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Cebu
Monday, October 25, 2021
CEBU

Lim: Bursting the bubble

Wide Awake

The “bakuna bubble” or vaccine bubble has been proposed as a solution to stop the further hemorrhaging of the economy without compromising the health and safety of the public.

It’s not an idea without merit if vaccines are readily available. Are we there yet? Well, in Cebu, I hear we have enough vaccines but not enough people who want to be vaccinated. Suffice it to say that if you are eligible for vaccination, you can be vaccinated. Now.

The vaccine bubble concept essentially allows vaccinated individuals greater mobility by giving them privileges not given to the unvaccinated like entry to indoor public venues and access to salons, spas, gyms and indoor dining, among others. Access to essential activities remains open to all.

It’s not a perfect solution. Breakthrough infections happen. Proof of vaccination needs authentication.

But granting fully vaccinated people greater mobility to increase economic activity is still better than indefinitely suspending many business operations while waiting for the population to reach herd immunity or allowing these businesses to operate unsafely.

The bubble is not 100 percent safe. But the world outside that bubble isn’t either. Have we not coped with Covid-19 by living within the bubble of our households? It’s not 100 percent safe. But the odds have been pretty good.

All we can do is reduce our risks of contracting Covid-19 to survive and thrive during this pandemic. But we need to strive a balance between saving lives and saving livelihoods. Bubbles provide that balance.

While some view the bubble concept as promising, economically, others see it as discriminatory. When we restricted the movement of the elderly, young, sick, pregnant and vulnerable in the last 18 months, was that not discriminatory? But we did it, anyway, to protect their health and safety.

No plan is perfect. No solution is without flaw. We can’t have our cake and eat it too. Public policy exists not to serve individual interests but public good. We can save the economy but we can’t do it perfectly, pleasing everybody.

One of the most important things I value in my life is freedom. But I’ve never lived under the illusion that freedom is absolute. And while the notion of unrestrained thought, word and action seems utopic, reality is not as romantic.

Today, we have the means to save both lives and livelihoods. The solution, however, entails the curtailment of our civil liberties for common good. Why the umbrage? Did you not know that outside of your consciousness, absolute freedom does not exist?

What purpose do you think rules, norms and legislation serve? I hate to burst your bubble but personal freedoms also exist within a bubble. Individual liberties end where the quest for greater good begins.


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