This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters,
This land was made for you and me…
One of the first songs I recall from my childhood, besides classic nursery rhyme songs, is Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land. I remember singing that song while living on the west coast in the mid70s around the time I started kindergarten.
I would sing This Land is Your Land on long road trips, too. Cris-crossing the country, as Guthrie did before he recorded that song, I loved looking out the window while we traveled down the highway. Sitting in the back seat of my family’s Oldsmobile, I watched for trains, I looked for waterfalls, and I took in the sheer awesomeness of the Redwood Forest that Guthrie references. Other places we’d explore, like the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, and the Texas hill country, were just as jaw dropping. Proud to be an American, I couldn’t wait for the next road trip to see more of my great country. I didn’t feel proud after watching the news this week. More shocked and appalled than I’ve ever felt before, I couldn’t believe what was happening right here in the United States.
From California to New York, vaccine news this week was more than just bizarre; it was downright ludicrous. From yet another vaccine bill that will remove more rights to restricting healthy citizens’ access to public places, officials’ tactics are proof that our government is not interested in the people. What is more disappointing is that they’re doing these upsetting things in the name of better health.
On the west coast in California, vaccine exemptions are again under fire. They shouldn’t be because on more than one occasion before SB277 became a law, Senator Richard Pan (CA-D) assured the public and his fellow politicians that Californians would not lose medical exemptions. With the introduction of SB276, he is going back on his word. A complete overreach, Pan’s bill would not benefit the people of the state of California. Besides stripping them of their rights, it would also undermine a physician’s professional opinion and responsibilities. Doctors are the ones who write medical exemptions in California now, but Pan is pushing for the Department of Public Health to take over that role. His bill would limit qualifying conditions, too, and will, in essence, give more control to the government, not to the patient or to the physician who personally oversees their medical care.
Across the country on the east coast in Rockland County, NY, 153 measles cases had been reported over a span of six months.
Measles used to be referred to as a childhood illness. Despite symptoms remaining the same over the last few decades, measles is no longer considered a temporary illness but a feared disease. NY officials are cashing in on that fear even though only a handful of active cases exists right now.
Adults can also be infected, but, strangely, Rockland County officials have enacted a state of emergency and are enforcing a 30-day ban only on unvaccinated individuals 18 years of age and younger. Per the CDC, the measles vaccine (MMR or MMRV) is not recommended for those under 12 months of age, but the ban apparently applies to infants as well. Those without proof of vaccine can be fined or imprisoned if they ignore the county’s declaration. More shockingly, I’ve heard that neighbors are being encouraged to tip off officials if they see any of the “non-immune” out and about in public.
Keeping healthy, unvaccinated minors out of public places, as was decreed in New York, doesn’t make sense. Neither does taking away more rights of the citizens in California. After reading the news and after watching the video of Pan’s pro-vaccine press conference where he says his bill could allow existing physician-written medical exemptions on file to be revoked, I was speechless. I could do nothing but sit and shake my head in disbelief.
As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I’m shocked and saddened at what I see
No longer proud and more shocked than ever,
This land is not what it used to be.
I felt a glimmer of hope toward the end of the week, though, when I saw a video linked on one of Vaxxed’s social media pages. In that video, Senator Ben Allen (CA-D), co-sponsor of California’s SB277, said that his “…concern with the current bill that’s been put forward by Dr. Pan is that it basically now kicks the decision of medical exemption to the California Department of Public Health taking it away from the doctor…I think that goes beyond what I committed to people on with regards with my involvement in SB277. So, I’m not supportive of the bill. I don’t know how it’s going to change or alter over time, that’s the thing. Sometimes these bills do change, so it’s hard for us to…come out real firm one way or another. But to the extent of this, this takes away the right of the exemption from the doctor and gives it to the Department of Public Health. I just…I’ve made too many commitments about the important role of the doctor in this process to feel comfortable supporting the bill...”
While there may be some sort of hope coming out of the west coast, at week’s end, that county in NY was still proudly standing firm on their decree.
No public access for you!
Built on sacrifice, honor, and integrity, I have always loved my country and the freedom I have here. America the beautiful! Land that I love! Let freedom ring! I haven’t been able to say any of those statements with glee this week.
This land is your land, this land is my land
Unless we’re talking about vaccines
This land’s no more for you and me,
It just isn’t what it used to be.
As a kid, I enjoyed the most majestic scenery my country offered. I felt an indescribable thrill as I traveled through the mountains, across the plains, and from one ocean to another. Feeling as free as a bird, I traversed thousands of miles taking in the sights and learning about people who came before me. The older I got and the more history I learned, the more I appreciated the sacrifices other proud and faithful Americans made for me. Those sacrifices ensured my freedom. I’m more embarrassed about what my fellow countrymen and what some current leaders are doing and getting away with.
Soon, we may no longer have a nation and a “…government of the people, by the people, for the people…” if people don’t rise up and make a stand. Americans have had to revolt before, but I cannot recall a time when it was over a liability-free pharmaceutical product. With as many vaccine bills and mandates as we’ve seen this year, and with how Rockland County so easily and successfully banned its own people from stepping foot outside their own front doors, I believe that time is now.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.
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