The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has taken a bold step that only those who have been vaccinated against Covid-1 9 should report for work physically.
The MEC leadership realises the importance of the right to life. The loss of life erodes the essence and existence of any right.
However, any right is of no rational consequence and importance to the dead.
Second to the right of life is the right to health, which sets the ground for the living to enjoy other rights and liberties.
As such, good health is an enabler to any other rights that make sense.
The right to life is absolute; hence, many countries have abolished death sentence and replaced it with life sentence.
Just this year, the Malawi Supreme Court ruled that death sentence is illegal and unconstitutional.
Even with Covid-related threats to life, the right to life remains absolute and supreme to freedom of choice.
Health is good and no rational being ever chooses death—the flipside of the right to health—though it is a probable occasion.
Nobody would ever opt to contract Covid-19 as it would negatively affect health and can be fatal—apart from restraining one from exercising other subsidiary rights such as education, work and free speech.
Philosopher Don Locke reasoned: “A doctrine that leads us into absurdity can never be true.”
This means that rational beings’ right to opt not to take a vaccine that minimises the threat of Covid-19 would lead humanity into absurdity.
If life is a principal right premised on good health for enjoyment of all other rights that one envisages, all steps must be taken that would sustain life and help the bearer enjoy them. That which protects life must not be optional.
If the option, as a matter of personal interest, falls short of the duty to keep others safe and can be scientifically proven to put one’s society at risk of bad health and death, then that is absurd and meaningless.
Therefore, Malawi cannot afford to take up such a risk that bears neither sense nor value in these tricky times.
In a world where science has shown the harsh impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on all spheres of life, it is no use experimenting the odds just to appease the ignorant and terrified majority that would quickly shift their minds if faced by Covid-19 hospitalisations and deaths that have occurred globally.
That would be a day too late for any reasonable intervention.
We already have a precedence. When all appeared to be well and Covid-19 only appeared to devastate Europe and Asia, Covid-19 sceptics in Africa, without any backing from science, went flat out demeaning the emergency.
Vaccines, which were donated in earnest, expired and got destroyed as bad negative publicity surged. When Covid-19 cases started to surge again, the same doubters converted and queued for a quick jab in unprecedented fashion.
This clearly demonstrates the fickleness of Covid-19 doubters.
The unproven beliefs and heresy should not replace or undermine the logic of proven science.
Labour unions exist for the living, not the dead.
Health advocacy exists to sustain life, not to endanger people’s well-being or fast-track the loss of life.
Religion exists for the living to turn to God before they die, not to help them die.
Politics of appeasement over Covid-19 saves no life, but puts a burden on the health care budget.
Regardless of public opinion and popular emotions, prevention is better than cure.
MEC’s decision to ban unvaccinated staff from work makes sense and sets a precedence of sanity that government agencies, companies, churches and other groups must emulate.
MEC’s unorthodoxy step is surely a stitch in time that will save nine if embraced and replicated by any well-meaning citizen desiring to triumph over Covid-19.