Having freedom does not give you the right to endanger others

(File photo/Lakes District News)


My loved ones and I are all double vaccinated. I dropped by the anti-vaccination rally in front of CNC last Wednesday. In a scene reminiscent of Mel Gibson in Braveheart, adults and small children side by side were shouting ‘freedom’. Everyone values his or her freedom. I’m free to have some cold beers in my home, I’m not free to then hop in my vehicle because I’ll endanger others. In the same way everyone is free to be unvaccinated but if you then go out in public, perhaps mask-less and shouting at a rally, you’re endangering others. Public safety overrides our personal freedom, the same way it overrules our freedom to go 180 km/h on the highway.

I spoke with some of the group and said, “You know that the only people still getting seriously ill and dying of Covid-19 are the unvaccinated, right?”I was told “that’s if you believe the Six O’Clock news”. Yes, the news has a fair amount of hype, but I trust the epidemiologists and weary ICU doctors appearing on TV or writing in the science journals I subscribe to. I don’t trust random people on social media linking to random fear mongers, some hawking quack Covid-19 remedies like horse de-wormer.

I was told if we allow the government to force vaccines on us they’ll just move on to the next thing in a creeping tyranny. I myself disagree with a number of things governments do, at election time I vote for the least disagreeable. I didn’t get vaccinated because the government told me to. I’m vaccinated because the science overwhelmingly told me its very safe and effective. I have a Sciences degree, studied cell biology and biochemistry and understand the function of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). The science behind the rapid development of Covid-19 vaccines is complex and amazing.

I’m so tired of having to wear a mask all day at work, not socializing or travelling and all the other precautions we have to endure. We could all be free!! of most of that tomorrow if everyone was vaccinated. Sorry anti-vaxxers, you might not wear a mask but you have to wear that one. I have one request of you. Please don’t harass the proprietors and staff our local businesses when they follow the law and the science and ask to see your vaccine passport.

Shouting ‘freedom’ didn’t end well for Mel in the movie. I fear it won’t end well for many of our unvaccinated.

Walt Vanderkamp