Yes, Opting Out of Vaccines Should Cost You Your “Rights”

By Paul Thomas Zenki

Fairness demands that anti-vaxxers be ostracized …

Go around telling people you are all that matters and they don’t, and you can expect to be a social pariah. Because you chose to be.

Yet millions of Americans are now telling their compatriots that their own comfort and convenience matter more than everyone else’s health and lives, more than their kids’ lives. At the same time they are enraged, sometimes violently, that anyone should suggest they be excluded from anything.

Let’s be clear here. Getting habitually drunk and driving on the public roadways is not a personal choice. Defecating in a public swimming pool is not a personal choice. Choosing to walk around in public unmasked and unvaccinated during a pandemic is not a personal choice. These are unavoidably social choices.

Or more accurately, they are anti-social choices. Coupled with aggressive demands for social acceptance of such behavior, they are choices so profoundly selfish as to rise to the level of sociopathic narcissism.

It’s time for people who’ve opted out of social responsibility to have that decision honored. Go be a rugged individual. Alone.

At my place of work we respected the decisions of those who, by refusing safe vaccinations, chose not to be part of the team. They are now no longer on the team.

We respect the decisions of those who, by refusing to wear masks and keep at a safe distance from others, choose not to be cooperating members of the public. They are excluded from our public spaces.

I’m glad to hear the US military will be respecting the decisions of people who place their own “rights” above those of their fellow Americans, not allowing them to compromise their precious individuality by joining a fellowship dedicated to serving and, if need be, sacrificing for the entire nation. All those who accept our social responsibility not to potentially infect others with a deadly disease, not to become a breeding ground for more dangerous variants, should follow suit.

Classrooms and libraries where people gather to learn together, restaurants and bars where people dine and laugh together and share good cheer, movie theaters and amusement parks where we collectively share vicarious experience, public transportation and mass transit where we emerge from our private pods to travel in cohort and make room for one another, all these blatantly non-individualistic spaces should respect the decisions of those who choose to remain unvaccinated by allowing them their vaunted independence from society. They should not be burdened by our company which they so profoundly disrespect, which they value at nothing.

If you prize your own comfort, your own “liberty”, your own sweet self over everything else, over the safety and even the lives of all other people, well, OK then. So be it. No need to argue. No need to discuss. You can have your independence. But make no mistake — that is all you deserve.

Header image by Hanna Kovalchuk

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Paul Thomas Zenki is an essayist, ghostwriter, copywriter, marketer, songwriter, and consultant living in Athens, GA.