Against Vaccine Passports

Here’s a detailed explanation of why “vaccine passports” are a horrifying idea.

It’s extremely difficult for most people to process the world through anything but analogies with past experience. New information doesn’t land. So when they hear “vaccine passports,” they imagine those sheets of paper moms get from pediatricians to show the school that their kids have been vaccinated. After that, it’s impossible to talk to them because they have found their “it’s just like” and won’t consider the possibility that it just isn’t.

Anything can be declared a public health menace. Anything. Participation in a protest, a social media post, a research article, a friendship with “dirty, ideologically diseased” people. You can’t possibly know who will have the power to do the declaring in the future. But once you allow yourself to be digitally tracked and have your behavior being used to grant you access to work, school, banking, socializing or going outside, there’s no going back to just being. Being unmodified and unmessed with. Being human.

I strongly urge everybody to read Zuboff’s book Surveillance Capitalism. In that book, Zuboff says that our only way out of this nightmare is to realize what is happening and say “no.”

I’m begging people to put aside their “but it’s just like childhood proof of vaccination” for 5 minutes and consider, what if it’s not? What if it’s possible for completely new things to come into existence because new technology appears?

35 thoughts on “Against Vaccine Passports

  1. I remember growing up having to get the government’s permission to do many things. To live at a particular address, temporarily or permanently, you needed to register with the police. Police could stop you at any time and demand to see your papers for no reason at all. You want to travel abroad? You need a permit. You want to exchange your money for a foreign currency? Another permit also regulating how much money you are allowed to exchange. You want to buy some luxury goods (i.e., jeans)? Here is a special store where you can buy them for a special currency that you (guess what?) need permission to exchange for at a bank. Your high school teacher noticed that you go to church weekly and was vindictive enough to put it into your personnel file? Kiss goodbye to your favorite subject to study at the University, if you are lucky enough to be accepted at all. I personally know several highly educated people who were forced to work low-level jobs in factories because their opinions or religiosity displeased someone.

    The vaccine passports and whatever will grow out of them have the potential to be much worse than this. Why are Americans ready to voluntarily give up their freedom over a stupid virus is incomprehensible to me. And, even if we were dealing with a virus with a 20% mortality, I would rather be dead from the virus than living in a society where I have to present “papers” (electronic or not) to access a restaurant or a grocery store. If I have learned anything from my experience is that the government (no matter the country) does not care about you or your own good. People who make up the government just care about themselves, mainly their pockets full of money, their power and influence, and will push for as much as they can get away with at your expense. The checks and balances that existed in the US to prevent society from deteriorating into the abyss are (almost?) gone now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s how I grew up, too. And this is probably why you and I recognize the potential danger behind this idea.

      But there’s an added aspect to all this now, which is digitalization. People are consenting to this out of skillfully stoked fear without thinking it through at all. What if there’s a glitch in the system? Where do you go to appeal the decision? This already happened. People have been persecuted for buying something at a store in the vicinity of the 1/6 protest. The system flagged them as dangerous because they used their debit card somewhere close enough to the protest. How do you prove you were there by accident? Where do you go to prove it?

      We are normalizing something potentially terrible but we aren’t even allowed to discuss it.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. // even if we were dealing with a virus with a 20% mortality, I would rather be dead from the virus than living in a society where I have to present “papers”

      I would not.

      We in the global West have great lives now, and do not always appreciate the fragility of it all. I understand the concern for liberty from FSU citizens, but it is not the only concern that should be taken into account and not the only thing that can lead to disaster.

      Even if we were dealing ‘only’ with a 2% mortality, any country not stopping the spread would start falling apart soon enough w/o any frightening “papers.”

      If we are entering the new global age of global epidemics and other global threats, we must find new ways to deal with them together.

      The linked post talks of EU. If Europe is uniting and nation-states are merging together, why shouldn’t they have the same digital ID for all EU countries? All documents are being increasingly ‘digitalized.’ In Israel, “All non-biometric identity cards will expire after 10 years or in July 2022, whichever date is earlier.” I still have the old, non-biometric version, so will have to change it soon.

