The Covid-19 vaccine has been criticized for its rapid development and dispersal to millions of people. Side effects are common, causing relabeling on some types of the vaccine and widespread reports of the dreaded “Covid arm” – a red, aching soreness that usually affected the shoulder at the injection site and sometimes spread down most of the arm.
Many people, including myself, appreciate the choice to receive the vaccine or take our chances against a disease that has a 99.7% survival rate. But legislation is encroaching on that choice more and more every day. First, it started with international travel requiring proof of the Covid vaccine. That seemed all right; a person could forego foreign travel if he or she chose to not get the vaccine. For most people, that wasn’t too big of a sacrifice or inconvenience.
Then liberal legislators ramped up the call for vaccinations, because enough people were voluntarily getting the shots. California state employees must now show proof of Covid vaccination or get tested weekly. The US Department of Veteran Affairs announced it is requiring Covid vaccinations for all healthcare workers in Veterans Health Administration facilities.
The push for mandatory vaccinations extends beyond healthcare workers, though. The San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance, which represents 500 bars in SF, is encouraging its members to require customers to show a negative Covid test from within the past 72 hours or proof of vaccination starting July 29. Customers who don’t fulfill these requirements can sit outside.
If you don’t work for the state or enjoy the right to drink a cold beer in public, you could still find yourself face to face with a vaccine mandate if you want to earn a college degree. The California University system will require the Covid vaccine for all staff, faculty, and students returning to class this fall. The system will allow for medical or religious exemptions. CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro said in a statement that the current surge of cases due to the delta variant is a primary reason for the new rule.
Governor Newsom seconded the notion that vaccinations for all is his state’s priority. When asked about a statewide mask mandate being reinstated, he said “our focus is on vaccinations, so there will be no need.”
At least he’s honest about his intentions. Californians have been warned loud and clear by a growing number of employers in various sectors, educational leaders, and now their own (possibly soon to be recalled) governor. It’s tempting to say “That’s their problem – one more reason not to live in California!” But you know what else they say: As California, so goes the nation.
As of this writing, a person can choose to remain unvaccinated AND maskless. There is (currently) no law requiring every citizen to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus that caused so much excitement for liberal lawmakers last year. Because we’re still a country that values freedom of personal choice, right? We’d like to think so, but the proof is getting a little harder to find. Pitting the choice to remain unvaccinated against the choice to become unemployed is anteing the stakes higher than they should be and taking away more freedoms than should be allowed.