Unvaccinated people also have basic rights.
Everyone is talking about vaccination, including recently Der Spiegel. The virologist Melanie Brinkmann and the behavioral economist Marcus Schreiber were asked for an interview. The question is how the low vaccination rate can be increased.
What can a virologist contribute to this question? After studying biology, she holds a professorship for virus genetics at the Technical University of Braunschweig. But should we not know more about people than about the genetics of viruses when faced with such a question? Is there no need to know about the sick and those who are threatened with illness? But since the corona pandemic hit us, the virologist profession, which was previously unknown to the public, has largely marginalized all others, including all human sciences, including medicine.
And what can a behavioral economist contribute to this question? According to Wikipedia, behavioral economics is a branch of economics. In behavioral economics one tries to understand reasonable and unreasonable behavior of people when solving problems and to develop means to influence them. So a behavioral economist is a specialist in manipulating human behavior.
Back to the key question of the interview: Should one lure previously unvaccinated people to vaccinate with incentives or should one force them to vaccinate with threats and punishments? Ms. Brinkmann is rather the softer, she is for better education and lets her 14-year-old son advertise the vaccination in his class. But Mr. Schreiber knows that only “hard instruments that are perceived as something punitive” are effective. If all does not work – we come to a climax – you have to unpack the “club”: sick people who have been vaccinated are treated in hospital, but sick people who have not been vaccinated are turned away, they have to stay outside: “After all, we have a pandemic.” This scandalous disrespect for the decision mature citizen does not contradict Mrs. Brinkmann.
In the past few months there has been heated debate about the need to restrict civil rights. These restrictions are now more and more associated with vaccination status. Little is learned about breakthroughs in vaccination, about sick people who have been vaccinated and who can infect others. Instead, the unvaccinated are now being driven into the vaccination gate by all means on the way to herd immunity, with 2G instead of 3G, with the end of free tests, with the refusal of doctor’s appointments, with the abolition of quarantine wages, with the compulsory vaccination at more and more workplaces. Reports of exhausted nursing staff reacting increasingly aggressively to the unvaccinated do the rest – even if this is more related to the catastrophic staff shortage than just the severity of the work.
But this is about more. The behavioral economist Schreiber puts the ax to human rights. Medicine only knows the sick, and it has only one mission: to help and heal regardless of the person and regardless of how the disease came about. Marcus Schreiber would like to leave unvaccinated, ie “disobedient”, to their fate without medical assistance. He calls it a club. But it is an attack on the foundations of our coexistence. And it’s an attack on human dignity.