There is something disturbing, and callous, about the way in which the government in general, and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in particular, can sit back and watch the dozens of citizens dying from Covid-19 on a daily basis. Thirty-one deaths in 24 hours are nothing to pat yourself on the back for; neither is a total of nearly 3,000 deaths.
It is time to make the vaccine a mandatory requirement. Freedom of choice? Hardly an absolute human right. People were vaccinated in the past without much choice in the matter and the result was a successful eradication of diseases like polio and smallpox.
As Spock often said: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.”
How difficult is it to make the vaccine compulsory? The short answer is, not very.
Parliament has the power to make (or unmake) any law it decrees. So, Parliament can, and should, pass the necessary legislation to make the vaccine mandatory to the entire population, with specific—and specifically stated—exceptions to protect those who are medically advised not to take the vaccine.
Passing the necessary legislation has a few positive effects. First, it reduces legal challenges.
Second, it will specifically legislate to abrogate certain human rights, which is permissible under the Constitution. This leads back to the first point, to reduce legal challenges.
Third, it reduces the worst symptoms and prevent deaths. Yes, the people dying have been said to have co-morbidities which make them more vulnerable, but the evidence points to those vaccinated being better off after contracting Covid-19—needing fewer hospitalisations, less intensive treatment and costing the health sector less.
Fourth, this mandatory vaccination requirement will automatically cut the nonsense being spouted by organisations and unions about a choice between vaccinations and employment. Since everyone will be required to take the vaccine, public sector and private sector employees will have no ‘out’ while it will also end any disputes about ‘furlough’, ‘no pay’ and so forth.
Fifth, those who continue to refuse vaccine should be penalised: harshly. This issue is bigger than individuals. People do not learn only through reward, but also by pain.
Covid-19 is a wicked problem. Wicked problems have no known solutions, only iterations of improvement. Traditional approaches attempting to find resolutions will fail. This is a given. Every attempt at fixing changes the nature of the problem itself, making the same repeated approaches at ‘solving’ a futile endeavour. Each iteration must be unique in its approach.
However, what works somewhere else is not necessarily a complete failure. Covid-19 is a worldwide problem now, and certain countries are more successful in dealing with it. The Prime Minister should pay attention to what is working around the world.
What is working are common-sense and scientifically proven improvements, such as:
- working from home
- limited movement, and interactions
- social distancing
- changing exercise and diet to live a healthier lifestyle.
Clearly the Prime Minister has limited influence over the final point but he does have the power to influence and change the first four.
It is time that he exercises that power for the good of society.