. But these reports — which are often based on anecdotes or scant scraps of data — can be misleading, cautions Müge Çevik, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of St Andrews, UK. “Everyone is trying to find some data that could guide us,” she says. “But it’s very difficult at the moment.”

It is worth noting that whilst Omicron may evade vaccine or Delta immunity, there is no guarantee that Delta will have the same ability to bypass Omicron immunity. If it is the case that, as suspected, Omicron has milder symptoms- and Delta can’t get around immunity conferred by it- then Omicron may turn out to be the silver bullet we’ve needed all along against Delta.

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This is a good point. Why don’t the journalists grill these corrupt elites like fictional Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Lois Lane is always doing?

It can’t be that they’re bought off that’s just insane conspiracy.

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There are so many contact points in that debate - you’ve got the Bjorn Lomberg types who agree with the premise but not the cure and Roger Pielke types who write policy and review the IPCC reports and disagree with the hysteria of climate change messaging. Then there are others who view and compare historical levels of carbon dioxide with today’s and don’t see a problem. It’s all science and it should all be able to be debated - it’s the original cancel culture in action. Climate change plays into my wheelhouse because I have believed for a long time that true capitalism requires sustainability and I think we need to be a lot kinder to our planet. The refusal to consider nuclear energy in any move away from fossil fuels is something I can’t stomach, along with the alarmists’ pearl clutching - if those two things weren’t present, I’d be all in.

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Thanks for tagging me @gamma247 - I am against vaccine mandates, however I have no medical background. There are some great people on QC who do have that background as well as same/others with data analytics experience - I trust them.

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You’re welcome. I appreciated you sharing your views and taking my abuse in good stride.

Of all the people I tagged only the two ladies didn’t respond :frowning:

Sausage_PartyPoster-150x150

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Not sure but by mandatory I suspect Von de Leyon maybe implying imposing a penalty not literal enforced vaccination. For example in Australia parents who don’t immunise their children from illnesses like measles are not eligible for a Family tax benefit.

I personally think penalties for not vaccinating should be considered for age groups vulnerable of hospitalisation if their health system is facing difficulty coping with the increasing pressures from patients with covid especially when normal services cannot be provided.

For people worrying about the effects of vaccination on themselves &/or their children perhaps they should also consider what it would be like if they or their children needed urgent life saving hospital attention & were prevented from getting adequate assistance because of hospital overload.

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To quote the authors of the article:

No, but they do require that drivers be licensed and wear their seatbelts, for the safety of both themselves (a benign form of paternalism) and other drivers.

Are they? I’ve seen this claim made time and time again but, aside from discussion of Australian “internment camps,” I haven’t seen much evidence. This certainly isn’t the case where I live, where there are currently no mask or vax requirements to shop at stores or patronize restaurants. My employer requires either proof of vaccination or a bi-weekly COVID test as a condition of employment, which I regard as completely reasonable.

I completely agree and think the article I excerpted did exactly that.

It’s not? I don’t watch TV news, but I could link to dozens of articles from the MSM which consider these questions.

I don’t think the science is a clear-cut as you suggest.

Even though the peak viral load was similar for vaccinated and unvaccinated people, the viral load decreased faster for fully vaccinated people with a Delta infection than for unvaccinated people.

“This study confirms that COVID-19 vaccination reduces the risk of delta variant infection and also accelerates viral clearance in the context of the delta variant,” Wilders-Smith wrote.

Viral load is directly related to infectiousness. Higher viral loads are more likely to lead to transmission of the virus.

The study results suggest that because the viral load of vaccinated people drops off more quickly, their infection may be infectious for a shorter time than for unvaccinated people.

In what sense? Vaccination has greatly reduced the number of people who suffer severe consequences (hospitalization and death) from COVID. This benefits those individuals most directly, but it also has a social dimension given the cost severe illness imposes on hospitals, medical workers (one quarter of whom are considering quitting in the U.S.) and taxpayers. The side effects of vaccination are minimal, so while mandating vaccination does impinge upon the autonomy of individuals it’s highly unlikely to cause physical harm.

Agreed – and you’ll be happy to learn that an increasing number of environmentalists are embracing nuclear energy (grudgingly, but nevertheless) as a necessary component of decarbonization. This includes long-standing anti-nuclear organizations like the Union of Concerned Scientists:

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Then let me clarify - I need legistlatures (you know, the governing bodies that are actually responsible for making law) to have serious discussions and come to agreement.

Or maybe a permanent state of emergency / rule by decree appeals to you?

[Edit: Final comment is snark. I know it doesn’t appeal to you.]

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The policies have been based not on science but on public opinion. The public opinion is hammered into people by the mainstream media. The mainstream media is brought to you to by Pfizer.

And I think some people do want a permanent state of emergency. I think they like feeling like they’re a part of something and feeling that their actions make a difference. I think they like having the easy-to-understand goodies vs baddies tribal lines drawn for them with them on the good side, of course. There are certainly people unwilling to let this pandemic go–people who will justify it by saying its just temporary measures while also complaining about those heretics who won’t get on board with the “new normal.”

Then considering that Hospitals have always been full to bursting for years now due to something or another I think this would mean that you agree with it full stop. Every year there are news pieces about Hospitals operating at or near capacity, it is the normal state of affairs. It’s just they’ve amplified that media coverage about it these last two years to drill it into everyone but it’s not actually anything unprecedented or different from any other year. What’s different this time is that the nurses in these overwhelmed Hospitals seem to have more time to choreograph their Tik Tok twerking videos.

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Which is to the author’s credit, however although the authors might not be contemplating it, it does seem that several governments are contemplating it. As you know I consider this a dilemma because I support the right of the government to take firm measures in a case like this but I also am guarded against overreach. I’ve been a good little dolphin so far, but I must say my alarm bells are starting to ring. Even if it’s just a case of increasingly punitive measures vs. actual forced injections, still, I’m starting to worry.

And we agree that’s quite proper. My concerns are about extreme measures yet to come. So far I’m on side.

We’ll see. I’m straddling the fence on this, which is hard for dolphins to do as you can imagine.

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