Odd, isn’t it, the way we allow the state to control our lives in some ways, but not others?
At a recent emergency preparedness meeting I attended, a briefing was presented outlining the ability for provincial government inspectors to declare a residence unfit for occupation after a disaster (such as a wildfire, flood, earthquake). Factors might include electrical or gas safety, foundation erosion, post-flood mould, etc. If it doesn’t pass inspection, the home is “red-carded” and an order, enforceable by police, is given that the homeowner can not return until repairs are done. I asked,
“Is anyone else even slightly uncomfortable with the state denying the right of a citizen to access his own property? I can understand and in fact appreciate providing expert advice to citizens about the condition of their home, but is there not something fundamentally wrong with intruding on his freedom to decide for himself?”
“Not in the least. Public safety is paramount” was the response from the official.
So the state can arrest an adult trying to gain access to their own home, not only during an emergency when they might create a risk to emergency crews, but long after, when the only people they endanger is themselves. I can understand switching off electricity, water, gas etc until the home is brought back up to code, but forcibly preventing reoccupation????
Fast forward to the next presentation, which was given by the Public Health Authority on preparations for the Pandemic Influenza. We were told that one of the government’s pandemic mitigation strategies was to encourage all citizens to receive their annual flu vaccination. Now the annual flu vaccine will not help in the case of the pandemic influenza, which virus of which will have a significantly different genetic make-up. “What benefit could there be, then?” I asked. I was told that indeed, annual flu shots would likely not protect against the pandemic flu. What mass annual flu shots will do, I was told, is encourage flu vaccine manufacturers to increase production capacity to meet the demand. As a result, they would be better prepared to crank out a vaccine that would be effective against the pandemic, once it was isolated. Hmmm … I had to ask another of my irritating questions:
"So, clarify for me. Are you saying that you are encouraging me, my family, and the general public to get vaccinated against the annual flu, in order to artificially create the market environment required to encourage profit-motivated corporations to develop capacity to produce a pandemic vaccine, when it might be required?"
“That’s correct”, the official stated. “That’s weak”, I replied.
So are we willing to allow the state to forcibly stop a citizen from entering his own home, while at the same time leaving critical public health protection measures in the hands of market forces? The irony of it baffles me.
Keep watching the skies for black helicopters.