I won’t drop into the irony of the Vaccine Hesitant adopting that slogan, most of you can certainly connect those dots. Particularly this past week and next as we watch SCOTUS discuss abortion.
And Vaccine Hesitant! Isn’t that a soft chew gummy phrase?
And I get the feeling that people think that personal freedom and individual rights are under attack in the push to get the nation vaccinated. I respect that except? In our Constitutional government, individual rights are limited when they butt heads with civic responsibility. And getting vaccinated at this point has become a civic responsibility.
Now if you caught COVD-19 by stepping on a rusty nail or from a deer tick bite, then being vaccine hesitant has little effect on society (although there is some, see medical resources below). And if you could just climb into bed and stay there until you recovered or died, well yes, it’s all on you.
But COVID-19 doesn’t work like that. It’s a highly contagious, always potentially fatal disease. Anyone can catch it from anyone else and pass it on to anyone else with no one being the wiser. Particularly for the asymptomatic. So rejecting the vaccine despite it’s ability to protect your health, the civic responsible act is to get vaccinated to protect your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and community.
So the first reason to get vaccinated then is to decrease the spread of the disease across the community. And even if someone gets it and recovers…what happens if they pass it along and the next person isn’t so lucky? I am not interested in killing someone else with a disease that I may have avoided contracting simply by getting a shot (or jab in the current vernacular).
Then there is the concern about wasting limited local medical resources. Obviously the vaccine hesitant will visit the hospital if they are unlucky enough to contract the virus and start experiencing severe symptoms. Who doesn’t go to the hospital when they can’t breathe? This visit may result in hospitalization and maybe the need for an ICU bed or worse, a ventilator. Again, use of limited resources that may have been avoided by a simple vaccination. Recent reports in Wisconsin say hospitals are at 95% and above utilization of hospital beds and even higher for ICU beds. Apparently one Green Bay hospital reported turning away three victims of strokes because they had no ICU facilities available. I can’t imagine being responsible for a heart attack victim, stroke victim, or car accident victim dying because I had a critical ICU bed and they were shuttled around town looking for a space…when again…I could probably have avoided my own illness by getting vaccinated. (and then of course there is the PTSD issue being reported by over worked and stressed medical personnel that could be avoided).
And then of course, the unvaccinated can unwittingly become incubators for the next variant…maybe one that isn’t prevented by vaccines and is far more lethal than any of the current variants. The new omicron variant’s impact isn’t completely known yet…but there’s no telling what a sigma, tau, or omega might do.
And hey, let’s ignore the more civic motivations here and get completely mercenary. The stock market dived for a day or two when the micron variant was divulged. The markets feared another shut down or slow down and in some areas there was a short lived rush on things like toilet paper again. Don’t be that incubator that grows the variant that stops the world.
Yes vaccines aren’t 100% effective but they are pretty close. And even break through incidents are far far less severe than illnesses among the unvaccinated. So get vaccinated. Get boosted. Be that civically responsible citizen of your community.