What do seat belts and experimental vaccines have in common? Not much. However, The Reminder editor G. Michael Dobbs’ recent op-ed argues that seat belts—along with laws against drunk and distracted driving—are just like vaccine mandates. They’re all ways to protect people from getting hurt.
So, Dobbs says, it’s hypocritical for members of the Massachusetts State Police to resist Governor Baker’s demand that all troopers receive the COVID-19 vaccination in order to keep their jobs. As Dobbs puts it,
So the trooper who can pull you over for districted driving, who can fine you for not wearing a seatbelt and arrest you for drunk driving may not agree with the concept of another state-mandated safety regulation: getting a vaccination to lessen the chance of contracting a potentially deadly diseases. There is a sad level of hypocrisy in this issue.
This argument shows the utter cluelessness of many who support COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Stopping a person from driving a car while drunk or distracted is in no way comparable to forcing someone to submit to an unwanted vaccine.
Mr. Dobbs acknowledges in his article that, although some of his friends and family had the virus, he knows no one who died of COVID-19. This seems to be the typical experience that most of us have had with the virus. Either we’ve had COVID-19 or we knew someone who had the virus and, in the vast majority of cases, no one died or even needed hospitalization. Consequently, many of us don’t consider the virus to be a significant threat.
Moreover, no one can deny that the COVID-19 vaccines were developed at an incredibly fast (possibly reckless?) pace. Anyone who claims to speak with certainty about the long term effects of the vaccines is either intentionally lying or oblivious to his or her ignorance.
What Mr. Dobbs and Governor Baker fail to realize is that many people do not consider COVID-19 to be a deadly threat. Additionally, many of us have serious questions about the long-term effects of getting the vaccine. To force such people to get vaccinated against their will is at best misguided and at worst immoral.