When I enlisted in the Navy, the process was kind of nervewracking. You’re asked a million questions and you’ve already been told you could be prosecuted for perjury for giving false information. Among those questions are a number that deals with your health. There’s a reason for that, of course. Service in the military can be pretty harsh. You need to be healthy in order to do what needs to be done.
Even those that deal with childhood disease are generally important as they typically are conditions that may have an impact on your health as an adult.
That’s why I’m scratching my head when I read that a DoD memo has declared that survivors of the novel coronavirus are “permanently disqualified” from military service.
The military will stop recruiting applicants who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a proposal in a memo from the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPCOM).
The contents of the memo, which has been circulating on the internet, were confirmed to Newsweek by the Pentagon, which described them as “interim guidance.” The story was first reported by the Military Times.
“During the medical history interview or examination, a history of COVID-19, confirmed by either a laboratory test or a clinician diagnosis, is permanently disqualifying,” the memo reads.
“During the screening process, a reported history of confirmed COVID-19 will be annotated ‘Considered disqualifying’“ pic.twitter.com/ZKx91AUbXo
— Free (@Nathaniel_Free) May 4, 2020
If an applicant seems likely positive for the coronavirus, they can return to the MEPS if they’re symptom-free after 14 days. Anyone who tests positive through a lab test or clinical diagnosis can return to MEPS 28 days after their diagnosis.
However, their application will be marked as “permanently disqualifying,” and while applicants can request a waiver the memo offers no further guidance for possible COVID-19 exceptions, meaning that “a review authority would have no justification to grant a waiver,” says the Military Times.
Of course, that raises a lot of questions. The biggest one has to be “Why?”
As far as we know, COVID-19 has no long-lasting effects on the respiratory system. Someone who contracts the disease and recovers should be free and clear of long-term effects, so what justification does the military have to permanently bar these individuals from service?
Plus, one almost has to wonder whether or not there’s something we’re simply not being told about the virus and the long-term effects of it. While I tend to dismiss conspiracy theories out of hand, we have to remember that it wouldn’t be the first time we were lied to during this pandemic. Remember being told that masks don’t work? Yeah, well, now we’re being required to wear them in many places. We were told they didn’t work so that we wouldn’t buy them up. We were lied to.
Of course, governments never lie to people, right? </sarcasm>
Anyway, I can’t help but wonder how much of this is directed by fear and how much of it may be directed by information that simply hasn’t been made public yet. Are COVID-19 survivors going to experience long-term effects? Or is the military simply overreacting to the situation?
What are the odds we’ll get any answers to those questions?