Twenty years ago, a madman named Richard Reid tried to use explosives in his shoe to blow up a flight headed to Miami. Thanks to that, all travelers for years had to remove their shoes when going through airport security.
People grumbled, but they understood that bad people want to inflict pain. Removing your loafers to potentially save lives isn’t a big sacrifice, considering the alternative.
You need a license to drive a car. That rule is there to protect you, of course, but also other people on the road. No one has the freedom to drive a car no matter what.
Schools require students to have vaccinations against multiple diseases before they can enroll. It’s been that way for years because it protects them and their classmates.
Call it an academic vaccine passport, if you will.
There are many more examples of safety measures overriding individual freedom, but you get the idea.
So why all the continued chattering against mask mandates and vaccinations? I have yet to hear a good reason why getting a shot or wearing a mask turned into such a misguided ruckus.
Now, Attorney General Ashley Moody said requirements by some mayors that a city’s workforce gets vaccinated is a potential public crisis. She said it could cause a greater shortage of law enforcement officers who would rather quit than comply.
Moody called the mandates “unconscionable.”
“Unconscionable? Republicans redefined that word to mean anything they don’t like, and it’s just not so.
Many police departments — or other employers — require drug tests of employees. By Moody’s definition, that could infringe on an officer’s liberty and would be unconscionable.
But, of course, it isn’t — any more than the mandatory vaccinations for school kids cramps their freedom.
If someone refuses a Breathalyzer if suspected of driving under the influence, they lose their license. But don’t they have the right to refuse the test in the name of liberty?
Nope, they don’t. And thank goodness for that.
We have a random virus that has killed more than 48,000 Floridians. How many of those deaths could have been prevented if victims weren’t so convinced the vaccines are a plot to plant a control chip in their heads? Nothing will help someone decide to follow science instead of quacks more than being hooked to a ventilator.
Of course, by that time it’s often too late.
We can’t say this often enough. This pandemic can be controlled if we use common sense. No one has the freedom to potentially infect someone else with a deadly virus.
You may have read that infection rates are trending downward, but remember recent history. That’s no different from a few months ago when everyone thought the pandemic was over. You can bet that if the delta variant rates subside, another mutation will appear..
Some call this latest virus surge “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” The numbers bear that out. The overwhelming percentage of people clogging hospital ICU beds believed they didn’t need a vaccination. Then the day might come that a mutation arrives that is immune to the defenses we now have.
Businesses and municipalities saw the bigger picture and required vaccines because the Governor won’t. He and his Attorney General chatter about individual liberty, but vaccination requirements aren’t about that.
It’s not unconscionable. It’s about life and death, and that matters more.