This is a response to some “educated” baby-boomer friends who have rejected the various COVID vaccines.
Note: Names may have been changed.
For a response to some concerns of some anti-vaxxer friends a month or so ago, see my post and tweet here: https://www.johnfial.com/2021/06/11/response-to-vaccine-concerns-for-any-anti-vaxx-friends/ .
See the tweet at the very bottom, which is the essence of my frustration: “With this pandemic, today’s anti-vaxxer becomes the draft-dodger of the 60s/70s: happily accepting the gains of our society without contributing their share; leeching without pitching in; taking without giving.“
As a military retiree, being compared to a draft dodger should be particularly provocative. This action of yours (to not vaccinate) is serious: you are taking all the gains of our society (travel, fossil fuels, transportation, political systems, public services, trade, information, etc.) without doing your share (vaccinating yourself; just like paying taxes, working, contributing to community, reporting crime, voting, etc.). It is the same as a draft-dodger (like Trump, ironically, with his rich-connected-college-kid-draft-dodging-by-college-and-oh!-now-bone spurs excuse, but I digress).
That’s basically my biggest concern: you and many “want to wait” for the perfect scientific safety data, but that’s really just an excuse to not contribute to actually slow/end the pandemic.
If COVID cases/deaths fall to 0 without you vaccinating, I hope you do not forget that you survived the pandemic by the grace of god — but not by acting in the best interest of society and doing your share.
Same concept as tax evasion or draft-dodging.
1. Your Fauci comments about him going back-and-forth:
- I don’t know enough here and it’s probably not worth our time to get into it. But there was a vacuum caused by the former President’s lack of intelligence (repeatedly saying COVID was nothing, it would go away in a month or two, etc early on). Thus, there needed to be a voice-of-reason in the spotlight for the media, and Pence never really filled the role where Fauci did.
- On that note, it’s also better to have a non-politician as the “media head” for an event like a pandemic, and the non-Trump Republicans were smart enough to let a scientist fill the role. Most states/cities took this route too, because a non-partisan gets more people to listen to him/her than the elected party politician. See this story for some scientific/political history: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/05/04/seattles-leaders-let-scientists-take-the-lead-new-yorks-did-not?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosam&stream=top .
- I don’t know what you mean by your comment “masking, socializing, schooling, distancing, the future.” But what you probably mean is that he may have slowly changed his mind as the science came in on certain themes, right? Politics and religion tend to have an attitude of “I want an absolute truth answer” vs. seeing grey areas. But in the case of Fauci changing his mind: that’s great! It means he — like any good scientist — changed his mind as new information came in. It’s very adult-like and mature.
- Unfortunately, it’s also totally against what we’ve come to expect from our politicians (Fauci is not one, of course), though, and that’s odd for most Americans. Ideally a scientist — like any reasoning human adult! — says “wow, here’s some new information which shows me that what I previously believed was wrong, and I need to change my beliefs as a result.” That’s also the definition of growth — most of us grow. American politicians, unfortunately, rarely do, as they are too afraid of losing their — usually indoctrinated — voter base. Antoine is a great case in point: I have heard her say she totally utterly hates Democrats, they are evil, etc. And certainly the same resentment abounds among millions of Democrats. It’s tearing the country apart, and — perhaps sooner, perhaps long after you and my parents leave us — it will likely lead us to some kind of civil war / revolution / massive upheaval later this century. That’s indoctrination for you — a powerful belief that almost no amount of new information will change. Same as religious indoctrination: “I am right, and everyone else is wrong.” I don’t know which is worse, but we could probably argue for either.
2. Waiting for vaccines?
- Are you waiting for an RCT (I assume you know what that is off the top of your head, because if you want to evaluate vaccine efficacy you certainly should) of 10,000 people — or even better, a longitudinal RCT over ten-years? Because obviously the latter will take ten years to finish, by which time we’ll be long past the COVID-pandemic and have moved on to probably 1-2 more smaller regional pandemics.
- How many deaths — mostly of people in your own age group — are you willing to accept before accepting that the best thing to do to protect others is to accept the vaccine? Because at this point, cases/deaths will continue to drop due to those of us who’ve been vaccinated.
- I love that AF quote you mentioned, “things are never as good as they seem or as bad as they seem.” COVID is less terrible than a bad flu strain, and for how many deaths we’ve had, it could indeed have been far worse. But with a more science-inclined president and federal government (and country as a whole!) we could have responded far better with way fewer deaths. But I bet that AF officer — as any reasonably intelligent officer — got his/her shot. Because it applies to the vaccine, too: imperfect, to be sure, but pretty damn good, and “not nearly as bad” as some silly baby-boomers seem to think!
- Basically you seem to be using this as an excuse: “Well, there are studies showing it’s safe, but it’s not PERFECTLY safe, so I’m not going to get my vaccine until they prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s as safe as the safest of the safest medical procedures!”
If/As the American pandemic winds down in the coming months of 2021, I hope FOX News alerts you to the millions dying overseas in countries too poor to be able to afford such a lifesaving vaccine — a vaccine you’ve rejected. Just like global warming, I suppose this is another case of the tragedy of the commons…