Can we stop calling it a conspiracy theory yet?

Featured image is a meme I made myself. Enjoy…

Coming soon to a city near you, COVID relocation centers… In Australia, they are switching from a COVID hotel model to more of a “camp.” In New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans are imposing proof of vaccination in order to engage with normal life activities and employment. The Biden Admin floated the idea of mandating vaccines for interstate travel, and school districts are battling either local or state governments to either enforce or ignore mask mandates. And for those who like to say, you’re not a prisoner in the quarantine hotels, you’re a guest, my response is that guests can leave at any time.

The authoritarian creep is happening worldwide, and the people at the beginning of this pandemic who bemoaned the inevitable growth of authoritarianism from such measures were ridiculed as conspiracy theorists. But as time goes on, they were, and are being proven right again and again.

I personally am pro-vaccination. I am for personal responsibility. I want people to talk to their doctor, to weigh the pros and cons of getting the vaccine, and making an informed decision. I am an advocate for informed consent, and I believe in listening to people when they say they don’t want to get the vaccine in order to help them overcome their hesitancy.

But I cannot support the government mandating, at any level, that I, or anyone else, get a vaccination. I do not support the imposition of restrictions, like in New York, to access for the things that make life worth living, on a populace who cannot get the vaccine. There is no medical exemption for the vaccine passport in New York. People who have medical issues, religious concerns, or who wish to exercise their freedom to choose, are effectively second class citizens in the big apple. “No Jab, No Job,” is becoming a reality in the land of the free.

From Lol Pics

Not to say that these authoritarian tendencies aren’t without justification. Per Worldometers, the US rolling seven day average is now at 139,000 with 700 deaths per day. While this trend is disquieting, it is not as bad as last winter, and is slightly better than this point last year, when the averages were higher in case count (53,000 last summer per day) but lower in death count (about 1100 per day).

Our extreme focus on the virus is going to cause more problems. Our economy is faltering, sputtering, and failing as we continue to pump money into it without filling the millions of jobs that are open. The government is botching the withdrawal from Afghanistan and stranding tens of thousands of people, leaving them to the “tender mercies” of the Taliban. China mocks the US and tells the world that Taiwan is next. Our President says his talking points and leaves without taking questions. The virus continues to spread regardless of the measures implemented to stop it, and all the while we are spread so thin over so many topics that everyone is beginning to crack. I don’t know about you, but I am weary of it all, trying hard to find a way to keep smiling and laughing my way through this pandemic before those too are banned for fear they spread the virus.

For those who don’t think that any of this is a problem, I would strongly suggest taking a moment to find where your line is. For me, it is the imposition of mask mandates. To recommend that people wear a mask is a fine suggestion, but to impose mask mandates, when the evidence that the practical use of such masks (not wearing your mask properly, improper application of face masks, reusing face masks over multiple days, touching the inside of the face mask, moving the mask to touch one’s face, not properly cleaning and sanitizing the mask, improper storage of masks, wearing the wrong type of mask, etc.) is ineffective, that I have a deep problem with. The ease at which people apply the “anti-vaxxer” or “anti-masker” label nowadays is neither shocking nor surprising. We react most viciously when we are afraid. But we’ve been living in this dystopian fear machine for decades now, and it shows. We used to play together on playgrounds at parks. We used to know our neighbors well and have block parties. We used to go out into the world with a sense of wonder. But now it’s a scary place with scary people that want to kill you because they didn’t get a vaccine and you should report them to the authorities because they don’t agree with you.

How long until proof of vaccination is required for voting? Or will it be that the COVID camps come to the US, to intern people who don’t wish to be vaccinated? Or will that too mutate like a virus to encompass people who don’t vote for the preferred candidate? Where is that line? We’re over 500 days to slow the spread, our War on COVID raging on in spectacularly terrible fashion. And the casualty list includes many of our essential liberties.

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