Locking Down

Locking Down and Vaccinating

Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, famously said, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Today in the United States, this quote is unfortunately very relevant as winter approaches and COVID-19 cases spike and safety restrictions are being renewed. When I watch these governor news briefings and see police officers bully small businesses that do not comply with the “rules,” I wonder does anyone else think we are living in 1984 during these uncertain times?

If you have not read it, 1984 is a dystopian political fiction novel by British author George Orwell in 1949. In summary, it is about a totalitarian society in the near future where there is no freedom, censorship is everywhere, and the truth is negotiated to the citizens as alternative realities… sound familiar? One quote in the book is strikingly familiar, it says, “Everything other than working was forbidden: walking in the streets, having fun, singing, dancing, getting together….”

Lockdowns and restrictions are not a good idea for society. We need to focus on assisting the vulnerable and allowing the young and healthy to live. We learned from the spring that lockdowns are not beneficial for people suffering from mental illnesses. Sadly, because of the stay-at-home orders, there has been a reported rise in suicides, domestic abuse, drug usage and gambling. In addition, psychologists have found that reduced sunshine during the wintertime is another factor for depression. As we approach winter a second lockdown is a recipe for disaster.

In addition to lockdowns, I am not a fan of mandatory vaccinations. I was not pleased by Monmouth University’s decision to mandate flu vaccinations for all residential and athletic students in order to return to campus in the spring. Students were notified of this mandate in an email from the Director of Health Services Kathy Maloney on Nov. 16. I am not against vaccinations, nor the school encouraging it; but shouldn’t that be the individual’s choice to make? There are plenty of students who have ethical and religious objections to vaccines. I think they are overlooking the wider picture.

Our country since its very beginning was founded on freedom and self-determination. Today I think we are losing a sense of who we are. We are heading in a bad direction with this increased dependence on government and disregard for the constitution. I do not trust New Jersey’s government because they allowed the liquor stores to be open while the churches were forced to be closed in March. Recently even Supreme Court Justice Alito, in a rare speech to the Federalist Society, warned Americans about their constitutional rights slowly being taken away!

 I am not saying we should take the virus lightly. I just think the people know what is best for them more than the government does. It is your choice if you want to stay home and wear a mask.

 I have had to adjust too, since I live with my parents and brother, I was not able to see my off-campus friends because I did not want to carry the virus home from school. On the negative side, I have felt some of the mental health effects of these new campus rules. It is not logical to be cocooned in our homes forever, I say let us live our lives as it should be. Today, it will be our decision as Americans if we are going to stand up to this “new normal” or allow dictatorship to be invited in.


GRAPHIC TAKEN from The Economist