Vaccine Mandates and Boosters—What Does It All Mean?

One reason might be the structural and logistical reasons. If you don’t have paid time off, you can’t risk having two days out of work if you’re the one of the rare people who gets significant side effects from getting a shot. Those go away and they’re usually not severe, you don’t feel good for a day, but if you miss work for it and you can’t afford to miss work because you’ll lose your job, you don’t go get vaccinated potentially.

That’s a group of folks so you can fix that problem. If you’re somebody who lives really far away from a vaccination site, you can fix that problem. And those are sort of in the carrot vein, right? You can make it easier for people. If you’re told that there’s a vaccine mandate, if you work at a place that employs 65,000 Americans or something, if you say you can’t come to work without being vaccinated, but then that place doesn’t give you a place to get vaccinated, that’s not right, right?

So you make it possible for people, you make it easy for the people for whom it’s been hard. If you look at these polling numbers, they are fascinating to me, even in the group of people who say, “Absolutely there is nothing that can make me get vaccinated.” And that’s what? 15 percent, 20 percent, if you ask people the question in various polls. Even in that group, there’s a subgroup in the cross tabs. It’s like the only thing that could ever possibly make me get vaccinated is if I was forced to, well welcome aboard.

Now you’re being forced to, because you want to move through society as casually as you did in 2019. Once you get to the group that is politically or philosophically, opposed to vaccines, that’s where the tension is. That’s where where heads will butt here. And so now the question is, OK, well, because this is America you can maintain that political and philosophical opposition, but don’t expect to share the same privileges in society as other people do, because we have societal priorities and privileges now that are trying to be enforced. That is why they are, as you say, Mike, taking away one’s freedoms.

MC: Right. You don’t have to take a shower, but you’re going to be sitting on the roof of the bus if you don’t take a shower.

AR: Yeah. And these are the same kinds of questions you don’t know politically to swing all the way back around to where we started when I said, I didn’t want to do this to get political about it. These are the same kinds of political schisms or issues that culturally, the country has been dealing with at least for the last five years, but really for 10 or 15, 20 since 9/11, maybe it’s appropriate to be thinking about this week where the idea is what freedoms do people have, better freedoms of the freedoms individually, freedom from getting messed with versus freedom to do stuff, to be part of a society that has some shared priorities, where sometimes your ability to do whatever you want has to be subordinated to the safety of everyone around you.

We don’t let people around swinging a metal baseball bat, and that’s not a terrible analogy here because Covid-19 is a pernicious disease that kills some of the people who get it and it spreads asymptomatically so you cannot tell within a couple of days whether you have it and are giving it to other people without knowing about it. Because of that the world around us has to take some measures to keep us all safe. And in some parts of our country right now, more people than not agree to that, it’s part of the deal that we all make to live together in close quarters, right? But in some parts they don’t, and those are the parts of the country right now where the ICUs are full and the death rates are high and Lauren, as you said, the epidemiologic load, the burden is now shifting to populations that can’t get vaccinated like kids so far, because that’s still not approved in the United States.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #wired https://www.wired.com/story/gadget-lab-podcast-520

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