I have a few questions about our fellow citizens who refuse to get the COVID vaccine because “The government can’t tell me what to do with my body!” Does that work in other instances?
When the authorities issue an evacuation order — even going door-to-door to ensure people get the hell out — in a wildfire area like those in the western states right now, or when a hurricane is about to make landfall, can a resident refuse to leave by claiming, “The government can’t tell me what to do with my body!” No. In most states, if you don’t get out during a mandatory evacuation, you could face civil or criminal penalties.
What about when a city or county passes a law banning smoking indoors at public places? What happens to someone who lights up in a restaurant and says, “The government can’t tell me what do to with my body?” The management has every right to throw them out.
When the government mandates seat belt wearing, can someone given a ticket by a cop for not doing so refuse to pay the fine because “The government can’t tell me what to do with my body?” Of course not.
It’s important to note “The government can’t tell me what to do with my body” is a completely valid argument when it comes to personal matters, including reproductive rights like abortion and birth control. But the instances I cited above are issues of public health, not individual agency. Getting enough people vaccinated to achieve herd immunity and let society return to something close to normal is a huge concern for the entire population, not isolated instances.
Finally, here’s one for those who complain the CDC’s mask advice is confusing because it keeps changing. They don’t understand that the scientific consensus is often updated when there’s new information to consider — just like traffic warnings. If a permanent road sign says the speed limit is 60mph, but a temporary sign warns that, due to construction ahead, you shouldn’t go over 40mph, can a driver ignore them, complaining the government’s directions are confusing because they change over the course of a trip? Can they refuse to follow speed limit laws in the first place because “The government can’t tell me what to do with my car?”
If your answer is yes, please let me know when and where you’ll be on the road so I can avoid being anywhere near you.