Monday, November 22, 2021

The Indefensibility of Post-Vaccine Lockdowns

Reasonable people may disagree about the justifiability of early-pandemic lockdowns (while awaiting the availability of vaccines), but this is just nuts:

Austrian officials’ decision to impose a lockdown that will last at least 10 days and as many as 20 came after months of struggling attempts to halt the contagion through widespread testing and partial restrictions. Starting Monday, public life in the country is to come to a halt, with people allowed to leave their homes only to go to work or to procure groceries or medicines.

What's the justification for this?  When vaccines are freely available to all, Covid isn't a serious threat except to those who refuse the vaccine, and thereby accept personal responsibility for the consequences. If policymakers are worried about hospital over-crowding, unvaccinated adults suffering complications from Covid should go to the back of the line.  If the unvaccinated are not willing to accept the risk of death due to a lack of hospital beds, they can either (i) get vaccinated, or (ii) stay home or take other precautions while local case rates are high.  But if they insist on risking their health, and get seriously ill as a result, they've no-one to blame but themselves.  It's simply not reasonable to infringe upon everyone's liberties for fear of harms that individuals have it within their own power to mitigate or avoid.

1 comment:

  1. One competing consideration: A policy of requiring non-vaccinated adults to go to the back of the line would impose on some the burden of denying life-saving care to those in need of it. Even if the denial is justified, I can scarcely imagine how difficult it would be. Perhaps this consideration is not sufficiently strong to justify even the temporary infringement of liberty involved in the lockdown, but I think it is often overlooked in these discussions.

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