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Vaccine Passports Are the New Sanitary Apartheid


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There is no rationality in the “anti-vaccine movement”. In fact, there is no rationality in anything that chooses to define itself in the negative (this is the great marketing goal of the “pro-life” cause). People who actively militate against vaccination are victims of their prejudices, their fears and their ignorance (no one should be offended by this last point, we are all mostly ignorant). Any individual who does a minimal historical review through our epidemics and diseases can easily conclude that vaccination has saved millions of lives. Even so, the health policies implemented in several European countries are openly discriminatory and hint at authoritarian impulses that should have been buried in the past.

The problem is not the “sanitary passport” itself (which, if properly applied, can be a useful tool) or the right of admission of private individuals, but the officially imposed segregation: the state has organized itself to discriminate and, not content with this, extends this marginalization to sectors which, after a year and a half of partial or total confinement, cannot afford to continue counting losses.

Of course there is an undeniable sanitary urgency and it is clear that COVID and its different variants will not disappear next week. It is equally undeniable and obvious that the only way we have today to return to something tentatively resembling normalcy is vaccination. You should get vaccinated and it would be wise, moreover, to urge your entire family to do so. However, it is objectively immoral to create policies of ideological discrimination and to force private individuals to apply them.

The members of the “anti-vaccine” movement, however hard it may be, are simply people who think differently. How different is it to incite a company to fire its unvaccinated employees than to induce it to discharge its atheists, or right-wingers, or vegetarians? Who is drawing the line between what is acceptable to us as a democratic society and what is not?

To suppose that those of us who oppose the implementation of the sanitary pass to go to a bar are “anti-vaccine” is a mere intellectual reduction whose only purpose is to ridicule and simplify an absolutely valid republican urgency. This conjecture, moreover, will do nothing but deepen the social creeks that have so much damaged our society. What is at stake here is how we stand in the face of a moral dilemma that affects none other than our most basic freedoms.

Nor is it an argument, as certain political sectors suggest, to affirm that this attack on liberty “works” because there has been a huge increase in vaccinations since its announcement. To argue such thing is pretty much like saying “Jessica didn’t want to sleep with me, but after holding her at gunpoint for a few minutes, she did. It worked.”

Voltaire never said “I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend with my life your right to say it.” It was British author Evelyn Beatrice Hall in an attempt to summarize the postulates of the aforementioned French philosopher. This, however, is irrelevant. The “anti-vaccine” movement is a product of the same intellectual laziness and anti-system of the flat-earthers. They are profoundly mistaken. But their freedoms must remain untouchable, because ours also depend on them.

Pris Guinovart is a writer, editor and teacher. In 2014, she published her fiction book «The head of God» (Rumbo, Montevideo). She speaks six languages. Columnist since the age of 19, she has written for media in Latin America and the United States // Pris Guinovart es escritora, editora y docente. En 2014, publicó su libro de ficciones «La cabeza de Dios» (Rumbo, Montevideo). Habla seis idiomas. Columnista desde los 19 años, ha escrito para medios de America Latina y Estados Unidos

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