Don’t Be Like One of Shakespeare’s Fools. Get Vaccinated

This is what I have written for Front Porch for October - but getting on people for not getting vaccinated is such an urgent issue, Virginia Grogan (the wonderful editor of Front Porch) gave me the OK to post it now.

Wading in on a subject that has already received so much attention - but which is so important - I am tempted to wax Shakespearian.

To ask people refusing to get vaccinated to “let me count the ways.” 

Not count the ways “I love thee” but count the mind bending, misinformed, ridiculous reasons people justify notgetting vaccinated.

It won’t implant a chip. It won’t turn you into a Zombie. It won’t make you magnetic. It won’t make you sterile – or anyone you have sex with. 

Skeptics claim this is an experimental vaccine. But the m-RNA technology has been around for some 30 years already and is much less of a risk than injecting a dead or attenuated whole virus – as with conventional vaccines.

The COVID vaccine has also been given to so many people already that surely any fatal flaw would have shown up – and the chances of some complication occurring years later (a reason I have heard some cite) is vanishingly small.

There are also those who claim religious exemption. And crazily this appears to require nothing more than just claiming that “it’s against my religion.” 

It seems unlikely a prophet who died 2000 years ago will protect you. And, you might hope that a religion would care about the wellbeing of fellow citizens, and not encourage a prohibitions that will increase the chances of spreading this plague. 

Whose Liberty?

The screwiest and most knuckle-headed reason of all, in my opinion, is that given by the likes of South Carolina’s Governor, Henry McMaster. 

Responding to Biden’s proposed vaccine mandate, he said he will fight “to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian.”

My step-grandfather founded a “free” school. A place called Summerhill, that had a lot of freedom and very few rules. But he always made the point that there is a difference between “liberty” and “license.”

That if your liberty, to act in a certain way impacts my liberty – to not be exposed to your germs  for example - that’s license not liberty. You don’t have the right to do that. 

The same applies to not wearing a mask, refusing to isolate/social distance, obey lock downs, or comply with school closures. 

Does it Have to be Mandatory?

We have many, many laws about security, environment, food, water, building, education, use of dangerous weapons like cars and guns that restrict our freedom.

Or in times of crisis, like natural disasters and wars, we put our libertarian tendencies aside and put up with all kinds of infringements like conscription, rationing, curfews, taxation for the sake of the common good.

The need to control this pandemic is crucial. To wipe this out before some variant comes along that is resistant to the vaccine – already the mu variant is showing itself to be less responsive to the vaccines. Luckily is not very contagious - yet. 

A strain that combines the virulence of mu with infectivity of delta strain would really be trouble. 

The actual – rather than imagined – harm of the vaccine is very slight.

We just have to deal with the madness of politicians like McMaster whipping people into a frenzy of anguish about losing their freedom.

These are the kinds of issues, and people refusing to get vaccinated voluntarily, that is pushing the need for a vaccine mandate.

Git ‘er Done

We are lucky to have access to vaccine – in contrast to much of the third world. It is just madness to not get vaccinated. 

To act like those Shakespearian characters Dogberry, Falstaff or Puck – who are of course all fools.

If you haven’t already, go get vaccinated. 

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