I recently got my booster to protect myself from COVID — this marks my third shot in one year. As soon as the vaccination came out, I wanted it — badly. I had all the things that you probably have been suffering from — tired of the masks, tired of staying indoors, tired of regular life being interrupted — in short, pandemic fatigue! I felt grateful that science was so good that within a year, major pharmaceutical companies had come up with vaccination shots that could protect me and others — and would ultimately put the pandemic to rest.
Why then is the pandemic still raging even as people lose interest? Because so many people have chosen to not get vaccinated. Now, what are the reasons? It ranges anywhere from not wanting to be controlled by the government, to not believing in science, to not being told what to do, to straight out denial that a pandemic even exists. Also, people believe they are strong enough to overcome it if they do contract COVID.
My carpet cleaner recently came into my home — no mask and no vaccination on board. When I asked him why — and went on to give him a piece of my mind — he said his body was strong enough to handle it. Based on what? Do any of these people realize they have been vaccinated since they entered public schools? Someone in their family took them to get their shots so they could attend school — otherwise, who knows if they would still be living? People take for granted what their elders did for them — somehow abiding by public health protocols is not for the strong in body.
There is a felt sense among the unvaccinated that they do not want to be told what to do by the government or anyone else. There is a particular mental schema that askews being told what to do by anyone for anything. I knew someone years ago who always stated he hated being told what to do by his parents — he wants to make his own decisions. He made the umbrella statement that no one wants to be told what to do. I know my friend came from a strict upbringing with caretakers who gave him very little room to make any decisions for himself.
When politicians came along and said, “Liberate yourselves and say no to mandatory vaccination” I can imagine that many people who, like my friend, do not like being told what to do, resonated with this message and now are the ones crashing school board meetings, protesting, booing anyone who speaks up about getting vaccinated and more. It’s all a lot of drama that gets going in rebellion to not being told what to do — unfortunately, in this case, not getting vaccinated can lead to death of self and others.
Yet, many people would rather die than be told what to do by anybody. These same people did as they were told at the age of 5 and got their shots to enter kindergarten. It all feels a little insane that people think their own body itself has gotten along without disease on its own.
For me, the little jab took about a second. The side effects were nominal at best. I know I am protected and I am helping protect others in my community. Millions have been vaccinated and the vast vast majority are safe and healthy afterwards. There is no excuse to not be vaccinated at this point. It’s time people got over rebelling against being told what to do and start working with what is not only logical but also absolutely the right thing to do for self and neighbor. We want a right to life — then it is a responsibility we care for.
In this case, it’s a one second jab — three times. No excuses. None.