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A Miscellany 476
Freedom in Society

by: JT

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You Must Be This Tall To RideMost of us have probably seen signs like this at the carnival or amusement park. Generally they are recognized as a way of ensuring the safety of everyone on the ride. And protests are rare, just the occasional child throwing a tantrum over an inability to to go on a ride which seems attractive.

From the child's viewpoint it is a restriction on freedom, and a restriction the child has no control over other than to wait to gain the necessary inches.

But that restriction on the child's freedom is necessary for safety.

I understand the child's tantrum because the child is currently unable to change the situation. It must be quite frustrating.

In today's world we are faced with mask mandates, vaccination mandates. There are places I cannot go without a mask. There are places I cannot go without proof of vaccination. There are places I cannot go without both. I live on an island and without buying my own boat, I cannot leave it as the ferries require a mask and airlines require proof of vaccination and a mask. These are currently legal requirements. And as the sign says "NO EXCEPTIONS."

And of course, like the child at the amusement park, there are adults throwing tantrums in public over this. Unlike the the child, nearly all those adults have control over the situation. They can wear masks. They can get vaccinated. They can follow sound medical advice rather than "doing their own research" in the disinformation corners of the internet.

For those who for whatever reason feel themselves unable to comply with public health regulations intended to protect their safety and that of others, the choice is clear. They don't get to ride. They don't get to go to the mall, eat in their favorite pizza place, go to the gym. They might find themselves unemployed. They don't get to leave the island. Those are direct consequences of their own ill-informed decisions.

When one inists on a vision of freedom which significantly endangers the rest of society, it involves a reduction in overall freedom.

The evidence that masks and vaccinations are safe and are beneficial in the current pandemic is overwhelming. The difference between the infection and hospitalisation rates[1] for the vaccinated and unvaccinated is so great that it cannot be ignored. It is time to stop pretending otherwise. It is time that everyone's understanding of the facts became "THIS TALL."


  1. For where I live, over 80% of current cases are among the less than 20% who are unvaccinated; 85% of hospitalisations are among that unvaccinated minority; 95% of the ICU admissions are among the under 20% unvaccinated, along with 99% of the deaths.

    And for those concerned about the long-term effects of vaccination, I can tell you what the major effect will be - we are going to have a longer life expectancy than the unvaccinated.

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