This is not a far-fetched or click-bait question, though it is a theoretical one. With immunity passports being floated as a necessary condition to travel, what would you do if faced with the choice of being grounded in perpetuity?
I’m not about to inject myself with bleach, but if I had to risk a 1-2% chance of dying in exchange for traveling around the world, I’d take the risk. My wife is onboard with it too. Life is full of inherent risks. Every choice in life is a cost-benefit analysis. The key, of course, is to make informed choices. Thoughtful choices. Discerning choices.
I do not downplay the severity of COVID-19, nor do I take flippantly my responsibility to protect not only myself, but those around me. I’ve carefully guarded myself and family by curtailing social interactions, keeping employees at home, and wearing masks in public (in compliance with local law). Not only do I want this era to pass, but I want to be an agent who helped to contain it.
And yet multiple governments are floating the concept of an immunity passport, something I discussed in greater detail here. There are all sorts of problems inherent in such a passport. Most importantly, there is real question as to whether people are actually “immune” even when they develop certain antibodies after contracting COVID-19. We have seen relapse cases all over the world.
But for purposes of our discussion, let’s assume there is a document or a stamp that clears you to fly. It clears you to enter nations. And without it, you cannot fly and cannot visit Europe or Asia or Australia.
Where can I get in line? Seriously.
I’d retreat to a hotel, inject myself with the virus (not that it can be injected, again, we are just having a theoretical discussion), and let it take its effect. For three weeks I’d remain quarantined…longer if necessary. I’m not talking about a vaccine, I’m talking about the full-on virus. And I know the result would not necessarily be binary: I could end up with lasting lung damage or other permanent handicaps.
What does it profit to gain the world and lose your life? I dismiss that ultimatum in the context of this discussion. For better or for worse, my livelihood is conditioned upon travel. Travel is the instrument which I have been given to provide for my family.
This post is a musing. Don’t take it the wrong way. I want to be a good citizen and a good neighbor. I don’t want to hurt others. But if it came to this choice (and maybe this won’t even be feasible), I’d take the risk…
How about you?