How Unvaccinated People Are Treated

I believe that the United States and on our local level, Monmouth University, has treated unvaccinated people unfairly. The school needs to treat unvaccinated people a lot better, and we finally need to move on from this pandemic. I think that myself and so many others here who didn’t get the vaccine have been wronged. As a senior, I just want to sail smoothly to graduation and not deal with this anymore. The current 2021-2022 University COVID policy states that if you are not vaccinated, you are required to get tested once a week. I am not sure why this is still in place since it’s been proven that vaccinated people can also test positive and spread COVID. Just to be clear, I didn’t get vaccinated because of a health condition I have. I certainly don’t think modern medicine is witchcraft and I’m amazed by the achievements of our country’s finest medical field and researchers. I just think we’ve become too extreme with how the policies regarding COVID and the vaccines are being enforced.

Unvaccinated athletes who are young and healthy have it the worst at Monmouth. I am on the University’s track and field team, and I have to get tested three times a week as required by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Council of President’s guidance to compete and practice. Testing three times a week is absurd – it is an unnecessary burden for everyone, including the employees, for no reason. During the summer of 2021, the eleven university presidents in the MAAC Conference decided to implement a no tolerance policy for unvaccinated athletes. I don’t know who was and who wasn’t in favor of this idea, but what I do know is this is a fine example of bureaucracy being out of touch with reality.

This problem spans beyond Monmouth University. According to an article from the New York Times, unvaccinated United States Military members are being dishonorably discharged. Taking away opportunities, especially from our brave police, fire fighters, nurses, and soldiers who want to serve selflessly, is just wrong. It is also noted there is a decline in recruitment numbers for our servicemen and women, we need as many people as we can get. In the world of professional sports, people like Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Red Wings Forward Tyler Bertuzzi, Tennis star Novak Djokovic, and Brooklyn Nets Point Guard Kyrie Irving have made headlines over issues regarding vaccines and how it’s affected them personally.

I had COVID in the spring of 2021, when vaccines weren’t fully available yet. Unlike today, if you wanted one you needed to get an appointment, which was very hard to come by. I was not hospitalized, but I did have some trouble breathing. Oddly enough, besides that my body felt fine. Since having COVID, I have continued to run and exercise every day, follow a healthy diet, get outside every day, and take Vitamin D and Zinc supplements. I’ve felt very healthy since I’ve gotten into these habits. I believe if I can stick to these habits and live normally after having COVID, anyone else can do the same and recover similarly. We can return back to normal like in 2019 whether you made the choice of getting vaccinated or not. Don’t be afraid of living your life.

The reality is that almost everybody is probably tired of the pandemic, regardless of whether they’re vaccinated or their political views. People want to live their lives freely again. Since the beginning of US history, Americans have never liked being told what to do. Ironically, we gained our independence because of a tax raise. Our country was also founded on the ideas of individual freedom, taking risks, living your dream, etc. Do we simply abandon these ideals because the government, school, and media say so? I’m not saying I am right, or that I am an immunologist or an expert in philosophy, but what I am trying to say is not to be convinced by fear alone and always question your leaders.

Unvaccinated people like me are not the issue. You have your own free will to protect yourself however you feel from COVID. No one is stopping you from wearing a mask, social distancing, getting tested, and getting vaccinated or boosted. That’s what being an adult is all about – it is your responsibility to look after yourself. I will not judge you on your own personal decisions. It is also your responsibility to research the facts, and to use your judgment like “playing the devil’s advocate” on philosophical arguments. You can’t expect everyone to follow your own beliefs or practices. Just be respectful – I think that starts with throwing all these forceful mandates in the trash.