Scapegoating the Unvaxxed

In his National Review articles, Kevin D. Williamson has a long history of denigrating conservatives—especially Trump supporters -- and he doesn’t disappoint with “Get Stuck, Dummy.”  The title speaks for itself but his true feelings surface a few paragraphs in when he demands “Get vaccinated, you f***ing dopes.”  

It’s not the F word that popped my cork as much as calling people who delay vaccination “dummies and dopes.”  He joins a growing chorus in the Democrat-Media Complex who share those sentiments.

The article is an exercise in futility, failing to make a fact-based argument to support his thesis that unvaccinated conservatives, who think they are patriots but are really hypocrites, put the general population at risk.  While he doesn’t believe in vaccine mandates “enforced at the points of federal bayonets” he wholeheartedly embraces “making life inconvenient and restricted for [conservatives who haven’t been vaxxed] who, out of misplaced political outrage and civic immaturity, refuse to do their part in what should be a reasonably straightforward national effort.”  Why, even kindergartners and refugees do it. 

Mandated public school vaccines are substantively different from COVID mandates:  they target children, not the entire population; diseases with a higher kill and maim rate; and the specific activity of attending school versus everything we do to live and function.  

Refugees must meet certain vaccine requirements because they often arrive from parts unknown with diseases rarely seen in America that can spread like wildfire.  It is a condition for entry; not imposed on the broader population.   

Like our government overlords, Williamson makes haughty and faulty assumptions about the vaccine-hesitant. Their reluctance is primarily due to the new mRNA technology and the lack of information about its potential long-term side effects.  The fact that the government is pushing too hard, has been inconsistent and has taken an antagonistic approach by threatening our freedoms, might cause many to dig in their heels, but doesn’t affect the crux of their decisions. 

In the hopes of quelling Williamson’s obvious horror about “The Night of the Living Unvaxxed,” I’m going to explain why I haven’t been vaxxed.

First, I have had all of my childhood vaccinations, as have my children.  Having had shingles twice with the second time being infinitely more debilitating, I intend to get the shingles vaccine as soon as I am cleared.  I am not an anti-vaxxer.

Second, I have three degrees from top universities.  I am not a dummy. 

Third, at 60, I’m in good shape, with no known comorbidities.  I could lose a few menopausal pounds but can still run three to four miles and do two hours of vinyasa yoga.  I have had only one major health incident and that was a pulmonary embolism which can strike young and old, fit and unfit, healthy and unhealthy, active and sedentary.  For peace of mind, because I wouldn’t wish the pain of the infarction and the difficulty in breathing on anyone, I take a blood thinner.  That is my only medication and, since COVID comes with a high risk of blood clots, I’ll stay on it a bit longer.  

Fourth, I have been attending conferences and taking classes on Emerging Technologies and Law for many years now and am familiar with the mRNA technology underlying the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.  Although its long-term effects in vaccines have not been fully studied, it is a fascinating and promising technology.  I am not a Luddite. 

My curious and skeptical brain demands more information before I undergo any treatment or take any medication, and everyone I know who has delayed vaccination -- young and old, liberal and conservative -- has done so for the same reason.  

As a healthy 60-year-old with hopefully 10-15 years left of good health barring the unforeseen, I don’t want to take any medication, have any treatments, do any exercise, eat any food, or knowingly expose myself to any environmental toxins, that might hurt me.  

I wouldn’t hesitate getting the vaccine if I were 70 because the risks associated with COVID are significantly higher.  At 70, I’d be willing to risk unknown long-term complications because as I approach 80, there’s a strong likelihood I will start to decline anyway.  The trade-off makes sense to me at 70 in a way it does not at 60 because I like to think I have too much healthy living left to risk it all by taking a shot whose long-term effects are not yet known.  

Calling me a dope and implying I’m some sort of irresponsible primitive shirking my civic and moral duties because I am waiting for more information is just churlish. I’d argue that makes me a discerning individual who cares about facts when weighing the pros and cons. 

Because of intolerant intellectual grandees like Williamson, we’re fast becoming a bifurcated society between the vaxxed and unvaxxed -- only a progressive heartbeat away from stamping our vax status on our passports as the Russians did for Jews.  The enlightened ones must be able to identify the enemies of the State who refuse to participate in this one-size-fits-all national effort.  

FDA approval today versus yesterday won’t change any minds because questions still remain about long-term side effects.  Needing a job, buying food, or getting medical treatment will.  

I didn’t make this decision lightly. I worry that I might be an outlier who dies from COVID and that I might have an adverse reaction or die from the vax.  What I do know is that my survival rate from a COVID infection is over 99%.  I do not know my risk level for adverse reactions, getting sick, or dying from the vaccine. That could be anywhere from 0 -100%.  (Hat tip Max Z.)

Countering every windbag article devoid of science and evidence like Williamson’s are meticulously researched articles by legitimate journalists who, citing facts, science, and statistics, shed incredible doubt on the sparse and inconsistent information we data-hungry, science-loving dummies get from the Democrat-Media Complex.  

To convince a dope like me to take the vaccine, I require facts.  Here is a compelling fact that I can dig my teeth into especially as I age:  the vaccine, whose long-term side effects are not known at this time, does, in the short run, reduce symptoms, chances of catching the virus, and risk of death and hospitalization from complications.  As I age and more long-term data emerges, facts like this will come to bear on any risk-benefit analyses I make.  

I am not a dummy.  I am not a dope. 

Image: Alachua County

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