Aside from some trolling of the political Left, I didn’t think much about COVID-19 until the Delta variant popped up. I certainly never considered taking the vaccine.
I wrote a bit about the unwarranted hysteria surrounding the virus, and how the government is psychologically torturing Americans with their lockdowns, mask mandates, and in some places, forced vaccination programs.
Those things remain true. The hysteria is unwarranted. Prolonged periods of isolation are torturous, and forced vaccination should not even be considered a viable option. Generally speaking, it seems that our mitigation efforts have not been particularly useful, given that the pandemic has raged for 19 months, with only a brief reprieve. Inexplicably, government scientists refuse to study the value of Ivermectin, a Nobel prize-winning anti-parasitic that may have therapeutic value, instead labeling the drug as a horse dewormer. In fact, there has been no emphasis on studying therapeutics at all.
Still, after contracting the COVID-19, I’ve reversed my previous stance and decided to take the vaccine.
Let me be clear: I was never in dire straits. I did not have a near-death experience, nor did I even walk through the hospital doors. Like 80 percent of those who contract COVID-19, I had mild symptoms for less than two weeks. My lingering cough is dissipating. The isolation was the worst part of the illness for me. My case was unremarkable, and I survived. It was also extremely typical for a COVID-19 case in someone my age without comorbidities.
Now I have antibodies to protect me against the virus, and natural immunity appears to confer stronger protection, at least against the currently-dominant Delta variant, than the vaccine.
So why take the vaccine now? I’m out of the woods. I’ve beaten the game, so to speak.
There are a couple of reasons.
Most importantly, I have been advised to take the vaccine by someone whom I trust.
For me, that was my family doctor. I have always been relatively healthy, and rarely stepped foot inside a doctor’s office, so I never had much need to consult with medical professionals. But this doctor, with whom I spoke during my bout with COVID, advised me to take the vaccine regardless of my prior infection. He has been treating my family for decades, and a decade ago, he helped me through the only serious medical issue I’ve ever had. I have no reason not to trust this man, and I genuinely believe he has my best interest in mind.
Trusting those who give us medical advice is paramount for a healthy society.
I do not, on the other hand, trust Dr. Anthony Fauci and the nameless, faceless CDC. In fact, I believe that Dr. Fauci has done more harm than good during this pandemic. He and his cronies are obvious partisans who are still selling the narrative that the vaccine is a panacea that will bring us to “zero COVID,” an unattainable goal. Instead of leveling with Americans, and directing them to speak to their own trusted healthcare advisors about whether the vaccine is right for them, he has barked orders at us on CNN, constantly intimating that we will either die or kill vulnerable loved ones if we don’t follow his orders. For the vast majority of Americans who contract COVID-19, neither of those things will happen. He has threatened us with punishment in the form of further lockdowns and barriers to normal life if we refuse the jab. That is simply not an effective way to convince people, many of whom have perfectly reasonable concerns about the effectiveness, short-term, and still-unknown long-term side effects of the vaccine.
Many people also hold the perfectly reasonable position of “I’m not getting the shot and I don’t have to explain why not.” Does Fauci really think ordering those folks to take the jab is going to do anything to persuade them? Or is it more likely that he comes off like an arrogant wannabe dictator?
Speaking of dictators, Vladimir Putin, preferred boogeyman of the American federal government, has been more reasonable than Fauci when it comes to vaccines.
“Importantly, no one should be forced to get a jab. Pressure, where people may lose their jobs, is even less acceptable,” Putin recently said. “People must be convinced of the need to get the vaccine.
If a Russian dictator is outdoing you in the reasonability department, perhaps it’s time to reconsider your tactics.
The other reason I took the vaccine is because I fear that COVID will break us.
I am not suggesting that the vaccine itself is the solution to the pandemic, or that it will change our increasingly hostile political circumstances. I maintain my original position that you should take the shot if you think it’s right for you, and that no one should force you to take it if you don’t.
But the absolute madness must stop.
Half of this country has been possessed into believing that the unvaccinated are literal murderers. That is untrue. And what is the logical response to someone who wants to kill you? It’s to kill them first. COVID-19 is the first political issue of my lifetime that has been framed as a “kill or be killed” scenario. That’s not going to take us anywhere good.
Some on the political Right say that the vaccine is a death sentence. That is also untrue. The data simply do not bear it out.
Simply put, the messaging from both extremes is wrong, and a little bit of humility and rationality would go a long way in terms of making the public healthier. After all, that is supposed to be the goal here.
I understand that many of you have already chosen a side of this issue, and are unwilling to budge. That is fine. I do not begrudge you.
After wrestling with the decision for two of the toughest weeks of my life, my mind is at ease, and that’s good enough for me.