It seems like the number of people getting vaccinated for COVID-19 each week has flattened. Those who wanted one have gotten it. Those who don’t want one have made their choice.

The CDC updated its recommendation suggesting those who are fully vaccinated may be in public without a mask. The state of Washington took that recommendation. That evening, I went to a grocery store. The huge mask-mandate sign that was a fixture at the store’s entrance was gone.

Their employee, who was posted at the entrance offering customers a clean cart and masks, was no longer on post. In the employee’s place was a small whiteboard with a sign that read those vaccinated do not need to wear a mask. The store had a box of masks available for those who are still unvaccinated.

What is the end game with the pandemic? Have we forgotten why businesses were shut down and we were wearing masks?

In the big picture, various governmental bodies placed restrictions on liberties of citizens to help flatten the curve. I understood the goal was to keep the explosion of infections and hospitalizations from happening at once. We knew people were going to get sick. We had to keep the hospitals from being overwhelmed and that would save lives.

A few weeks to flatten the curve, right?! More than a year later and the King of Washington is keeping us on restriction. The vaccines have been out for six months and there is no reason those who were jonesing for the vaccine didn’t receive one. Those who are anti-vax? Well, by golly, the meme they saw on Facebook claimed Bill Gates put a microchip in the vaccine. Give them a tinfoil hat and keep the microchip-laced vaccine away from their arm.

In a post-vaccination world the restrictions are still in place but I don’t fully get why. Remember we were restricted, not to keep people from getting sick, but to keep it from all happening at the same time.

Prior to the vaccinations, hospitalizations were a small percentage of those who got infected. Those who died were a smaller percentage of those who were hospitalized. Many of those who died were the elderly and sicker individuals.

At this point I would surmise many of those who have not gotten the vaccination are those who are younger and would consider themselves healthy. Many will tell you they already had COVID-19 and believe they are immune.

If those currently unvaccinated are not likely going to experience the dangerous effects of the virus, why are we still under restrictions? Again, the restrictions are not to keep people from getting sick. It’s to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed.

What are the odds the unvaccinated population will be ones who overrun the hospitals? Is forced mask wearing part of a larger liberty-reduction scheme? I wasn’t an anti-masker. My past writing is clear evidence of that. But as we are moving forward, the demand to show “vaccine passports” or keep masked is a concern.

In all seriousness, who are we trying to protect by enforcing mask mandates and lockdowns? Are we working to keep hospitals from being overrun? I am not so sure this is the biggest concern anymore.

Are we protecting those who already received the vaccination? I certainly hope extra protection isn’t necessary. Are we protecting the unvaccinated? Those unvaccinated a) have a lower likelihood of getting severely sick, or b) have exercised their right to choose.

Some local governmental organizations have announced employees may be maskless if they prove they received the vaccination. Frankly, my vaccination status is nobody’s business. With the pandemic visible in our rearview mirror, we should practice our God-given rights and wear a mask only if we choose, not because we are mandated to wear one.

It’s time to stand up to the tyrants who are treating us as their subjects.

Anderson is a computer programmer who enjoys serving the community through various community-oriented service jobs.

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