YOUR RIGHTS, DO YOU HAVE ANY? Quoted below an email forwarded to me, purported to have come from someone employed by Houston Grand Opera and/or Houston Symphony. (To be clear I have absolutely no reason to doubt my source, and am convinced this is authentic, but the email was copy-pasted and (for obvious reasons) I don’t know the person/point of origin.)

Hi! So we are passing the word around anonymously because we don’t want to get in trouble before we are officially fired in case something changes and there’s a chance our jobs will be saved. Feel free to tell others and post on social media about the situation only if you feel comfortable. Houston Grand Opera and Houston Symphony both mandated the vaccine and are under contracts with Houston Methodist as their official health advisory committees. I’m sure you’ve heard that they fired hundreds of their own employees for refusing the vaccine. In order to add mandates to orchestra contracts the orchestras must vote on the change. Both HGO and HSO are the first companies in the US to have their vaccinated employees vote their unvaccinated employees out of a job. Alex Navarro, president of the union supports the mandates. The American Federation of Musicians is not supporting musicians that don’t want to be vaccinated. He said technically we aren’t being forced to take the vaccine because we have the option to leave our jobs. HGO took the mandate a step further and is the first employer in the nation to require consent to all future vaccines recommended by the CDC and the WHO before returning to work in October. This violates informed consent laws because there’s no way to have informed consent for vaccines that don’t yet exist. They have also said we can apply for religious or medical exemptions but they don’t have to accommodate them. (Isn’t this a violation of the ADA?) It’s an unreal nightmare.

To be clear: this (and others that will doubtlessly imitate it if allowed to stand) is a demand everyone vaccinate against something that has the risk of the flu, but with an experimental-process vaccine, whose side-effects probably won’t be known for a decade, maybe more. Yeah, it seems fairly safe for the biologically typical. (For people like me, with unusual auto-immune complexes (and there are a lot more people like me than you think) it’s anyone’s guess. (The most common comment from my doctors to some side effect, particularly to medicines that involve my immune system in any way is “Uh. I had heard of this, but in x years had never seen it happen.”))

What happened to letting people make a determination of their own risk? What happened to individual rights?

If this were in fact the “killer” that the Imperial Institute believed, it would be maybe justifiable to violate rights on a temporary basis. (Even then, I would not support it. Because giving bureaucrats that kind of power causes mass death.) This is not in fact that type of disease, and despite the hype, the Delta variant is — as anyone who understands virology knows is normal — more infectious but less lethal.

Note I’m not saying that it’s not lethal or that people don’t or can’t die of it. It is. All respiratory infections can be lethal. Yes, I could catch it tomorrow and die from it. But I could catch anything tomorrow and die from it. I almost died at 33 from pneumonia, which I caught mostly because I was exhausted after the kids passed stomach flu between them for two solid months. (Toddler and infant, so intensive for me.)

Life is not without risk and every one of us is eventually going to die. Could be from Covid-19. Could be from any other Corona or Rhino virus. Could be of cancer. Or a car accident. Or a meteor falling on one’s head.  People do every year, (okay maybe not of the meteor) and of all ages, and sometimes surprisingly.

The vaccine — any vaccine — is not going to make anyone safe.  And it certainly isn’t going to make everyone safe. Ever.

Sure, there is benefit in herd immunity, and I — and the kids, btw — had all the tried-and-true vaccines, despite very occasional bad side effects, because no one needs polio or TB running rampant.

However, this is not polio or TB. Coronas mutate very fast, hence why we still have the common cold. And the vaccine is too new. Oh, and the lethality of the thing doesn’t really even warrant a vaccine unless you’re old or infirm.

And yet, the vaccine is being forced on people, due to the combined power of bureaucracy and hype generated by government institutions and a media apparatus that have outright lied and contradicted themselves several times over the last year and a half.

Tolerating this is proving Heinlein’s dictum that “Stupidity is the only capital crime. The punishment is always death. There is no reprieve.”

Putting up with this — regardless of what you think of the vaccine itself — when it can be averted with protest and refusal and rubbing the prepotent institutions noses in their overreach and bullsh*t is stupidity. Giving up the right of the individual to decide whether to use an untried/too new vaccine over a disease 99.8% of people survive (probably more than that now, since Delta is not as lethal) will in the end increase  everyone’s chance of dying an untimely and horrific death.

Communism, socialism, and all forms of collectivism that put the collective and the decisions of anonymous and power-hungry officials over the decision of the individuals with the most at stake are more lethal than any flu or cold or in fact most cancers known to man.

Please pay attention and stop running with the herd. When you run with the herd, you get stampeded off a cliff by those who wish to harvest you. Outrages such as detailed in that letter go a long way towards the collectivist cliff. At the bottom of that is death, one way or another.