, pub-5475981771945671, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

COVID-19 VACCINES: Should We Continue Imposing On Others?

COVID-19 VACCINES: Should We Continue Imposing On Others?

By Lilia Sinaga

Coronavirus disease case was first detected in China in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan and The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020, and a pandemic status on March 11, 2020. Fast forward to mid-February 2021 the number of confirmed cases was over 110 million and the number of confirmed deaths was close to 2.5 million.

This terrifying global pandemic forced the world to implement some precautionary and protective measures like lockdown, quarantine, social distancing mechanisms, social isolation, screening methods, flight suspensions, etc due to the severity of COVID-19.

We duly obeyed all these protective measures because we know it’s for our own good. And then this pandemic stretched to a few years and unpredictably somehow it evolved into a political and social crisis. Now we witnessed the chanting slogans of the protesters on the streets: Covid Dictatorship, End The Lockdown, Tyranny vs Control, Take Your Freedom Back, Defy Fascist Lockdown, Stop The Fear, The Cure Is Worse Than The Disease, Against Compulsory Vaccination, etc.

Understandably all these massive protests took place in more advanced countries like England, Germany, Italy, Australia, and the USA. Maybe people are fed up and tired with all these restrictive measures of limitation of social contacts, postponing events, locking down schools, unable to access malls, restaurants, shutting down of some businesses, etc. Or maybe they are fed up with being locked up at home with no money-making activities for several years and feel like sitting ducks waiting for the next repeated vaccine shots. Nobody can predict what will happen next as the virus keeps evolving into other strains and variants.

What should we do now?

Well, if we are spiritual and religious people we can perceive the pandemic as a warning from God to rectify our mistakes and accept this torment patiently and do our best while praying for this sad episode to go away. And if one is more into agnostic or atheistic persuasion, they still need to wait patiently too because science and technology can not provide an instant remedy to all of our problems.

Countries and governments in the world as well as their citizens face the pandemic with different attitudes and different reactions. Whether we realize it or not some governments enacted policies that totally paralyzed social functions of society and some seemed to use the crisis to establish or consolidate authoritarian powers, undermine democracy, overstep the boundaries of state power and breach the privacy of individuals, etc.

Let us examine these phenomena by analysing why the protests are less occurring in Muslim countries. During the peak of the pandemic, almost all ulamas or Muslim scholars quoted the saying of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on their pulpits:

“If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not go out to run from it ”.

The Prophet of Islam

And certainly, they will quote multiple relevant verses from the Qur’an for obeying the government with all their instructions and regulations. The ulamas also reiterated that maintenance of good personal and community hygiene is the most essential tenet of the Islamic faith and emphasized that those who died as the result of the pandemic were innocent and they died as martyrs.

We can see most of the population endured the pandemic and lockdown patiently but some of the most severely affected communities lamented why the government did not provide them with food when they did not have incomes due to government policies. While some could only murmur that lockdown with its consequences should be paired with conducive policies from the same government such as moratorium for all debt payments, cancellation of electricity and water bills for a certain period, moratorium of insurance payments of policyholders, free access to health treatment without questions, etc. It seems that the governments of the world are oblivious or remiss to perceive the whole causes and effects of their policies. Governments only see those who question their policies as uninhibited tiny minorities or radical extremists who try to impose their will on the whole society.

While the process of dialogue between government and citizens seems temporarily suspended or became merely one-sided during this hectic time, some people might develop the ideas that this whole pandemic crisis was manoeuvred and perpetuated into a game of a trillion-dollar pharmaceutical industry. As a global scale business, it’s only natural if their aim is to gain profits just like other businesses.

Panic-Mongering Attitudes

What can the governments of the world do to tread this challenging time without antagonizing their people and not risking the sovereignty of their administration? The typical solution is like always: communication. But this time after two years, the governments need to let go of the panic-mongering attitude which is reflected in their policies and actions. We have to accept the enduring pandemic and will do our best to eradicate it or scale it down into endemic status. We also need to accept the differences in our communities in facing the pandemic without segregating those who accepted the vaccination or against it.

We still have to practice all the health protocols in public spaces to curb virus transmission but we must stop forcing injection of vaccines to people who do not wish it. We must understand the psychological aversion of people who don’t like to insert weakened or decimated viruses (called vaccines) into their healthy bodies. The vaccines are not only weakened viruses but also made with other ingredients such as antigens, preservatives, stabilizers, surfactants, residuals, etc that usually do not exist in our blood. Let us just let them live with their choices without stigmatizing them. Maybe it’s about principles, not merely the dislike of pain, redness, swelling, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea that people might get after vaccination.

It’s indeed acknowledged that vaccines remain effective at reducing hospitalizations and deaths but not totally cure the disease. Besides, once a vaccine is in use, it must be continuously monitored to make sure it continues to be safe. It’s a hassle for some people.

Also, we should not divide society into divisions and say those who are vaccinated shall get special rights, whereas the unvaccinated get excluded from services and goods which would otherwise be accessible. Besides, it’s fact-based evidence that vaccinated individuals still continue to have a relevant role in the transmission of the viruses.

Drastic measures to contain the pandemic can be justified and accepted, but now after two years, we need to readjust our attitude and be more resigned and tolerant to those who have different perspectives.

We need to continue our lives as normal as possible and we need to alleviate our worries so we can sleep peacefully every night. It’s enough that we are still worried about facing Omicron and its menacing variants. We don’t need a nightmare when someday our government will coerce us to insert vaccine microchips under our skins.

About the writer:

Lilia Sinag is a 54 years old woman from Indonesia, was born in Pematang Siantar on March 13th 1967. Works as a writer and contributor. Graduated from the University of North Sumatra, in 1991 majored in Mass Communications.

Email address:

Photo Credit: Islamic Congregational Prayer with Physical Distancing during the Covid-19 Pandemic Photo: