There are many perfectly sane reasons for declining to take the COVID-19 vaccines, but right now I am focused on one: I want to know how our society will treat those who refuse the shot, and I intend to find out firsthand.

At the moment, it appears likely that our government will outsource this terrible moral problem (including their legal duty to uphold the Constitution and protect our rights) to private industry. That means that if internal passports are issued to verify one’s vaccinated status, local and corporate businesses may decide whether the unvaccinated among us will be allowed to continue to make money, purchase food or appear in public.

If you’re skeptical about our emerging collectivist oligarchy’s respect for our Constitution and our human rights, you have my sympathy. As an American artist, I believe that I have a responsibility to position myself alongside the most vulnerable, those whose rights are most likely to be abused or neglected. Refusing the shot is an excellent way to attempt this. I want to be on the fringe, where what is really happening so often makes its first appearance.

There are those among us for whom personal freedom is a transcendent ideal, and I suppose we will always be inconvenient for the kind of sociopathic micro-managers so prevalent in the governments and corporate boardrooms of our day. Maybe some of us are a bit cracked; certainly we are as imperfect as anyone else.

But it falls to us to preserve bodily autonomy for future generations.

The alternative is to allow the opposite precedent to be established: that government and its allies in private industry will now essentially own our bodies, and should be allowed to do whatever they wish with us for the foreseeable future. That sounds like a pretty good description of slavery to me.

Have courage. Show patient, tolerant strength in the face of overwhelming social pressure and propaganda. Be considerate of those who disagree, even as we resist them.

There is great power in our Constitution: in its careful emphasis on freedom of conscience; and from the Deity invoked therein, who lives on in every of us.

LUKE BUCKHAM

Keene