The corona pandemic has now entered a phase where responsibilities take precedence over rights.
Corona situation is deteriorating again mainly due to unvaccinated individuals. The right to decide on one’s own body is invoked, which is a natural thing under normal circumstances.
In Finland’s Nordic democratic society, citizens have rights that many countries in the world cannot even dream of. Among other things, this Nordic democracy includes the right to almost free education and medical care.
But nowhere can there be just rights without obligations. If our society, which offers these rights, is in serious danger, everyone has a duty to defend our liberal community. The worst situation is, of course, a war in which the citizens have an absolute duty to defend the homeland.
The corona pandemic has now entered a stage where I believe that responsibilities take precedence over rights. The normal functioning of society has soon been more or less restricted for two years. It has caused significant harm to both the citizen and the national economy. Hospitals are filled with unvaccinated patients who deprive others of access to acute care.
This also raises the ethical obligation to which Academician Ilkka Niiniluoto in his recent opinion paper. referred to (HS 11.11.). Hospital staff are doing their jobs to the extreme, and there is a constant threat of the disease spreading in the air due to the emergence of new variants, as data from South Africa have just shown.
In this situation, anyone who does not have a medical or similar barrier has an obligation to take the vaccine. The government should now finally decide on the widespread introduction of the corona passport. It would free up restrictions on those who have already fulfilled their responsibilities, and society – including the long-stricken restaurant industry – could operate in a near-normal way.
Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Helsinki
Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS’s editorial staff. You can leave a comment or read the principles of writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.
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