On Jabs 💉, Mandates & Freedom 🇺🇸

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Freedom: The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

 

Mandate: An official order to do something

 

The (very simplified) founding of America was based on the belief that England was overstepping its boundaries in forcing its rule on the Colonies. The Revolutionary War was fought to free America from the British Crown. It worked. 

 

The founding fathers of what was now the USA had a vision for a democratic government that would not abuse its power, not force its own ideas on the people. America doesn’t have a king; we have a President. 

 

The government worked for the people, with a system of checks and balances in place so that no one person could simply hand down rules as they pleased. 

 

That’s still true today (we think), though it’s starting to seem like the opposite. 

 

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Vaccine: a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease.

 

I have not taken the jab for COVID-19 (it is technically not a “vaccine,” based on the definition of the word; people who’ve taken it are still contracting the virus and are not immune). I respect your decision if you have taken it, or you plan to. And I’ll still shake your hand and hug you if you haven’t and/or won’t get it. 

 

Being an American, I respect your freedom of choice when that choice is within the confines of the law. 

 

Based on a few simple points – I’m under 65 years of age and have no underlying medical conditions (aka comorbidities) – I am confident that I could contract and survive the virus (perhaps I already have). Based on the currently available statistics, you – assuming you check the same boxes – can too, at a 99% rate of probability. But, if you want(ed) or feel you need(ed) to get the jab anyway, fine by me. It’s your body, and your choice doesn’t affect anyone else.

 

But let’s address some things. First, this point about your jab status not affecting anyone else. 

 

Jab hesitancy is not “killing” anyone, unless it kills the person who chose not to get it. If that happens, that’s that person’s choice, and their consequence. Anyone who has taken the jab is ostensibly protected (we will get to that), so it’s not your business.

 

Secondly, the seatbelt analogy. There’s a law for that, and it ostensibly only affects the person required to wear it. People fought it — it’s their right to not protect themselves while driving, if they so choose. How’s that any different from a jab mandate?

 

A seatbelt is like a mask: It’s a cloth strap that is put on and taken off. A jab is a mix of unknown chemicals with unknown long term effects being injected into your body. 

 

Analogies sound good, and sometimes they work. This one does not. 

 

What about FDA approval?

 

Any time I hear or see someone expressing a very strong opinion on one side or another of a hot button issue, I ask myself the following question: If this person had the exact opposite opinion, would they have the freedom, the space, and the balls to express it the same way?

 

If my assumption is “no,” then I take their passion with a grain of salt.

 

The FDA is led by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. In other words, the FDA works for the administration. Maybe they are 100% on board with all of the threatened mandates; maybe not. 

 

Question: If they’re not, do they have the liberty to say so and to resist what the current administration wants? 

 

You tell me. Based on the news of two FDA officials resigning over recent government overrule, I’d say no. 

 

Third, it’s true that someone who fits my same profile, even a perfectly-in-shape athlete like me, could still get very sick or worse from COVID. That happening, or the cases in which it has happened, do not disprove anything I’ve said so far. 

 

Here’s a critical thinking lesson for those who don’t know: Examples do not prove arguments.

 

Why not? Because there are examples for any point of view anyone could possibly have. 

 

I’ve been in both physical and verbal alterations in my life. Do those examples prove that I’m a combative person with violent tendencies? Of course not. But anyone can hand-pick examples to support any argument if they look hard enough for the examples. When you see this example-as-proof fallacy, know that you’re dealing with a non-critical thinker.  

 

Examples can illustrate a point: We can watch Stephen Curry shooting and making pull-up three-point shots…  

 

But they do not prove an argument: Just because Stephen Curry shoots and makes pull-up three point shots doesn’t mean all basketball players should try doing the same. 

 

The only way to prove an argument is with reason and logic. Which brings us to where we are today: Fear mongering, government overreach and politicization of medicine and science, with no reason and no logic.

 

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The United States government has made noise of threatening to force jabs on everyone they can get to, piece by piece. 

 

It started with federal employees and health care workers. In New York City it’s now in gyms and restaurants (though I’ve heard that not all are planning to comply). 3 NFL teams (Seattle, New Orleans and Las Vegas) started the season mandating jabs or testing for fans to attend games. And some jabbed citizens are calling for airlines, schools, and as many places as possible that humans frequent to mandate jabs to put the squeeze on the “anti-vaxxers.” 

 

I understand the hysteria, and I’ll explain why. 

 

Masks can be put on and taken off. A jab is permanent. 

 

Some (NOT all) overzealous jab recipients appear, to me, to be dealing with heavy confirmation bias. Because they got the jab, everyone else needs to get it too. Or, jab recipients occupy a moral high ground in their own minds: They got the jab to “protect” others; now everyone else should be as morally wealthy as they are to be on the “right side of history.” 

