I got my first shot last Saturday.
Referring, of course, to the COVID-19 vaccine. Having witnessed the incessant back-and-forth over the sickness caused by the Chinese Communist Party (or Wuhan, if you prefer) virus, it’s been a struggle deciding whether to accept the product. In one of the most absurd examples of political opportunism I’ve ever seen, one side of the political spectrum aggressively adopted the issue and used it to both scare people to death and control them at the same time.
Earlier this week Fox News host Tucker Carlson pointed out that practically all Americans have received a dozen or more vaccines in their lifetimes, yet this particular one stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy. We’ll be dealing with the after effects of the nastiness for a long, long time.
I’ve known a number of people who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and not only lived through it, they’ve described it as barely more than a nuisance in their daily routine. They’re part of the statistical group that shows the danger of dying from the pandemic is minimal at worst and minute at best. I also know others who indicated the condition killed friends or relatives.
As we all likely have, a couple times I suspected I might be sick myself, though I was not quite stricken enough to seek care for it. The whole world has been on COVID watch for well over a year -- we’ve memorized the symptoms and what to look for. It’s everywhere and nowhere at the same time. By now, it seems more psychological than physical. Is it lurking in every corner?
President Joe Biden would certainly like us to think so, and that COVID is still a grave threat to everyone. He paid a presidential visit to an elementary school the other day. Along with first lady Dr. Jill, the two of them answered questions from the young learners with their teacher standing by, somewhat in awe that her class was selected for a lecture from the political power couple themselves. The kids’ desks were surrounded with plexiglass and all were wearing masks. The similarly masked adults at the front of the room had all been vaccinated (I assume). The kids behind the shields hadn’t. Yet they’re treated as though they could be carrying the black death by the authorities.
As Americans, we’ve been inundated with information on COVID, enough for reasonable citizens in a free country to determine whether they need to put a needle in their arms and receive a shot that may or may not save lives. Yet there are still those out there who argue it’s the government’s duty to force people to take it. And those that continue to refuse? How about shunning them?
“’The View’ co-host Sunny Hostin said Monday that people who refuse to get vaccinated for COVID-19, specifically White evangelicals and Republicans, should be shunned from society.
“’When you look at the folks that are not getting vaccinated, White evangelicals — 45% — say they won’t get vaccinated, according to Pew Research,’ Ms. Hostin said on the show. ‘Republicans — almost 50% of Republicans are refusing to get the vaccine. So we won’t reach herd immunity because of those particular groups,’ she said. ‘So I say we need to shun those who refuse to get vaccinated.’
“Ms. Hostin said people should have to show proof of vaccination in order to participate in everyday society, like shopping or travel, much like they’re still required to wear masks in many parts of the country.”
For those requiring a vocabulary refresher, the dictionary says “shun” means, “to keep away from (a place, person, object, etc.), from motives of dislike, caution, etc.; take pains to avoid.”
If this weren’t so serious, I would chuckle at Hostin’s use of the word “shun”. The mental imagery it engenders is enough to bring a smile to one’s face. How about the 17th century? It took me back to my junior year of high school when we students were compelled to read the classic Nathaniel Hawthorne novel “The Scarlet Letter”. It told the tale of a lustful and adulterous woman (Hester Prynne) who was sentenced to wear a large red “A” on her clothing to signify her conviction and guilt of the moral crime, as though the townspeople could block it out of their minds when they saw her carrying a baby without being married.
In 2021, instead of an “A” on our clothing, the Anthony Fauci and senile Joe Biden defying non-vaccinated conservative Christians and gun totin’ stubborn backwards-butt Republicans could simply don a spray painted “NO-V” on their duds, in their color of choice. Or why not brand it on their forehead? You are an outcast! You’re not welcome in my shop or my airport! Go home behind your protective walls and order online! Tell the food delivery driver to leave your pizza in the opened trunk of your car! Fiend! Miscreant! Outcast! Shun! Shun! Shun!
Perhaps Congress could pass a resolution requiring each non-vaccinated individual to shave his or her head and be drummed out of town in handcuffs with liberals and Democrats tossing rotten vegetables at them until they’re safely away from everyone and then released in shame.
With all the demagoguery of the issue Americans have endured since March of 2020, it’s not surprising that a reactionary liberal host on “The View” could get away with demonizing one type of person by their politics and religion and personal medical beliefs and cast them out of society for the purported crime of choosing “My body, my choice” over yet another government edict.
Many liberals are more than okay with the notion of a female human being opting to vacuum out the growing fetus in her uterus but are dead-set against that same woman electing not to be vaccinated for a health threat that has an infinitesimal chance of killing her (or you if you’re young and healthy, like Hostin appears to be). My, how far we’ve come in twenty-first century America when wannabe tyrants propose directing their neighbors’ behavior at the working end of a law enforcement officer’s firearm (I presume).
It’s not enough to seek to live in harmony, you’ve got to order a fellow citizen to conform to your own sense of well-being. Or shun them!
I didn’t get the vaccine because I was afraid of shunning. I got it because I figured if I didn’t, the Hostins of the world would eventually make my life inconvenient and unpleasant to say the least. All things considered, the manufactured angst against the dissenters is not that bad right now, since not everyone who wants the vaccine has yet been able to get it. You still need an appointment to receive a shot (at least here in Virginia). But a couple months down the road? We can only speculate how bad it will be when supplies are plentiful and arms to stick are scarce.
The process itself was very easy. I went at my appointed time, was directed by a platoon of people with ID badges to the proper place to go. Upon reaching the treatment room (which looked like a standard hospital examination room), the nurse verified my name and appointment, asked me a couple questions about past reactions to vaccines and grabbed the syringe. I barely felt the shot. Is that it? I was then led by another eager helper into the half-filled observation room where I was told to remain until the time to leave (which turned out to be seven minutes). I got up and left. The whole thing took less than a half hour.
Other than a mild headache that could’ve been related to allergies and fatigue, I felt normal after the shot.
Why did I do it? I don’t believe I saved anyone’s life the other day (which includes a few weeks from now when appointment number two comes around), and it wasn’t some high-minded “patriotic duty” to get stuck by a strange person in a strange place with a strange liquid being injected into my body. I trusted it because Donald Trump’s administration, working with the private sector, developed the vaccine.
Beyond this, it’s a personal choice. I understand why people would want the vaccine. I similarly get why those who don’t want it would opt against it. The government is there to provide the opportunity for a shot, should you decide in that direction. By the same token, the powers-that-be -- and the Hostins’ of the world -- should mind their own business.
Living free as an American. Isn’t it patriotic?
Refuse the vaccine
My body my choice