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      1. I would argue that there is a significant difference between stopping/mitigating a virus and requiring papers/passports granting you a freedom to participate in basic functions of society. First one requires real and targeted efforts from experts (development and early administration of new treatments, isolating sick and vulnerable), second is a theatre doing nothing to stop the virus.

        Some of my friends live in a country that has been obsessively testing every citizen for corona once a week for months now and they are not able to go to work, store, etc. without a proof of a negative test. This stupid theater did nothing to prevent the spread of the virus or mitigate the mortality. Why? Because most GPs are terrified to see any patient with a positive test and only treat them by phone. What are their instructions for people with a positive test? Stay isolated at home and call the local equivalent of 911 if your health deteriorates too much. Imagine that no doctor would be willing to see a patient with any respiratory virus but instead leave everyone to their own devices with a package of Tylenol. So when some of them develop secondary infections or pneumonia, they are not treated until they are so sick that they need to call 911, overwhelming hospitals in some of the cities. Perhaps treating people before they are too sick to walk around on their own two feet would be more helpful than administering tests to the mostly asymptomatic population and checking their papers.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s exactly what happened to my colleague who tested positive for COVID. The doctor refused to see her. She’s in her seventies with an underlying health condition that makes her vulnerable. But the doctor is too scared to see her. Thankfully, she recovered easily on her own.

          Right here on the blog we have a commenter who can’t find a doctor to see her for a debilitating condition because she had COVID several months ago. How is any of this helpful to public health?

          It’s not. Because it’s not about health. It’s about surveillance, profit, and control.

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          1. // The doctor refused to see her.

            Have never heard of such in Israel. Is it the result of purely private, for profit health care system in America?

            I think Israeli doctors and nurses had to come to work by law, like people drafted into army service, during the covid wave, but am not 100% sure about the details.

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            1. Man, seriously? That sad old propaganda again? My father has a kidney stone and is suffering hellish torture. Guess whether the doctor is interested in seeing him for this condition in the Canadian fully nationalized health system. Obviously not. He’s looking for a private doctor to see him.

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              1. // My father has a kidney stone and is suffering hellish torture. Guess whether the doctor is interested in seeing him

                Horrible. Does his family doctor refuse to see him? Or is the specialist doctor months away?

                Going to a family doctor is easy in my country, but getting to a specialist can take some time, depending on the kind of the problem and the severity of patient’s condition.

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            2. I was not talking about the US in my post but about a country with a largely (but not fully) nationalized health system. In there, you may actually have a better luck with a private doctor seeing you. Nationalized health system discussion is a like a big red button waiting to be pushed in my case and I am doing my very best right now not go off on a long tangential rant not related to the topic of Clarissa’s post at all…

              To make the long story short, I do not believe this behavior is a function of wether the system is nationalized or not. It is more of a function of government recommendations and personal fear of the doctors who do not want to get sick themselves treating patients.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Same here. After the story of a doctor trying to diagnose a possible cancerous growth on Zoom in a fully nationalized healthcare system, this isn’t a discussion that deeply interests me. “I wish I were in Canada” is something nobody here said in the past year.

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          2. // It’s not. Because it’s not about health. It’s about surveillance, profit, and control.

            If American health care system is purely about profit, with health coming as a distant side effect, something should be done.

            You describe the situation of doctors being eager to prescribe opioids like candy and to dispense hormones to teens as a first recourse since surgeries bring more money than mental health counseling, but run away the moment a patient actually catches a contagious disease.

