As the Delta variant began to recede and our individual freedoms began to return to some semblance of normality, Omicron took its place which saw calls for more restrictions to be put in place to curb the spread of the highly infectious variant.
From wearing masks to practicing social distancing to temporarily closing businesses, politicians and decision makers tread a fine line between saving lives and protecting the economy, while still maintaining our individual freedoms during the pandemic. However, many politicians and public figures have pushed back against these restrictions arguing mostly that the seriousness of COVID has been overplayed – the rationale for this pushback is about protecting our freedoms.
One particular area of contention regarding freedoms under COVID has been about mask wearing in schools, and these arguments have largely been drawn according to political orientations, particularly in states such as Florida. Back in September, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis appealed a judge’s ruling that a blanket ban on mask mandates exceeds the state government’s authority. Politicians who are against mask mandates say it’s the parents, and not any government, who should be making decisions for their children. And when it comes to children, the US law does give parents considerable leeway, particularly if religion is involved, to make decisions on their child’s behalf. However, proponents of mask mandates in schools see it a different way – they say that children have their own rights which are independent of their parents’ choices. For example, a parent cannot by law deny their children a basic education or access to medical treatment. Moreover, vaccine mandates already exist for childhood diseases, and so the same should be applied to COVID vaccines.
For anyone sitting on the fence when it comes to individual freedoms versus vaccine mandates, the advice coming from politicians can be disorientating. Many anti-vaccine politicians are fully vaccinated themselves. MyBioSource.com therefore wanted to gauge people’s opinions on how much of an example politicians should set when it comes to their own personal choices about vaccines.
They asked: Do you think politicians should be required to publicly disclose their vaccine status?
Three in four (75 percent) of Californians agreed that it would be prudent for politicians, who make decisions on behalf of the electorate, to formally disclose whether they are vaccinated or not (compared to a national average of 64 percent).