“I want to feel free again.”
This seemingly innocuous statement in a recent commercial from Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services represents the most significant casualty of the COVID-19 era: Reality.
In the commercial, Michigan HHS asked a series of people why they chose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. While most of the interviewees answered predictably, like the boy who wanted to “go to school dances,” the last woman featured in the video revealed the unspoken truth behind each answer. “Feeling free” has become more important than actual freedom.
Our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are God-given. Many of our fundamental rights, such as freedom of assembly, have been stripped away over the past 18 months in the name of public health— not to mention basic human necessities like the ability to socialize and move about freely. Vaccination, therefore, seems to many like the only way to resume “normal” life. But receiving a vaccine in exchange for human rights is ridiculous on its face, and is ultimately just a Band-Aid for a much bigger problem.
In our increasingly secular world, people believe that the government, not God, grants rights. If God bestows human rights, no government, no matter how powerful, can take them away. But if the government is the source of rights, it can also strip them away — and that is exactly what happened in the COVID-19 era.
Another aspect of our increasingly bizarre world is that many people, like those in the Michigan HHS commercial, don’t want the vaccine to protect themselves from contracting the virus. They take the vaccine in order to participate in school functions, international travel, indoor dining, and other everyday activities. These are the wrong reasons to get a vaccine. The point of a vaccine is to protect you against an illness. If you already have natural antibodies or are not at risk for the disease, why would you take it? Forcing people to undergo the jab in exchange for participation in society is unprecedented and concerning.
Even more bizarre is the fact that mainstream media dismisses and demonizes alternative treatments for COVID-19. According to The Hill, podcast host Joe Rogan reportedly contracted COVID-19 on Sept. 1, took an anti-parasite medication called ivermectin, and regained health in under a week. Despite the medicine’s effectiveness, Rogan was ridiculed by media outlets for taking an alternative to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Reality (and real results) are not important. Regardless of real effectiveness, getting the vaccine is the “right” thing to do. Regardless of losing our actual rights post-COVID-19, “feeling free” is enough for many people.
Like the classic example of the frog in the boiling pot, Americans who think that the government will allow them to resume normal life after taking the vaccine are in for a nasty surprise. Complying with despots won’t make them go away.