«That meeting, you should have seen it, Radl. There was Hitler, first ranting, then cajoling, then perfectly rational … then raging and stamping like a– like the ringmaster of some freak circus! Goebbels, hopping from one foot to another like a– like a schoolboy. Bormann … hmph … a vulture, perched in the corner, watching, listening, never speaking. And Mussolini — Mussolini! — an automaton, Radl! And I looked round that room, and I wondered: am I the only one who can see it? And if so, what must I look like to them?»
One thing that is even harder to understand for me than pressuring university students to get vaccinated is the apparent lack of ethical problems by many academics with it.
Like written in another posting, cognitively, I can understand the reason for wanting students to get vaccinated, e.g., seeing vaccinations as low risk but high reward, as only way back to a neo-normal society, seeing themselves as doing their part in saving society (they might see themselves as heroes, even), not wanting to spend precious social capital, the decision being made with limited viewpoint diversity (= all were vaccinated themselves), perhaps fearing stronger government restrictions if they leave it to choice, or even (likely justified) concerns of getting less government funding in the future if they find solutions that put the ability of all students being able to study first.
I can understand all these reasons — cognitively.
But even under these conditions, there should be some … doubt. No decision is (or should?) be made with 100% certainty. And even if a decision comes without negative consequences for the deciders themselves (they are vaccinated and aren’t forced to do 1-3 tests per week to prove that they are healthy, i.e., the default assumptions is that unvaccinated are infected), even under these conditions basic perspective taking should lead people to take the position of others into account.
Unless the split in society is already that large, the view of unvaccinated — as lacking solidarity, being freeloaders (one step away from vermin, I mean, they are already seen as likely infected and thus “unclean”) and something to detest — is already so established that these people aren’t even seen as humans anymore.
I guess now I know how Cassandra felt when she warned the Trojans that they were making a mistake. I usually had a different point of view, which was useful, which provided the impetus for creative solutions. But at the moment, all I feel is despair.
Here’s hoping I’m wrong and it actually isn’t an ethical problem, and there are no negative consequences from any pressured vaccinations. Because I doubt that the university officials would feel responsible for any damages due to pressured vaccinations. They can still say that they did prevent worse (not only among the students but in society at large, and do so without evidence), and after all, they did not force anyone, just strongly … encourage.
Yeah, interesting times. Now I need to find a way to do what I love, without betraying what I love.