Front-line workers – in healthcare, in law enforcement, and so on – have every right to refuse to be vaccinated. Their employers – hospitals, police departments, and so on – have every right not to let them on the job-site until they are. But people are dying – in hospitals and on the streets – because there aren’t enough of these front-line workers. And this is only being exacerbated by blocking unvaccinated workers from their job-sites. So what to do?
If these vaccination mandates were dropped, then some people will be infected who otherwise wouldn’t be. So one question is, what kills more people in the short term: unvaccinated front-line workers or the shortage of front-line workers? And who is responsible for these deaths, the employer or the refuseniks? But the other question is, what are the longer-term consequences of allowing, and therefore encouraging, this kind of defiance?
But yet a third question is, do essential service workers, like nurses and police officers, have the right to withdraw their services, if, in their view, acceding to their employers’ demands puts them in harm’s way? Certainly not if they’re soldiers. But nurses and police officers aren’t soldiers.
Some people think the issue comes down to the ‘science’. The ‘science’ tells them to get vaccinated. But which science? Whose science? The employers’ science? But that just begs the question.
That wrong decisions cost lives is hardly breaking news. But wrong decisions need not be wrongfully made. If and when this pandemic is over we’ll know which decisions were right and which were wrong. But that won’t impact the debate taking place right now about the rightfulness or wrongfulness of the decision-protocols currently being employed. There has to be a number – a number we can settle on before the fact – of the lives we’re prepared to lose to preserve the freedoms that are at stake here. I say it’s 78 million Americans, and I’ll leave it to you to guess which. But 28,000 Canadians is already giving me pause.