Our country seems to be divided over nearly every issue and the COVID vaccine is certainly no exception. Individuals on both sides cling to their convictions with quasi-religious zeal. However, most of us are content to let our beliefs fall somewhere between, “everyone in the country must get vaccinated and wear two masks” and “the government is using vaccines to track our every move.” We would be more than happy to either get the vaccine or quietly pass and would gladly allow everyone else the same choice. However, government vaccine mandates eliminate choice and serve to inflate the massive amount of misinformation that already plagues our country.

I must make it clear before continuing that I do not believe the COVID vaccine to be inherently bad. The vaccine itself and its effectiveness are not in question here; the government mandates are. I believe mandating a vaccine was a misstep on the part of the American government.

Had the government left the matter alone, people likely would have simply viewed the COVID vaccine as another flu shot, and accepted it without issue. Instead, because they are forced into taking the vaccine, people have become understandably skeptical, and this skepticism has given rise to an ever-increasing number of preposterous conspiracy theories. Even the most well-informed among us struggle to debunk these theories simply because of a basic lack of trust among the American people. It is truly a shame that Americans have been lied to so many times by politicians and news outlets that we no longer feel we can trust any source of information. It is my honest hope that we may one day live in a world where trust is restored; however, mandating the COVID vaccine is probably the largest step away from such a world that the American government has taken in my lifetime.

In other news

Norfolk Catholic’s inaugural girls wrestling program welcomes six candidates — seniors Ivy Vu and Haylee Serres, juniors Grace Koch and Quinlyn Kennel, sophomore Jordan Aschoff and freshman Miranda Headley.

The Norfolk High wrestling program had one of its most successful seasons ever last year, finishing with a 17-4 dual record, qualifying 11 wrestlers for the Nebraska State Wrestling Tournament and earning a fourth-place team finish at state.