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Tough Love

Patrons of a Paris bar watching President Emmanuel Macron of France announcing stricter measures intended to fight the spread of the coronavirus.Credit...Yoan Valat/EPA, via Shutterstock

The French have a gracious outlook on life, but in their past they have endured the Reign of Terror and the guillotine. Today, as the world starts to emerge from the COVID-19 plague, I was struck by how French President Emmanuel Macron is dealing with it, according to the New York Times.

Addressing his nation, Macron “stopped short of imposing universal mandatory vaccinations, but he made it clear that the lives of unvaccinated French people would quickly become miserable, potentially with restrictions on their travel and even on their ability to sit for coffee or dine outside their homes with friends.”

At last, a world leader has the guts to do what they all should do: require their citizens to get vaccinated or rot in their homes for the rest of their lives. We all know holier-than-thou people who state that they will never allow their “personal freedoms” to be violated by submitting to being vaccinated. Most of them say this wearing their MAGA hats.

Over 600,000 Americans dying from Covid-19 since January, 2020, so why are Biden and the American government coddling to the Trumpsters who refuse to get vaccinated? 

In past eras, lepers were forced to spend the rest of their lives isolated in leper colonies; people who caught the Black Plague or smallpox were forced to quarantine, and today, if you contract tuberculosis, the law requires that you must quarantine until the disease has left you.

COVID-19 is as deadly as any of these other diseases, with over 600,000 Americans dying from it since January, 2020, so why are Biden and the American government coddling to the Trumpsters who refuse to get vaccinated? It is time for you to get vaccinated or quarantine yourself until you decide to have it done. Your choice: exercise your “personal freedom” in private or comply with the necessary rules of a just society.

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During World War II, every American family had to sacrifice to defeat Hitler and Tojo, and in the Vietnam War, as unjust as it was, many young men (including me) had to serve in uniform even though we opposed the war. (I ended up a Lt. Commander in Navy JAG, and represented many Navy and Marine enlisted men who were opposed to the war.)

Macron decided that it was a case of “laying down the law and telling citizens to get in line or else“. In France, as of August 1, anyone who is not vaccinated or cannot show that they recently tested negative will not be admitted to restaurants, cafes or movie theaters, and they will not be allowed to travel long distances by train. Forget about flying.

French health workers must show proof of vaccination by September 15 or they will be suspended or fired. And Greece and Italy have made vaccination mandatory for health workers. 


France’s own Donald Trump, far right leader Maxine Le Pen, sharply criticized Macron’s decree, and the leader of a French extreme left party called it an act of “presidential monarchy”. But he courageously did it, faced with an election next year, because it was the right thing to do.

Trumpsters and anti-vaxxers, those of you who refuse to get vaccinated, remember that my grandchildren are currently too young to get vaccinated, and your selfishness might just kill them. I would rather that you lose some of your precious “freedoms” than allow you to infect them.

Biden, it is time for you to show a little tough love.

Ted Vaill