Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Unalienable Right to Spread Germs

Yep, folks, it’s right there in the Declaration of Independence. One of the unalienable rights of Americans is the right to spread your germs to other people. At least, this seems to be the view of American conservatives today, such as Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt who said, “We believe in freedoms.” He said this even while, himself, wearing a mask. While this article is a couple of weeks old, the situation has not changed.

This is hardly surprising. Americans resisted the practice of variolation, which was an early form of vaccination against smallpox. Britain borrowed the idea from Asia in the 18th century. British troops got variolated, but George Washington maintained that we are Americans and we reject British medical advances. As explained in the book PoxAmericana, Washington finally had to reverse course on this policy, and adopt variolation. But modern conservatives would have continued to reject it.

What this means is that if you are someone who lives in a way that puts you at risk of getting coronavirus, and you are symptomless, or you believe yourself to be symptomless, you can walk right up to me and cough in my face. I will be wearing a mask, but the mask does not completely prevent me from getting the virus. It is more useful in preventing me from spreading it. Being in a high-risk group (diabetics over 60), I could die from the same viral load that would not kill you. But you have the right to do this! It’s right there in the Declaration. Or so many seem to think.

This should not be surprising. Many Americans already believe in the right to carry loaded firearms which they can use against other people the moment they feel threatened, especially if the “threat” has darker skin. If they have the right to project bullets, why not viruses as well?

1 comment:

  1. Actually I find the last statement to be personally offensive as well. I believe in the right to defend oneself and ones family if they should come under attack. But that can come from any threat not just those of darker skin. The fact that you would equate self defense with racism is a biased and self serving, baseless statement. But then again it is your blog.