COVID-19 Vaccine Status a Private Affair

by | Jun 3, 2021


A poll from Morning Consult earlier this month found that vaccinated Americans are more afraid than the unvaccinated to eat inside a restaurant, travel outside the United States or go to the gym to work out — an astonishing discovery given that the whole reason for getting the vaccine is, drumroll, please, to prevent getting COVID-19.

But this poll explains a lot.

Like why perfect strangers think it’s A-OK to ask if you’ve had a vaccine, if you are planning to get the vaccine, and if not, why not. They’re not at all polite about it, either.

“It is ethical to ask if someone is vaccinated?” The Philadelphia Inquirer inquired. “That would be a hard no, says Sally Scholz, chair and professor of philosophy at Villanova University. … This is a medical issue and, ethically, it’s never OK to ask someone about their health status; in essence, you are asking someone to divulge sensitive information about their medical history that they may be uncomfortable sharing.”

Quite right.

And yet.

And yet that’s a truth that’s being rapidly pushed to the side in this brave new coronavirus world.

Remember the days when personal medical and health decisions stayed personal?

The coronavirus has changed all that. Fear and ignorance driven by a politically exploitative class of political exploiters have changed all that. How else to explain the poll findings of the very class of people who are supposed to be safe from catching the coronavirus, who the scientists said would be safe from catching the coronavirus — that these people are the very ones afraid to do anything? Even worse are the vaccinated who still doggedly insist on wearing face masks — along with you and your dog, Toto, too. Meanwhile, it’s the supposed “unsafe” — the unvaccinated — who want nothing more than to get back to living, and who are, in fact, following that desire with real action.

“Unvaccinated respondents,” Morning Consult wrote in early May, “were more than twice as likely as vaccinated people to feel comfortable traveling abroad or going on a cruise given the state of the pandemic. Other activities that unvaccinated people were significantly more open to included dating, attending a work conference, going to a gym or exercise class, riding on a train or bus and visiting an amusement park.”

Why bother getting the vaccine then?

That’s a good question. And the answer has nothing to do with science or medical truth. It has to do with fear. It has to do, too, with feel-good virtue signaling and the chance to wallow in some good old-fashioned self-righteous indignation.

“As we rush to reconnect,” wrote one at The Philadelphia Inquirer, “I want to know people’s vaccination status. I know. I know. I’m being overly cautious. … [But] the only way I’m going to feel comfortable socializing in intimate settings is if my peeps are vaccinated.”

This is the mark of the modern-day self-righteous beast, the one that says, “I know better than you what’s right for you.” The one that says, “You’re making me feel uncomfortable so it’s up to you to change so I feel comfortable.”

The one that says America’s rapidly moving from a nation of independent individualism to a country of communist collectivism. After all, this is how fascists and socialists and communists think: that the word “I” should be obliterated from the world’s dictionaries.

There’s no “I.” There’s only “we.”

And the train of thought as it relates to this coronavirus and to America’s response to the coronavirus and vaccine goes like this: Because there’s no “I,” there’s only “we,” and because the health decisions of one are only seen through the filter of how they affect the health of the many, then it’s completely natural, logical, acceptable and even expected to ask about vaccination status.

It’s natural, logical, acceptable and even expected to downright demand those who’ve not taken the vaccine to take it.

So. Before you ask, consider what it is you’re really asking — and why. Chances are, in a country like America where individualism includes informed consent and the right to choose one’s own health decisions, it’s really none of your business in the first place.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Washington Times.


  • Cheryl K. Chumley

    Cheryl Chumley is online opinion editor for The Washington Times, the author of “The Devil in DC: Winning Back the Country From the Beast in Washington” and of "Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare is Becoming Our Reality," and a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Fund for American Studies.

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