Personal liberties -vs- public health & safety

Which is more important: personal freedoms or the health and safety of the country?

(Via the Poynter Report)

I act toward health and safety. That should surprise no one. I cast a critical mind to how I define both personal freedoms and health & safety – and how it is defined by various governments.

Today, here are my thoughts:

  • Mask mandates are “a matter of health and safety” and not an infringement on personal liberty. It is personal safety for the wearer and those around the wearer.
  • I endorse requiring vaccinations except for those with a medical exemption.
  • Individuals have a right to choose not to get the vaccine, but they don’t have any right to be around anyone else and put others at risk, vaccinated or unvaccinated. This includes religious and parental opt-outs.
  • I support state and local governments requiring masks.
  • I support employers requiring workers to get the vaccination.
  • I support businesses refusing service to the unvaccinated, but would prefer they use 2020 approaches to serving the unvaccinated via methods like on-line ordering, contactless curbside pickup, and outdoor seating.
  • I support banning the unvaccinated traveling by airplane or mass transit. Masks for all should be mandated.
  • I support sporting events and concerts barring the unvaccinated. Indoor events should require masks.
  • I support every school’s right to require students to be vaccinated in order to return to campus. There should not be a parental “opt-out” where the child gets to attend school and events if they can be vaccinated but don’t. Younger kids should be masked at all times. Parents who exercise their opt-out bear the financial and educational burden of their choice.
  • Federal, state, and local governments should not interfere with how schools deliver education to students when public safety is an issue; banning remote learning is short sighted.
  • Regular COVID testing is not a replacement for masks and vaccinations.
  • I support a federal vaccination registry with a strictly limited scope and oversight by an independent ombudsperson.

As always, I reserve the right to change my mind on any of these based on new empirical information.

By Paul

I’m a Detroit expat recently returned from Tokyo living in Chattanooga. I’m a consulting security professional and father of two. I promise that my views and politics are mine; not yours or my employer’s or anyone’s. I follow no party or affiliation or anything. My things are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license unless otherwise stated.

Be nice with what you write.