Why shouldn’t there be a vaccination passport required for entry? Why shouldn’t health care employees, service employees, or any employee for that matter, not be required to get vaccinated?
A medical or health related reason is an acceptable exemption but religion is not. When I was subject to the Selective Service System’s military draft, and I applied for Conscientious Objector status, I knew that I would still be required to serve as a medic or in some other capacity in the community. It wasn’t a free pass from what everyone else was required to do, it was an adaption that accommodated religious beliefs. Having a religious objection to a vaccine that otherwise helps to protect the larger community, should mean that the person is choosing (and being required) to be isolated from the rest of the community as their public service. For that matter, those with a medical exemption should likewise be subject to isolation. The virus doesn’t care and if we wish to defeat it, we need to be a lot more disciplined as a society.
Even religious groups and institutions should require vaccination for entry. Then, if there is a need, offer a special worship time just for those who are not vaccinated while still insisting upon all the precautions.
If someone had chickenpox or the bubonic plague we would not knowingly invite them into a crowded room to spread it around and endanger lives. Why would we do that now with the Delta variant of COVID? Jesus touching a leper doesn’t equate to welcoming potential virus spreaders into our midst. Doctors and nurses around the world touch people carrying the virus, but with N95 masks and through rubber gloves. Let’s get real and stop making false equivalents between Jesus and us, or between being loving and inclusive and allowing unvaccinated people to create super-spreader events out of grocery stores, movie theaters, and restaurants.
Let’s insist that unvaccinated people do the loving thing, even if they do not feel like being loving: isolate themselves from the general public that is vaccinated. Why is this so difficult? For years schools at all levels have required students to be vaccinated from a number of diseases before enrolling, how is COVID different? Yes, people can choose not to be vaccinated but then they are also choosing to practice social isolation. Period.
If this pandemic were Ebola instead of COVID, and we routinely witnessed people bleeding from their eyes, ears, and rectums, I am certain that a required protocol for vaccination or social isolation would be almost immediately in force. Yet people are suffering and dying in great numbers out of public view and so we have allowed this whining about individual freedoms to hinder appropriate remediation. There are more pandemics on the horizon, so say those who study such things. We need to break through the loud, selfish resistance to appropriate governmental public health initiatives so that doing the right thing or standing aside becomes normative.
I know there will be blow-back to this stark and simple assertion because a tiny tiny minority, as well as some ill-intentioned political forces, have been effective in creating a cloud of conversation so much larger than their actual numbers. Their mayhem requires blunt clarity.