For the Greater Good?

A controversial subject often comes up on the Flu Forums, societal obligations vs self interest/self preservation and the protection and preservation of one’s family.

There is no arguing that we will need certain segments of our society to continue to report to work and perform their duties, and selfishly, we figure they should no matter what level of personal danger they may face.

After all, we need water, food, gasoline, police, fire, EMS, doctors, nurses, vaccine production workers, even during a moderate to severe pandemic.  But, does that confer the right to conscript these essential workers into service against their will?

When does the right of self determination stop and the greater good of society start?  Until the last quarter of the 20th century America had a military draft to make sure that it always had a means of filling manpower needs during wartime.  Those drafted had no legal options to decline the summons to service, even though that summons often meant great discomfort and personal danger.

I don’t support the idea of conscripting workers even in the worst case scenarios.  I believe that the right of self determination is sacrosanct.  Unfortunately, I don’t make the rules. 

While I don’t believe there will be wholesale worker conscriptions, in the US anyway, I believe that the risk is not zero that it will happen at least in some areas.  A well publicized report, well, it was well publicized in the Cyber Flu Community, from BoozAllen that recommends this alarming tidbit,

Conscription of the "recovered" (now in effect "vaccinated") will likely be necessary to fill vacant essential jobs.  These individuals will probably require a minimal level of training to perform the critical functions.

If it is thought that conscripting recovered workers may needed how much of a stretch would it be for conscription to be called for in general?  Not much of a stretch if you ask me.

What we freely choose to do is one thing, and I have hope that many normally ordinary folk will step up, voluntarily, at our collective time of great need and our local, regional and federal governments will not have to resort to draconian measures.

While we won’t know how it is all going to play out until the time comes, if it comes, we need to raise our collective voices and demand that our communities prepare to protect the brave men and women that will be out working, trying to keep society functioning and helping with the ill, and even with the dead.  We, the citizenry owe them no less, and who is the government, from local all the way up to the federal level, but us…We the People.

Everyone will have responsibilities during a pandemic event, whether at home or out contributing to the greater good.  Let us not forget the responsibilities prior to a pandemic.

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