Friday, April 02, 2021

Vaccine Passports: Corporate Fascists Plotting War On Individual Freedom And Lying About It Again

WaPo  |  These non-passport passports won’t emerge as a mandate from the Oval Office or Congress, and the biggest of Big Government won’t be tracking our individual vaccination status, what we’ve done with our newfound immunity or where we’ve done it. Mostly, private companies will want to know whether we’re jabbed so that they can finally make as much money as they used to with as little hazard as that used to involve.

But public health guidelines permitting large indoor gatherings only among the inoculated will inform some of those private companies’ decisions, and creating scannable codes such as those New York just started piloting will require some verification against state records. (The concerns about equity, too, are real, as long as disenfranchised people get fewer shots and own fewer smartphones.)

Similarly, signing up will be a choice — but when everything fun in the world is conditioned on that sign-up, the concept of choice turns fuzzy. This is coercion. Yet coercion may be exactly what the doctor ordered for those hesitant to face the needle but desperate to dance at a wedding.

None of us know yet where, when and to whom we might be required to present this handy-dandy credential, so people instead invent the scenarios that either most enrage or most soothe them. Maybe we’re barred from anywhere and everywhere, unable even to step into the grocery store for tomorrow’s breakfast. Or maybe we’re only turned back from the punk show where we had hoped to throw ourselves against thousands of strangers.

Vaccine passports are the new masks. Depending on where you are, what you read and how you vote, they are either the badge of the oppressor or the brand borne by the righteous. They will either solve everything or nothing. They are the new lockdown and the new quarantine: both terms we continue to use for our current condition even though most of us are only semi-isolated and fully free to romp where we please. No one cares about the in-between. We want extremes, and where there aren’t any we create them.

Vaccine passports don’t even exist yet, but that won’t stop our riven country from turning them into exactly what we’re always looking for: a reason to get mad at the other guy.