The next big battle — bigger maybe than masks or lockdowns — will be fought over vaccinations. An anti-vaxxer friend of mine confided that her family is planning to move and she’s researching states that support medical freedom. She identified South Dakota, a red state, as prime territory. Oklahoma is also on the list, as is Texas. Anti-vax leader and filmmaker Del Bigtree moved The Highwire there.
My friend is a Trump-hating, lifelong liberal Democrat. But for her, politics take a back seat to freedoms — like making your own health care decisions or choosing how to school your children. Like conservatives, liberal anti-vaxxers they’re quick to point out that the mainstream media and big tech are in bed with public health on the vaccine issue.
“Following the science” is politician-speak for letting a handful of Public Health bureaucrats make decisions that can crush people’s lives.
They’re joined by a growing number of Americans for whom public enemy number one is Public Health. These are the people pushing for water fluoridation, and even progressive Portland pushed back on that with a resounding NO! These are the people who told us back in March that masks didn’t work and we didn’t need to wear them. Remember? These are the people in the World Health Organization, which Trump maligned as Trumpers cheered. And these are the people behind the COVID lockdowns, the travel restrictions, the mask mandates. “Following the science” is politician-speak for letting a handful of Public Health bureaucrats make decisions that can crush people’s lives.
Now many Americans fear they will be pushing for mandatory vaccinations. On the fringes of the anti-vax movement are conspiracy theorists who believe the vaccine will include a microchip that Big Brother will use to track you. Or that the COVID vaccine will be paired with a “mark of the beast” tattoo, possibly only visible under UV light, that we’ll need it in order to travel, shop, bank or attend school.
Maybe that’s not so crazy. It’s a safe bet that a COVID-19 vaccination, probably given annually, will be required for anyone working in health care, for educators and students and for military personnel. Government employees could also be targets and left-leaning corporations like Nike and Microsoft will certainly lean on employees to get vaccinated. Vaccines will probably be mandated for airline travel, which means all business travelers will have to get jabbed.
And the rest of us? Anyone who chooses not to vax will be labeled as granny killers. Holdouts. Pariahs. Public enemy #1. The true believers will bug out to states where they are more welcome. Anti-vaxxers include right, left and libertarians. By 2024, the political map of red, blue and purple could look very different than it does today.