            Btw, my family doctor is also responsible for covid patients at the place where he works. However, American conservatives would be against Israeli system since health insurance is mandatory:

            “The Israeli healthcare system is based on the National Health Insurance Law of 1995, which mandates all citizens resident in the country to join one of four official health insurance organizations, known as Kupat Holim (קופת חולים – “Sick Funds”) which are run as not-for-profit organizations and are prohibited by law from denying any Israeli resident membership. “

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            1. If I had any doubts about the advisability of nationalized healthcare, the COVID situation wiped them out completely. I don’t want healthcare to be completely dependent on some politician deciding to punish inconvenient political beliefs by mandatory withdrawal of care. Or by banning doctors from prescribing a cheap effective medication because a pharma company lobbied him to promote their expensive, ineffective one.

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          3. When I was sure I had COVID the MD would not see me. There were not tests available yet, and they did refer me to an ENT, but they wouldn’t say the word COVID, just said it was cancer if anything. I still do not really understand what happened.

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      2. Here’s the thing. This is not the first coronavirus in history. Neither is this the first pandemic. Somehow, the world survived pandemics until now without falling apart and turning into a police state.

        But forget about COVID for a second. There is a much larger issue at play. The question is: is it ok to ban people from different aspects of life if somebody for some reason decided they are a threat? Who will have the right to define that threat? How do we guarantee that a whole group of people won’t be declared a threat to public health based on an immutable in-born characteristic? And how do you know that you personally aren’t in that group?

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        1. This is the end of any political protest worth its name. Nobody is going to put you in jail for protesting but you were there? You got who knows what germs? Stay in isolation for a couple of weeks just to quarantine. Soon everybody learns the lesson not to show up at a protest if they want to have a normal life.

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          1. Think, for instance, about the people who are trying to unionize Amazon. Amazon can’t have them arrested. It’s unconstitutional. But with this thing, it can easily deprive them of any work and their kids of schooling “for public health purposes.” No wonder Amazon loves this idea so much.

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            1. It doesn’t matter. None of those questions matter. That’s not how this whole thing works at all.

              The fact of the matter is that there are a group of people in charge of the system who can do something, while the vast majority of the population is too ignorant, too indifferent, too whatever to care or do anything about it.

              That means you are in a minority of people who can’t do a single thing about it and it doesn’t matter one little bit what the answers to your questions are because these decisions are being made in the twisted brains of people who don’t care about the answer to your questions, or your questions, or you.

              The things that you’ve said or asked are all well and good if you were in a logic & reason based system like law, where arguments, facts, principles etc somewhat matter, but all of this is being conducted in a system based on raw power.

              Those who wield power in a pure power system may wield it completely arbitrarily and are not bound in any way by any argument that comes form you, which means that the only way to interface with or overcome them is to wield greater power.

              Apologies for the rude sounding post but I’ve experienced this already. The ones in charge are scum. They know that they’re scum, they know that you know that they’re scum, and they don’t care that you know because all that matters is that they’re in charge and you’re not.

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              1. No, it’s not rude at all. I agree with what you say. But I can’t stop being angered by crowds of useful fools who are eagerly assisting their own enslavement because they can’t be bothered to observe the surrounding reality. I know it’s useless and I’m venting into the air.

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              2. So what is better? Is it better to understand what is going on and be unable to do anything about it and go along with everything because you have to, or is it better to be ignorant and just happily go along? Is there a third option that does not lend you, at best, socially canceled? I have been asking myself this question for about a year now, and honestly, I have no answers.

                Liked by 1 person

              3. I think it’s always better to know. A totalitarian regime can take everything but it can’t take away our capacity to think for ourselves unless we willingly abdicate it. The question is, do I remain fully human or do I let the totalitarians colonize my brain? To me, the answer is clear.

                Liked by 1 person

              4. @ Clarissa: I’m glad you think so because I’ve been commenting much more than usual lately.

                @ random reader: the first one is better because it is always better to know about something and have the opportunity to do something to change an outcome than to be ignorant and at the mercy of circumstance, so long as you have the mental fortitude to withstand the vexation that brings. If you don’t, then my suggestion would be to use time available to you to learn different coping skills etc.

