About vaccines and freedom. . .

Why empathy and social responsibility are key points in political discussion over COVID measures

“Vaccines, essentially, have to do with empathy. If you care about other people, if you have empathy for them, you don't want them to get sick, or get sick of something they could die from, or spread a disease. You know, this is not an issue of just individual responsibility, which is what conservatives tend to talk about. It's a matter of social responsibility.”

In this new episode of the FrameLab podcast, we discuss the issue of freedom as it relates to vaccines and public health measures, like masks, that help protect people from COVID-19.

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For twenty months, we have lived with a deadly and highly contagious virus. Victory over the virus has required cooperation and sacrifice from every one of us. It has required us to pull together, to follow new health rules and guidelines, and for each of us to act to protect one another.

It has also required us to trust science to lead the way out of a deadly pandemic that has killed over five million people worldwide, including nearly 750,000 Americans.

Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with health, safety and science.

Some conservatives and anti-vaccine activists have framed public health efforts as an assault on freedom. They seem to define freedom as an individual’s right to do whatever they wish, regardless of how it affects others. They also undermine science, sowing distrust through disinformation and misinformation.

The results have been deadly, especially in conservative communities where anti-vaccine stances are often framed in terms of “freedom.”  The COVID pandemic has now become a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” with virtually all of the new deaths happening among the unvaccinated. In a quest for an absolute form of individual freedom, many Americans – misled by politicians and propagandists – have been led to their deaths.

But freedom doesn’t mean freedom to spread deadly diseases and harm public health. Freedom in society requires empathy and responsibility. Listen to the latest episode of the FrameLab podcast to hear our discussion of this issue. And please subscribe!

George and Gil

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