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By David Cayley, First Things , 9 . 16 . 21
David Cayley is the author, most recently, of Ivan Illich: An Intellectual Journey.
I was alerted to what was coming at the end of July. Under the headline “The time for debating vaccines passports is over,” Globe and Mail health columnist André Picard wrote that “it would be irresponsible, not to mention politically and economically self-defeating, to not try limiting the intermingling of vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.” Two words struck me as particularly eerie: “intermingling,” and “population.” At that point, I had decided against vaccination on various grounds. The most compelling was concern for my heart. I had had some heart troubles at the end of 2020, and I knew that the new vaccines occasionally produced heart inflammation—a frequent enough side effect that Health Canada requires a caution on the labels of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Now, evidently, my decision had consigned me to a threatening “population” requiring segregation and exclusion.
Since then, there has been an almost daily increase in the number of jurisdictions climbing aboard the vaccine passport bandwagon. There are local variations in the nature of the “passports,” but we may take the term as referring to the requirement that one produce proof of full vaccination as a precondition for travel, employment, or admission to various public places. France, Italy, and Israel now have internal passport systems, as do cities like New York and San Francisco. In Canada, five provinces have announced they will issue certificates of “adequate protection.” …