 

I point this out not to attack or ridicule these people, and surely not as a setup to try changing their minds. I’m not in the business of changing minds; it doesn’t pay well. 

 

I share it to lay out what we know. 

 

1) The alleged purpose of the jab was to inoculate (treat with a vaccine to produce immunity against a disease) people from COVID. Well, we can all agree that, given what we see today, the jab is not completely effective at this. The scientists need to work on their games (or, just not be pressured by the government to approve drugs faster than when they’re actually ready just to serve political purposes). 

 

In defense of the jab, some studies have shown that the jab reduces symptoms for those who still get “breakthrough” infections. Fair point. 

 

Counterpoint to that counterpoint: There are just as many counter-arguments that the jab does nothing at all, or even leads to negative effects for recipients. 

 

These arguments are harder to find, as they get marked as “misinformation” or completely removed from social media pages. If this is news to you, expand your information sources (my go-to is following people on Twitter who occupy either side of the conversation; I’ve heard that TikTok is the safest platform to share such info and not be censored).

 

You can decide for yourself what “science” to believe (another point that I’ll come back to). 

 

2) If you got the jab, great. Its alleged purpose was to protect the recipient from the virus. If someone else doesn’t get the jab, then, it doesn’t matter if they have the virus or not; your jab is protecting you. 

 

If the jab is failing to live up to its promise and thus you can still contract the virus from both jabbed and un-jabbed people, don’t be mad at the un-jabbed; be mad at the doctors and the “science” – not at other citizens who didn’t take the shot. 

 

Or, don’t be mad at all — airborne viruses don’t just go away no matter what we do.

 

3) The biggest failure of this entire situation is the government and media’s politicizing of a virus. 

 

Our current Vice President Harriss explicitly stated that she would not take a jab if said jab was advised by former President Trump. I get that it was a political ploy, a checkers move in the middle of a campaign. But it also stuck in the minds of people who were listening to and following her. Many of those same people won’t change their minds as quickly and fluidly as a politician does. 

 

These political games moved citizens to take sides based not on facts and truth, hard data or objective information, but on who was saying what and which “side” they (listener and speaker) occupied. 

 

Today, the sides aren’t red and blue. They’re those who care about other people, and those who want to “kill” everyone with their freedom 😐.

 

I told you in episode #1474 to Stop Watching “The News”. As the media continues failing to do its job of holding the government accountable by objectively reporting its actions to the people, useful information gets harder and harder to find. So we go deeper into our information ghettos, hearing more of what we’ve already decided to believe, and the divide grows wider. 

 

Now we’re all looking at the same truths, yet coming to completely different conclusions. 

 

4) President Biden recently announced his desire to require all companies with 100 or more employees to mandate jabs. This is just his next step; if it works, mandates will go further. 

 

My prediction and desire is that this is where the buck stops. 

 

Entrepreneurs are different from government and health care workers in that we have the roles we have because of our disagreeableness. We live to break rules and to go left when everyone else is going right. Entrepreneurs are not used to being told what to do.

 

The government has stepped into a fight they won’t win — not fully because of sheer perversity, but that damn sure plays a role. Tell an entrepreneur what they can’t do, or what they have to do, and you’ve started a battle.

 

Even if you’re not an entrepreneur, even if you already have the jab, even if you think everyone should get the jab, you will be thankful for the spread of government overreach ending here. 

 

When people — any people — feel they can take from you and impose mandates on you, they will keep going until they can’t anymore. I predict that entrepreneurs will be a “can’t” point where the government realizes it’s picked a victim that they can’t bully, and things will settle down from there. 

 

Or I will be completely wrong, and things are going to get ugly. 

 

Either way, at this point it’s no longer about jab / no jab. It’s about your freedom and how much of it you’re willing to give away / have taken from you. While you may think this mandate is justified, you may not like the next mandate. Or the next one. And each subsequent one will be easier to push out based on how willing everyone was to accept the previous one. 

 

The truths we all know and agree to prove that this is no longer about health and safety, “science” or protection. It’s about power and control. And if you’re not willing to stand up for your own freedoms, they can and will be taken from you. 

 

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In conclusion, you have the freedom to do as you wish with your body and your health. If there’s something worth fighting over, this is it. Regardless of someone else’s politics or jab status, we all need to be on the same page when it comes to someone’s right to choose for themselves. 

 

PS — every opinion expressed in this article is flexible and subject to change pending new information, perspectives and experiences. 

 

(Feel free to borrow this language and append it to any opinion you express. Covered on Work On Your Game MasterClass episode #734, “Keep Your Opinions Flexible”