                That aside, the only strategy that makes any sense for the kinds of people on this site ie people who are thoughtful is to turn towards people of their own kind, which means people with similar values, ethos, mentality etc who may be cooperated with peacefully, followed by avoiding as much participation in the system as is reasonable.

                The reason I think that is the best bet is because we can say for sure that the system that we all live in is entering a time of conflict where the ones damaged the most are either those in the wrong place at the wrong time, or those who participate in the system wherever the conflict is happening.

                What I mean by that last statement is that all around me, the ones who are most damaged at the moment are the ones who tried to stop the ones in charge from doing something, or who participated in small ways like making suggestions or offering criticism. Where I live, those kinds are losing jobs, losing contracts, losing hones & businesses, are being persecuted in some manner by police, with some people even being wrongly fined and/or wrongly imprisoned. Some have committed suicide.

                After that, the second most damaged group are political functionaries themselves and police (who serve as political footsoldiers at the moment anyway) because the different political groups are at least jostling at most trying to hurt or kill each other. In places like China they are practically at war, with political functionaries, businesspeople and their families all at risk of everything all the way up to murder.

                So, logically, if you turn towards people of your own kind and deal with them as much as possible in your day to day life, then you will be spared the misery of having to go along with things that you are ideologically opposed to as much as possible (to avoid being cancelled/persecuted), while also having benefit of a large group to help you in the case of you being outnumbered.

                Then all you can do is sit back and wait while all of the different parties/groups get sick of mangling each other and everything becomes more stable, which can’t be avoided because a lot of huge patterns that are out of control, with an example being financial patterns on Wall Street, are wildly out of kilter and have to rebalance.

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              5. Clarissa and Just George, I appreciate your perspectives, thank you. What you say makes sense to me. Thinking about it there are two additional points in favor of understanding the situation. First, to not turn into a soulless collaborators who call police on their neighbors. Second, for the sake of our children so we can protect them and allow them to have as normal childhood as possible under the circumstances. I guess this falls under remaining human as Clarissa suggests.

                Liked by 1 person

              6. That’s my #1 goal in life currently. My kid is barely noticing there’s a pandemic. Her life is about playing outside and she rarely sees a screen. I feel extreme pride in this.

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  2. // People have been persecuted for buying something at a store in the vicinity of the 1/6 protest.

    My cellphone (as well as yours) tracks and transmits my physical location at every second, from where I was at 16:00 on April the 1st several years ago to where I am today.

    Private companies already access this info, trade it, or use it practically in any way they wish, overtly and covertly.

    A state is at a disadvantage here since iphone and FB have more info than spies of old could ever dream of gathering.

    I started googling about Israeli secret service tracking phones of suspected terrorists even before covid and received a shock:

    [Article from 26 July 2020]

    // Shin Bet said to have secretly tracked most Israelis’ phones for over 2.5 years
    TV report says security agency got OK from Justice Ministry officials for controversial program, but few in the government were informed; Knesset, phone companies didn’t know

    Long before the coronavirus outbreak, the Shin Bet security service was secretly tracking Israelis’ cellphones in a clandestine program to fight the Islamic State terror group that lasted for at least two and a half years, and may still be ongoing, according to a television report Sunday.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/shin-bet-said-to-have-secretly-tracked-israelis-phones-for-at-least-2-5-years/

    Waging the battle under the flag of ‘our info should be secret’ is not facing realities of modern tech.

    Our info is already not secret for private firms. Do you trust them more than democratic governments?

    You repeat that one should not rely too much on the past. Yet, examples of FSU experience are brought up time after time. Our government and private entities already know more than KGB could ever dream of. This horse has left the barn. Soon one document will be an ID card, a credit card, a medical card and what not.

    I would fight for protecting human and citizen rights at the coming age of (almost) total transparency. Pretending info is secret is not the way. Lets accept almost everyone knows it, and find new legal and social ways to protect our rights based on this recognition. Without recognizing what we have now, how can we protect our rights?

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    1. “I would fight for protecting human and citizen rights at the coming age of (almost) total transparency.”

