Let me start with some affirmations:
1. I am not against mask-wearing.
2. I am not against any of the COVID-19 (and its variants) vaccines.
3. I am not against science.
4. I am for using reasoned thinking and common sense.
5. I am for the U.S. Constitution and the freedoms and liberties it stands for.
6. I am for civil and respectful discussions.
The last couple of years under the specter of COVID-19 have changed the world, and not for the better. People of all ages and beliefs live in fear now. Some are afraid to leave their homes, afraid to go to work, afraid for their children and grandchildren’s health and safety. Some are afraid to return to normal.
I can certainly sympathize. People have gotten terribly sick, had complications, and hundreds of thousands have died in the USA alone. Pretty much everyone knows someone who has had the virus (or they have had it themselves) or lost someone to it. That kind of grief is tangible, palpable. It breeds fear.
Some fear is healthy. It keeps us aware, it warns us not to be careless. Such normal caution leads us to hold our young child’s hand in public or lock the door when we leave our homes. There’s a chance our child might get excited and run off or get lost. There’s a chance some stranger might rob our residence while we’re away.
But there is such a thing as unhealthy fear, the kind we may unknowingly project onto others. It’s similar to judging other people without knowing their circumstances. “Why can’t they just get in step like the rest of us?” What if they can’t? What if that is outside of their control?
I get that people want to feel safe and secure. That’s what the law and law enforcement is supposed to provide. It doesn’t always succeed. But since people should not murder, injure, blackmail or steal from one another, the law provides a deterrent and (hopefully) consequence for committing such crimes. They are the responsibility of government and an inviolable mandate against criminal behavior.
Some things, however, should not be mandated by government. Medical matters, for example, which should be private. Public establishments such as restaurants, business offices, gyms and entertainment venues legally have no right for their employees to ask for your vaccination status or medical history under HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). This law was created in the USA in 1996 and remains in effect today.
You can read the expansive HIPAA document, including its Privacy Rule, Security Rule, Enforcement Rule and Breach Notification Rule AT THIS LINK:
So, it is strange and interesting that states like New York, California and Virginia are requiring state workers to get vaccine verification to remain employed. In fairness, Virginia at present allows for weekly Covid testing as an alternative.
New York has gone much further, requiring proof of vaccination to enter indoor facilities such as “movie theaters, music or concert venues, adult entertainment, casinos, botanical gardens, commercial event and party venues, museums and galleries, aquariums, zoos, professional sports arenas and indoor stadiums, convention centers and exhibition halls, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, indoor play areas, pool and billiard halls, and other recreational game centers” as well as “indoor food services” and “indoor gyms and fitness settings.”
Of course, there are some exceptions to NYC Mayor DeBlasio’s executive order, but none of them are medical. If you do have a medical or doctor-provided legitimate reason not to take the vaccine (and there are quite a few conditions that qualify), that doesn’t matter in New York.
For clarification, the following is what is exempted under the New York executive order:
“§ 2. I hereby order that the following individuals are exempted from this Order, and therefore may enter a covered premises without displaying proof of vaccination, provided that such individuals wear a face mask at all times they are unable to maintain six (6) feet of distance from other individuals inside the covered premises:
* Individuals entering for a quick and limited purpose (for example, using the restroom, placing or picking up an order or service, changing clothes in a locker room, or performing necessary repairs);
* A nonresident performing artist not regularly employed by the covered entity while they are in a covered premises for purposes of performing;
* A nonresident professional athlete/sports team who enters a covered premises as part of their regular employment for purposes of competing; and
* A nonresident individual accompanying a performing artist or professional athlete/sports team into a covered premises as part of their regular employment so long as the performing artist or professional athlete/sports team are performing or competing in the covered premises.”
However, I remind everyone that medical conditions are NOT exempted.
This is what I believe people should fear: abuse of power in the supposed name of public health.
The entire executive order from the New York Mayor is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It also has racist overtones, since the executive order would unduly impact African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans, who have been less likely to get vaccinated.
I bring up the New York executive order because it is the most extreme and the least fair. But if such a mandate can be done in New York, it can be done anywhere. And if you doubt me about these facts, you can read the Mayor’s executive order for yourself at the link below.
CLICK HERE FOR NY EMERGENCY ORDER 225
As I stated initially, I am not against mask-wearing or any of the vaccines. People have to decide what is best for themselves and their families. They should also consult a medical professional to determine what is best for their health.
I am against authoritarianism. And I am against the infringement of the rights of Americans by decree (executive order), which is not law.
I have watched and listened to many news sources as this has developed. I have seen dangerous actions spurred on by those who would take advantage of the fears of decent, law-abiding American citizens.
And I cannot be silent. To me, silence is acceptance and assent.
I do not speak representing a political party or a political philosophy. I am a Christian first, an American husband and father before all else. I have been gifted with the ability to write and I will try to use this gift to help others if I can.
I am promoting personal liberty and freedom. But I am not suggesting a particular action. That is between you, your medical professional, your conscience and whatever else you believe in. Be informed and decide for yourself.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
About the author
Allen Steadham is a nondenominational Christian. Happily interracially married since 1995 and the proud father of two sons and a daughter. He and his wife have been in the same Christian band since 1997. He plays electric bass, she plays strings, they both sing. It's all good.
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