The fight against COVID-19 has been long and everyone is tired of it. The government is requiring masks and vaccinations. Some people see this as against their right to choose their own approaches to illness or “medical freedom.” The government is telling them what to do. Others see the government as having the responsibility to protect citizens from illness to maintain the “social good” by doing whatever is necessary to reduce illness. In a society like ours that gives priority to individual freedom this creates a value conflict. We don’t like for people to give us mandates.
Some community teachers and others express on social media the case against “medical mandates” like wearing masks. These are people who in others ways support the well-being of children so this objection seems contrary to basic values.
There are other times when the need for overall health is more important than an individual’s choice about vaccination. We have a number of vaccination mandates for children entering our school system. These are also medical mandates designed to support health among children.
As a grandparent, I support the science that says there is less illness when everyone wears masks and everyone eligible is vaccinated. “Medical freedom” is freedom from COVID-19. True “medical freedom” will be achieve when we work together to be free from the looming threat of the virus.
Mary Cunningham, Normal