I'm About to Quit My Job Over the Vaccine Mandate. It's an Agonizing Decision | Opinion

After weeks of anticipation, the email finally came: I was notified I had 10 days to inform my employer of my vaccination status. Should I refuse to comply, termination is the likely outcome.

And I think I am going to refuse to comply.

This isn't an easy decision. It's an agonizing one. But getting the vaccine under a government mandate flies in the face of so many of my beliefs, so much of who I am.

I can't tell you where I work, but I can tell you that at my job, which I do from home where I am no threat to anyone but myself, I am paid to think, to analyze data, to identify risks, and to formulate plans to address said risks. Thinking as a career requires one to question the validity of the data one is analyzing. One cannot accept arguments from authority because this is a logical fallacy. The same goes for appeals to emotion, observational selection biases, and many other forms of data misinterpretation. While fallacies may be useful and effective in shaping a narrative, they are unreliable as predictors of outcomes. And outcomes are what matters.

And when it comes to the vaccine mandate, appeals to authority, emotion and bias have ruled the day.

I'm not going to sit here and tell you not to get the vaccine. That's a decision for every American to make for themselves. And that is all I am asking for—that same courtesy, to make up my own mind.

But this is no longer an option; it has been replaced by the brute force of the government mandated one-size-fits-all solution, the Procrustean approach of shaping the individual to fit the desired outcome.

It is madness. It is unjust. People are losing their jobs. And I might be one of them.

I don't blame my employer; I can honestly say that they are being proactive in measuring the status of their workforce. One can argue about how they have chosen to collect this data, or perhaps critique the zeal with which they are pursuing compliance, but it is the government which has essentially dictated people at companies like mine must get vaccinated and the government that will eventually get around to actually putting it in writing. It is wise for my employer to measure how big of an issue this will be and to prepare for many possible outcomes.

west virginia vaccine covid
At its current vaccination pace, West Virginia isn't expected to hit the 70 percent vaccine threshold until 2023. Bethany Ross receives the COVID-19 Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine as part of a collaborative effort from the West Virginia National Guard, FamilyCare Health Centers and Toyota to vaccinate Toyota employees on March 26 on the grounds of the Toyota plant in Buffalo, West Virginia. Stephen Zenner/Getty Images

But I don't think it is right for me to comply with such a demand. I don't want to be forced to surrender my rights to participate in the system.

And that is even before we talk about the lack of reliable information on the origins of the virus this vaccine treats, or the conflicting information on how widespread the contagion is, or the uncertainty about the short-term side effects of the vaccines on offer and no data whatsoever on the long-term.

What we do know is that one can catch Covid, one can spread Covid, and one can even die from Covid while being fully vaccinated, albeit at much lower rates than the unvaccinated. And in lieu of information upon which one can make an informed decision, one is told to trust a government which has lied to us repeatedly, yet whose mandates can no longer be questioned.

One is told to "trust the science" and yet it doesn't take a scientist to know the scientific method is primarily used to disprove theories.

One is told to choose the vaccine, but a compelled voluntary decision is neither voluntary nor a decision. The compulsion negates any individual agency. And I object to this, especially since being vaccinated and disclosing this status doesn't immunize me against being terminated for other reasons.

I don't see how I can comply with something I object to for these reasons. And I'm not alone; across the nation, thousands and thousands of workers are quitting their jobs in protest of the mandate.

I am sure for them as for me, the decision is an agonizing one. I'm still making it. The next week will be a torturous one full of doubt. I'll think of the charities and small businesses I will no longer be able to support financially if I don't comply and lose my job. I'll think of what I need to give up to accommodate a much smaller budget. I'll accuse myself of being short-sighted, of being selfish, of being a poor provider for my family if I don't comply.

Some might consider lying, but to me, this is no answer. My objection is to a system which mandates vaccines and disclosure of status; lying to participate in said system is a different form of fallacy, not to mention unethical.

I will wait until the last minute before deciding in the hopes something changes before the deadline. I'd like to think my rights are not for sale, but I won't know for certain if I have the courage of my convictions until I decide.

One thing is certain, however: I may choose to forgive those who put me in this terrible position, recognizing forgiveness is more for my benefit than those whom I am forgiving. But I will never forget they forced me into this.

The author of this piece has asked to remain anonymous to protect themselves from workplace reprisals for refusing the vaccine.

The views in this article are the writer's own.