Mayor of Stjørdal (Sp)
That one is portrayed as “illiberal” just by thinking along these lines can neither be understood nor accepted. At least not as long as we have a seat belt order.
This is a debate post. Opinions in the text are at the writer’s expense.
In Norway today, it is mandatory to wear a seat belt. Not at all times, but when driving. Why is it that? Not wearing a seat belt only affects the person who chooses not to use it, should the accident be out right?
The use of seat belts is mandatory for several reasons:
- Because it has great costs for the community if someone should be unnecessarily disabled or need hospital treatment for something as pointless as not wearing a seat belt.
- Because people in oncoming vehicles should not be forced to bear the burden of killing someone who made the unwise choice not to wear a seat belt.
- And because seat belt opponents also have family and friends who (despite choosing not to wear seat belts) are very fond of them.
Let’s imagine that about 10 percent of us chose not to wear seat belts. These accounted for about 50 percent of hospital admissions from road traffic. Let us further imagine that the hospital capacity was about to kneel due to the total number of accidents with personal injury on the roads (which was extra large this winter).
Then I think very few people would have preferred the closure of roads for all drivers before the use of seat belts had been mandated? And at least the closure of other areas of society such as schools and residential centers to shield the overall hospital capacity?
Distrust of the authorities
I think even the requirement for seat belts had come long before one had begun to wonder why hospital capacity was not much higher to handle such a peak. I do not think anyone would argue that such an injunction against seat belts when driving a car was likely to grow distrust of the authorities from those who were seat belt opponents either.
Rather, I think the 90 percent who used seat belts could begin to distrust the authorities if the use of seat belts was not mandated.
I am nevertheless opposed to such a general vaccine order
All of the above is fully possible to compare with today’s vaccination debate. The obvious negative societal consequences of someone still choosing to go unvaccinated in themselves provide more than enough arguments for a general injunction for vaccines for all but the few who for medical reasons can not get vaccinated. The disagreement lies in how intrusive one might think that imposing vaccination would be.
Although it can be mentioned that Norway has several times in recent times had pure vaccine orders, one can get the impression of something else from the public exchange of words. I am nevertheless opposed to such a general vaccine order.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), for its part, has recommended the introduction of requirements for vaccine passes in various parts of society. Not because the unvaccinated infect others more, but because the consequences if they themselves are infected in total will be greater. Therefore, FHI’s recommendation is that a negative corona test should not be able to compensate for the lack of vaccination (as the current system with the complicated, and in practice not used corona certificate does).
This is a targeted measure that I believe the authorities should consider delimiting and arranging for the next measure period.
Vaccine care should be considered
It is not a given that it will be enough. Almost two years into the pandemic, it will still be right. It will also be right for the vast majority to accept all other possible measures with significant consequences for jobs, mental health and value creation. At the same time, vaccination will continue to be voluntary, with all the arguments that also apply to this.
A seat belt order does not mean that the police carry you out of the car, start the engine and put on your seat belt. But that means that if you want to drive a car, then you have to wear a seat belt. There is nothing authoritarian about this. On the contrary, it is the norm in most free, liberal and democratic countries.
On the contrary, it is the norm in most free, liberal and democratic countries
Under the same light, vaccine passport requirements should be considered. For example, to enter restaurants, cultural and sporting events or other places where many people meet.
That one is portrayed as illiberal just by thinking in these paths can neither be understood nor accepted. At least not as long as we have a seat belt order.