The Vaccine Passport Will Hurt Everyone in the Long Run. Here’s Why.

After 18 months of lockdowns and restrictions, a vaccine passport looks like a welcome way out of captivity. New York mayor Bill de Blasio dangles it like a carrot, a literal “key to the city,” he calls it, that will restore all of the access and activity that makes life worth living. In France, the passport has become a new condition for essential services, a last measure of security against a fearsome threat.

For the vaccinated majority of us, a vaccine passport seems like a no-brainer: one small, final concession to put pandemic behind us. After all, what’s one more increment on the ever-lengthening yardstick of public safety requirements, if that’s all it will take to live free again?

But we won’t be free under the regime of a vaccine passport, and neither will we be safe. The distance between voluntarily accepting a medical-breakthrough vaccine and requiring proof that you did so in order to get an education, make a living, and participate in society is an impassable gap that none of us should allow to be bridged. On the other side of that rift, we lose the power ever to say no again, and this makes us fundamentally unsafe and unfree.

The step into a vaccine passport system only seems small when viewed from within the haze of fear that motivates its support. But consider that it would nullify your choice to have been vaccinated in the first place. You’d go from taking part in an historical medical breakthrough to becoming a subjugate of a system that is indifferent to your consent. It’ll be a lucky coincidence if you had decided to do what would’ve been decided for you anyway.

A passport system would blindly initiate us under a new power structure that will have the ability to decree prerequisites for social participation. Put differently, it would create a mechanism for coercing compliance with better efficiency than anything that has been seen in history. The cost of resisting the next mandated thing would mean expulsion from potentially every aspect of society. Thus while it purports to promise safety for the people, it’s more certain to deliver control for its operators, who will become the new gatekeepers of society.

In the long term, the vaccine passport could evolve to demand anything — up to and including moral or behavioral scorekeeping, like we have seen with social credit systems — but for the immediate future it promises to make and impose healthcare decisions about your body that are deemed too important for you to make.

The passport framework would be used as another tool of governance the next time experts determine that your body must be regulated for some element of the greater good. This could take us in any direction the wind blows, even one day setting the groundwork for a Handmaid’s Tale type of scenario.

We would shift into a totally new paradigm in which our bodies effectively become public property, subject to constant oversight, maintenance, and regulation. Under this system, if you would prefer to keep your body private — governed and managed by you and you alone — then you would forfeit your access to society.

For all intents and purposes, a passport system will install a new bureaucracy as the governing superpower over the people. Its main arms would be the tech companies that manage the access system, the drug companies that research and develop new injections, and the medical experts and policy makers who endorse the mandates. If they haven’t already, it will only be a matter of time before these agencies wake up to the closed system of power and profit they could share by colluding with each other.

Together this unelected consortium would have the complete ability to make unprecedented demands of us, a right of theirs that we would legitimize and reaffirm with every barcode scan. Each time we submit our bodies to them for evaluation and validation, we would further solidify the right of this conglomerate to define what qualifies our privilege to circulate within the public.

With billions of dollars to be made from the next shot mandate, there would be no telling how far corruption could spread between pharmaceutical companies, tech companies, experts, and policy makers in order to necessitate or legitimize the next prerequisite medical injection. The old advertising model for drug manufacturers would be overshadowed by a new, more lucrative model of decree.

And so once we habituate to blanket drug protocols, we’ll see the bar lowering over time for whatever standard qualifies the next required treatment. Fatigued by endless COVID booster shots, we’ll accept less essential but perhaps “beneficial” injections that will piggyback onto our passport requirements. With our bodies turned into frictionless profit centers, we might see no end to the list of injections that suddenly become compulsory for our wellbeing. Most troublingly, we might never know which supporting science or data is legitimate or cooked for profit. At such a point, we might not even care.

It wasn’t until the science demanded passports that we made a new enemy out of the unvaccinated. In a previous article, I wrote about the way that science and morality became strange bedfellows during pandemic. I examined how we used morality to turn science into a cudgel against the noncompliant. We dehumanized anti-lockdown protestors and anti-maskers because the science called them unsafe, as if we couldn’t tolerate a minority of stubborn resistors looking out for our freedoms while the majority of us looked out for our health.

A vaccine passport system would continue the illiberal practice of demanding total conformity and total compliance in the name of science. We’ll be told that not one unvaccinated person will be tolerable, and we will rabidly seek out the noncompliant within our reach, as we did for lockdown and masking enforcement. Emboldened by moral righteousness, we’ll brand them as selfish, bigoted, unscientific, and unwilling to do their patriotic duty.

Already, the unvaccinated are being called “variant factories,” encouraged to be seen by the vaccinated as vessels of disease. Under a passport system, they will form the unclean, unsafe, dehumanized underclass of society against whom any manner of action and policy will be morally justified. History has shown that this is an incredibly dangerous model, and that it is worth the risk by orders of magnitude to avoid any type of structure remotely similar.

Stepping back

With no long term safety data on any of the available COVID vaccines, and with no precedent for the global use of mRNA technology in this particular way, there is already ample reason to respect that some individuals, no matter what can be said or shown to them in the present, will not accept the relative risk of injection. A vaccine that makes our body’s own healthy cells grow the spike proteins of a virus might legitimately give some people pause, no matter how safe they’re told it is.

And yet we have constructed an ideological framework to justify the trampling of their right to choose what goes in their body. And around that framework, we are about to officiate the vaccine passport, which will systematize a social stratum of second-class citizens. We’ll make dissidents of people uncomfortable with medical treatments that the rest of us worship, and that label will await anyone who dares ever to say no to our vaunted experts.

Looking ahead

A fourth wave this winter is sure to come with impassioned pleas for a passport system and venomous enmity towards the unvaccinated. Experts will explain that the science demands both. But knowing the power and profit on the line, will we really be convinced they have our interests at heart? Will it make sense that we scapegoat the unvaccinated for hospitalizations, or will it be possible that greed and corruption could be hiding other explanations? Can science ever be so sure of something as to demand a total restructuring of our society and a complete reallocation of power? And can we ever be so sure of a science that demands that?

Today we are emboldened in our support for the passport because we believe the science and we endorse the moral imperative. But we need to ask ourselves at what point do we throw out a scientific and moral framework that promises to subjugate everyone beneath it and dehumanize anyone outside of it? And for how long will we agree that it serves our interest before we find ourselves at odds with the runaway power structure of the “new normal”?



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