      The issue is not transparency of individual information but opacity of official systems that lack oversight and safety checks, since that opacity creates and is the essence of tyranny.

      Where I live public records have already been digitised and the organisations responsible for them defunded, with the entity charged for databasing legal decisions at the supreme court level reduced to calling for volunteers. What that means is that legal history may be changed at will, which means that any utilisation of the violent force of the state for any reason can be made invisible, as is the case in China.

      To illustrate, a legal case I was involved in appeared on the internet as mandated by legislation for a handful of days before disappearing without a trace from every search engine, every website, and every library including university law libraries, which was a shock to everybody because nobody anticipated that the systems needed to delete and scrub those kinds of records existed, let alone were in place.

      To answer your question about how to protect rights, the answer is to ensure that transparency is universal, which means that the systems in place responsible for opacity and secrecy must be dismantled. As spoken about in a previous post, it is probably impossible to do that at this point in time.

      Therefore, logically, those who are the most intelligent and capable must preserve themselves until such point that remedy may be applied and the system restored.

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    2. Yes, of course, the tracking has been here for several years. And as Shoshana Zuboff warned in her book, the only thing that stood between us and this technological capacity to track us for purposes of politically modifying our behavior was our consent. A year ago, we were still not ready to say “let’s not people travel, study, shop, work, if they don’t engage in behavior we approve.” Today we are ready to say that. The consent has been granted. That’s the big danger. That we have accepted things we wouldn’t have dreamt of accepting a few months ago. Everything that Zuboff says in her book about there still being time to reverse it is rapidly disappearing.

      And your argument is exactly what she describes in her book when she talks about people accepting this as inevitable when it isn’t. It’s absolutely “if rape is inevitable, I’d just as rather relax and enjoy it.” It’s not inevitable. But the window of opportunity to avoid it is shrinking rapidly.

      And yes, totalitarianism is not new. But it’s not unavoidable.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The reason I read this blog so much is because it is logical for people who have been persecuted politically to learn from a bunch of Jewish academics from the former USSR.

    In my opinion and to my knowledge, the bases are loaded. The politicians who are in charge, and the political functionaries behind them, are stacked three deep. So even if you were to assassinate every politician, party boss, and senior public servant, they would immediately be replaced by functionally identical people and proceed with the program in place.

    In my experience, appealing to the public at large is not only pointless due to widespread pathological stupidity but dangerous because some of them would turn on you or betray you in an instant for nothing, which means that the most logical thing to do overall is turn towards others of your own kind and do not be caught up in the more violent contractions of the system until most of the damage has been done and the system has mostly stabilised.

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  4. “Anything can be declared a public health menace”

    What drives me crazy is that people don’t know or don’t care the the Wuhan lockdown (the model successfully exported to the rest of the world) came from the same political philosophy that keeps over a million of its own citizens (members of an unpopular religion) in concentration camps.

    And… now the CCP is asking the WHo to fun a global vaccine passport system. If that doesn’t make a person’s blood run cold then….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It drives me round the bend that people just can’t imagine a moment when they will have this done to them because they are members of an unpopular religious, ethnic, political, etc group.

      Nothing is easier than banning, for instance, feminists as a public health menace. The narrative to do it is already there. The technology is there. All that’s needed is large-scale public acceptance of the idea that it’s ok to ban groups on this basis.

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      1. “feminists as a public health menace”

        Isn’t that already being done with TERFs? Maybe all the infantile squalling about ‘damage’ and ‘harm’ done by opinions is a prelude to shutting down those who are not sufficiently supportive of official orthodoxy?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. But it’s far from the first quarantine in the past 100 years, either. You’d have school by radio at home when schools were closed due to polio epidemics, etc. Huge issues with masks during the Spanish flu. Houses put under guard during the plague.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. Pandemics have been with us forever and will be with us forever. And this one is nothing compared to some really horrid ones in the past. If we are overreacting like this to an illness with a 99,95% survival rate, what will we do if a more serious one hits?

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