Vaccination is a personal, private, sometimes-moral/religious decision that each person has a right to make for him or herself; we should also have the right to keep these decisions private — without displaying our medical status of vaccination to the world at-large. President Biden’s latest mask mandate rips the right to privacy out of the hands of every single U.S. citizen and is a direct violation of HIPAA laws.

Susan Eileen Hayes

Masks are now so much more than a protective barrier against the spreading of germs. They are a political symbol. A Scarlet A for those who choose not to get vaccinated or a symbol of superior moral pride (I care about the safety of others more than the un-masked) for those who choose to wear them after vaccination. Walking into a store or the gym or a local restaurant is now met with judgement from strangers based on your decision to wear or not wear a mask; or your decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate. It is a visual piece of concrete evidence as to what should be a very personal and private decision. Mark my words, this will lead to violence and an increase in social conflict and that is one thing that our country cannot afford to increase.

The CDC has completely failed to address the large population of people who have had COVID and thus have antibodies against the virus. These antibodies are said to protect an individual for at least 90 days; some studies show that they last for up to eight months. Without granting these people the basic, human right to proceed with life sans-mask, the CDC and President Biden are exhibiting a direct bias against the non-vaccinated. It is unacceptable. And it is proof that this is not simply about the spread of COVID, but also about the government’s desire to control or bribe its citizens into getting vaccinated. It is as if they are using the mask as a source of negative reinforcement.

Joe Biden’s recent tweet, “The rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do,” insinuates that mask-wearing is now a form of punishment. In addition, restaurants are supporting the message that vaccination= good and non-vaccination = bad with their free fries and free drinks offers. There is no denying the fact that mainstream America is shaming (not-so passive aggressively) those who choose to forego the COVID-19 vaccination.

This is a moral war against American’s citizens and it is one we need to take a stand against immediately. Medical decisions, from what medications we take to what vaccinations we receive or choose not to receive, need to be protected, private decisions for every American citizen. If they are not, we are no longer free and we are opening the door to constant political debate in every grocery store, workplace, gym, restaurant, etc.

The answer to this moral dilemma is simple: no more conflicting messages from the CDC, the Biden administration, Dr. Anthony Fauci or state governors. No more mask restrictions whatsoever! Throw away your mask or, if it is your personal preference, wear a mask wherever and whenever you want. That way we will know mask-wearing is a personal choice not a result of government-shaming or government fiat and of course, our right to medical (and moral) privacy as outlined by HIPAA laws will be respected.

Susan Eileen Hayes lives in Simsbury.

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