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A Day in the Life… of Big Government Mandates

AUTHOR

Tom McHale

DATE

January 13, 2022

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I called an Uber and decided to wait out front as I was in a hurry to get to the airport. Of course, as soon as I locked up the house, I realized I didn’t bring my medical records with me. Things sure are convenient now that Uber gets real-time updates from my health app, so they have my vaccination records should I ever forget to bring along my paperwork for the car ride.

I did remember to bring my ride-share-approved N95 mask. Sure, COVID is behind us, but there’s always a bug around that might infect someone somewhere. Ever since Congress passed the Public Safety in Ride Sharing Act, it seems like Uber and Lyft can impose whatever passenger requirements they want. No biggie, I was only turned down for rides seven times last year because my records weren’t up to date. Oh, and there was that other time when I was wearing flip-flops without FDA-approved bacterial-resistant socks…

I had to swing by the office to pick up a charger I left on my desk. Just found out the company now requires daily alcohol and nicotine level checks. That’ll add a few minutes to my morning routine, but I guess it’s for my own good. Sigh. The things you have to do to keep a job these days. A couple of my friends got fired for refusing to agree to the company’s new low-fat diet monitoring requirements, so now I guess I’m more of a rule follower. I’m sure all these government and big business policies are in my best interest, so I can’t really complain.

Speaking of work, I checked my pay stub, and my employer’s health care deduction was 20% higher this pay period. Somehow, they didn’t get the update from my recent “Doc in a Box” visit. It turns out it was a simple case of sinusitis, not a positive viral infection test, so I’ll have to sort that out with HR when I get back from my trip.

I had a little hang-up at the airport as my daily medical record update didn’t make its way to the TSA — that’s government efficiency for you. They finally allowed me to fly after I had my doctor’s office transmit the latest records, but that was another two hours wasted.

I was getting a little worried about my mounting frustration. The mental health monitor on my phone is a bit too sensitive and tends to send false alarms to the Department of Public Well-Being and Public Safety. You wouldn’t believe what I have to go through once they get involved… You can’t ignore those, or else you’ll find yourself denied admittance to any public places with a capacity of 50 or more people. I missed the new Matrix! Yes, It’s Real premiere over an app status mixup.

Fortunately, things should be easy once I get to the convention hotel. It seems like most restaurants, stores, and public transportation services now support the new My Health Records on Display app, so, in theory, my “cleared to participate in society” status should automatically green light me through most checkpoints. Just to be safe, I’ll have my wife email me a copy of my latest blood test results and vaccination records. Some restaurants just won’t get with the program when it comes to automation.

I can’t imagine how much all this health enforcement costs these businesses, but you know the logic. “If it could save just one life….”

It’s for our own good, right? Right?

Far-fetched? If you’ve shaken the dust from a single history book, you know precisely how easily even a modern society will slide down a slippery slope, especially if it’s greased with politician-sprinkled unicorn dust.

The most frightening thing about this rash of mandates and “show me your papers” requirements is how it’s setting up a never-ending barrage of similar behavior. Under the logic of “for the public’s health,” we’re turning one small step into a giant leap, straight into a pile of…

Need proof?

There was a time when freedom to worship was a sacred right. Many Americans fought and died to protect it. Now the government gets to cancel church.

Remember when the very idea of listening in on private conversations required a rigid process where law enforcement presented compelling arguments to a judge beforehand? Today we’ve got federal agencies scooping up every electron of your digital communication. And millions gleefully pay mega tech tyrant corporations for the privilege of placing 24×7 listening devices in our homes and pockets. Hey, Alexa!

How about when societal crackdowns on “wrong speak” only existed in dystopian fiction? Well, it’s a routine daily occurrence now. And we’ve promoted tech tyrant interns to universal arbiters of knowledge, elevating their judgment above, well, everyone.

I thought we resolved this whole government-sanctioned demonization of classes of people thing by defeating the fascists back in World War II. Apparently not. Definitely not.

Maybe it’s the ice because our friends up north are zipping down the slippery slope even faster than we are. Recently the Canadian feds had some explaining to do over secretly surveilling 33 million cell phones.

And who can forget the good ol’ days when parents had the right to decide what’s best for their own kids?

And the list goes on.

The bottom line? I’m putting my money on the invincibility of the slippery slope.

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