COLUMN: Political ideologies and responses to vaccine mandate

Gisella+Mancera

Gisella Mancera

Gisella Mancera, Columnist

Americans are diverse in their composition, yet mainstream political ideology is boiled down to two perspectives. It is absolutely ridiculous to think 329 million people can be squeezed into the confines of a mere two categories. But this is where politicians and the media have placed us. As a consequence, what was once a public health crisis is now framed as an ideological warfare. The bipartisan system has created a black and white illusion of two opposing sides with no middle ground.

Ideally, everyone would get vaccinated, it is one of the better defenses we have at the moment against COVID-19. Some agree that mass vaccination is the solution to the issue, others may even agree with this statement, but still reject the paternalism displayed by the government as they attempt to control people’s personal medical decisions.

It is also a western phenomenon to allow medical intervention for any and every affliction. The pandemic is a serious issue and vaccination is extremely helpful to stop the spread. However, some people do not value relying on western medicine and prefer natural methods of healing. Some of those who have already had COVID-19 prefer to rely on their natural immunity, while others believe in vaccines, but want more research and time to pass before it becomes mandated. Western countries tend to treat medical intervention as the final solution to every problem and fail to see that there are other options. These options include less invasive requirements like masking, antibody testing and routine COVID-19 tests. These alternatives need to be explored if we want to cater to the diverse beliefs of American citizens and effectively enforce public safety.

This mandate practices paternalism and has made citizens feel as if they can’t make informed medical decisions about their own body. As a consequence, the public health crisis has been turned into a political debate as vaccination choice is conflated with political party. Because the government chose to interfere, people are pushing back against vaccination in order to sustain identification with a political faction. The medical decisions people make are now being clouded with political rhetoric and propaganda from both sides. If vaccine mandates were never put in place, people may have been more apt to get the vaccine on their own accord.

This is not to say the mandate is right or wrong, but clearly things could be going smoother. One can’t deny that these mandates have considerably undermined America’s social and political stability. As the country moves forward, it is important to consider these complex ethical questions. Understanding the diverse responses to living in a pandemic will help America problem-solve in the future.

 

Gisella Mancera is a senior sociology major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]