Vaccine Passports are the way we gather again and should be supported.
By Riley Mulcahy
Early last year, there was a collective shift in our way of thinking like humans. New guidelines on interacting with people and going out into the world dramatically changed because of COVID-19. Instead of birthday parties and other celebrations, we were told to stay home for a couple of weeks, and we would turn the corner and beat the virus. A year later, we are still restricted in gathering with other people.
How do we get back to a sense of normalcy? If a person was asked this in the Fall of 2020, their answer might be herd immunity or wearing masks, however, in December of 2020, a revolutionary effort came to market: the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The notion that a life-saving vaccine would be available in a matter of months was unfathomable; however, America was able to do it,; however there is still hesitancy in continuing the measures that will create a safer future for everyone, including taking the vaccine.
Hesitancy isn’t the correct term. Rather, there is a politzacation and fear amongst conservatives about the vaccine, which was created by former President Trump when he refused to take the pandemic seriously. Instead of acting like a leader, Trump took all of the time in the world to come up with a response, which was to attack Asian Americans by calling the virus the “China Virus,” among other racist terms.
The solution is simple: vaccinate as many Americans as possible to return to a somewhat “normal life.” Countries are announcing that vaccine passports will be implemented, allowing only those who are vaccinated to travel, go to sporting events, and gather. However, for some, this is seen as an attack on their freedom. Just like the mask, a vaccine passport would be taking some type of freedom they can’t put into words at risk. They are struggling to find reasons because for the most part, there are none.
To suggest that a hundred percent of the population trusted the vaccine process from the beginning is absurd. The disconnect comes in when over a hundred million people have been vaccinated, only presenting with rare cases of side effects, and not take it because the government is tracking you. We have been in a pandemic for a year and there is a solution that is or will be available to you; please take it so we can remember COVID as a thing of the past, rather than a recurring nightmare of the present. If the joys of seeing friends and family comes in a vaccine passport that is the least of our worries.
The virus has taken so much away from us, our mental health, friends, family and a way of life we cannot get back, not to mention the death toll that continually rises. President Biden has done his best to bring Americans together, even through a pandemic, but people refusing to protect their fellow Americans causes division. In a year that has taken so much of us, we should not be creating barriers for each other.
Vaccine passports will be how we are able to connect with others. Instead of fighting it,
Americans should embrace the fact that they have a life to live and are able to do the simple acts those who died from COVID-19 virus don’t. The fear that is associated from the vaccine is understandable, however what is not is the manipulation of American’s emotions from politicians who have already have taken the vaccine. Passports are a logical conclusion to a preventable pandemic, and we all should be grateful for what we have, not arguing about freedoms that are not being taken away.
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Ryan Ford '23,