[ 21/August/22 Question from Sharon on Mandates. Kia ora, over the last 3 year period, many community men and women lost their jobs, businesses affected, were shut out of the Council building, shops, suffered ridicule, were discriminated against, treated as outcasts, and received absolutely no support from KKDC on their personal choice of being vaccine free. If ye were to become Mayor of Kaikoura, what are your views on mandates? Do ye support freedom of choice?]
I support freedom of choice, but not freedom from consequence. Pandemics are real threats, this one was bad enough, but the next could be far worse.
Freedom without responsibility is always and necessarily destructive.
I am all for life and liberty, and cooperation is fundamental to both.
And life comes before liberty.
If someone’s actions pose a risk to others, then there need to be consequences.
And it was a very complex and difficult situation.
Science is not about right and wrong.
Science acknowledges that it seems very probable that reality is far more complex than any of us can deal with in detail, so we must all make simplifying assumptions to do anything.
Science, at its best, is an eternal process of testing ideas against reality and becoming “less wrong” with time and experience.
I studied biochemistry at university, and was quite good at it.
Covid was definitely a threat to life in several different ways.
There was the direct threat of dying from it.
There was the indirect threat of so overloading the health system with covid patients that many people would die from other things that would not normally be an issue.
Given the regime I am on that cured me from terminal cancer, I estimated the risk to me was minimal, but supported the vaccine program, and have had the 4 shots, simply as an act of social responsibility.
It is much like seat belts in cars. We know from the statistics that seat belts on average save significant numbers of lives and in some accidents, wearing a seatbelt leads to death – but it is about 10:1 in favour of seatbelts, so seat belts are compulsory. Exactly the same with the vaccination.
Yes, you had the freedom not to participate, and by doing that, you were actually increasing the risk to others in the population (as well as yourself).
So for me, everything is a balance of probabilities.
If we are all going to have the greatest probability of living a long time with reasonable degrees of freedom, then we need to be fundamentally cooperative.
I have been, to the best of my limited and fallible abilities.
I had my shots, not because I thought they were significantly reducing the risks for me personally, but because doing so seemed to be the socially responsible thing to do, as it produced the least risk overall for everyone.