Attempting to "Moot Court" the vaccine debate.
Your humility is one to admire. But I will say that your analysis here deserves MUCH better than a C-. In a world where outrage inducing clickbait seems to be the norm among the fringes, you stand apart with your rational analyses. I think I agree with your takes 90 percent or so of the time. But even in the 10 percent(Perhaps I'm a smidgen more libertarian) where my takes and viewpoints diverge from yours, I always find myself seriously weighing your views and reexamining mine own. Even if I end up retaining my original POV on the matter, I develop a greater appreciation for the differing viewpoint and it sharpens me personally. I too admire Professor George, even though I wasn't as fortunate to have a class under him as you did. I follow his commentary often, and I can only imagine how much I would've loved taken a class from him. His friendship with ideological opposite Cornel West is really inspiring.
I think because a pandemic of such a vast scale is a one in a century occurrence, we were left without much in the way of recent precedent when it comes to mitigating pandemics. The last major pandemic of similar scale was that 1918 Influenza pandemic, and within an intervening 100 years, such a major historical event slips by the wayside. I would like to think that I'm a good history buff, but I'm ashamed to say that I never knew about the 1918 pandemic until Covid-19 pandemic hit. I think one of the reasons why we had such a tough time getting people to obey these pandemic measures, is that virtually no one alive has any memory of 1918. In contrast with many countries in Asia, where they've dealt with a handful of more limited pandemics, the populace were(in addition to cultural differences from the west) better prepared due to populace have the earlier pandemics as ingrained precedents in their minds. In contrast, our individualistic society tends to look upon collective restrictions as akin to the four letter F word. The sad reality is that we've departed from emphasizing the importance of personal responsibility over the past couple of decades, and how responsibility is inseverable from individual freedom. And as you mentioned in your piece here, the costs of the denigration of individual responsibility has been enormous to our society. I don't think that having a President different from Trump would've changed a whole lot to be frank, given that he is the symptom of our cultural degradation. And I'm guessing that perhaps why no governor has imposed a vaccine mandate yet, is because they probably feel it would fuel the anti-vaxxers even harder, potentially more than nullifying whatever benefits came from a straight out mandatory vax such as was the case in Jacobson v. Massachusetts.