According to WHO (World Health Organization), the United States reported over 43 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 with over 703,000 deaths from January 3, 2020, to October 12, 2021. October 8, 2021, marked over 407 million administered COVID-19 vaccine doses.
The earliest evidence of vaccines goes back as early as 1000 CE. However, many consider Edward Jenner the founder of vaccinology after inoculating a boy with the Vaccinia virus (cowpox) in 1796.
Vaccine mandates have been used in schools since 1850. When I was school age, my mother made sure my siblings and I received our required vaccinations. I had to do the same for my children to attend school. No one I knew ever had any reactions to these vaccinations.
Prior to COVID-19, there were required vaccinations if someone wanted to travel to a particular country. The bottom line is vaccinations aren’t new. They’ve existed a long time. However, what is new is the politicization of vaccinations.
Conflicting information about who could get COVID-19 filled the airwaves and social media prior to the FDA approving the first vaccine. It was first known to only affect older people then it grew to affect any age group regardless of pre-existing conditions. Once the FDA authorized a vaccine for emergency use, some lied to get their chance at vaccinations while others waited their turn.
However, a growing group of anti-vaxxers started their campaign of disparaging the vaccine. In many cases, the campaign coincided with political affiliation. The sad reality is that COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care about your party affiliation, what gender you belong to, or what your financial status is. It’s real and kills.
Misinformation Leads Some to Do Unintelligent Things
I’ve heard the horror stories of people ingesting things like bleach, disinfectant, and livestock drugs to avoid contracting COVID-19. I don’t understand why they thought ingesting these things wouldn’t harm them when the product labels state not to ingest them. Furthermore, what sense does it make to argue about not knowing what’s in the vaccine as a reason to not get it. But, you’re willing to ingest something that’s not for human consumption.
An interesting thing about the vaccine is that there’s information available on the internet from trusted sources, drug stores, and doctor offices to inform you about its ingredients.
Some anti-vaxxers go to restaurants, grocery stores, bars, and other places to purchase food and drink and consume it. Grocery store products have labels with the ingredients. However, when you go to a restaurant or a bar, they don’t have a label on the plate of food or glass of liquor or drink. Do they really know what they’re consuming all of the time? No. However, they’re trusting that what they ordered is what they received.
Then to compound things, there are anti-vaxxers who are also anti-maskers. Not only do they not care about others’ well-being, but they don’t care about themselves. As in everything, you’ll always have someone doing the most like stabbing an employee or killing an employee because they’re trying to enforce the company’s mask policy.
The Mixing of Public Health and Politics
The political divide in the United States is clear. Some people choose the extreme views of some members of their political party over common sense and documented evidence. It’s sad that some governors use their power to put their state’s citizens at risk. They choose to dispute science to appease their base. Meanwhile, their base and others are getting sick and dying from COVID-19.
To Mandate or Not to Mandate
COVID-19 is contagious. Getting a vaccine is not like using protection to avoid a sexual disease or a pregnancy. You can walk by someone with a sexual disease and not get it if you don’t have sexual contact with them. However, with COVID-19, an unmasked and unvaccinated person can spread it to anyone that comes into their path.
While getting the vaccine doesn’t mean that you won’t contract COVID-19, it does offer protection against dying from it.
Should the government and companies have vaccine mandates? Well, that is debatable. However, how will COVID-19 ever be contained if many decide not to mask or to get vaccinated? If hospitals run out of rooms, employees get sick or die, who’ll tend to the needs of the sick people who don’t have COVID-19 or work in companies, grocery stores, and restaurants.
Some former anti-vaxxers decided to get the vaccine once they either saw others suffer from COVID-19 or die from it. Ultimately, it’s a personal decision. However, if one decides not to get vaccinated, they should at least wear a mask or stay away from others.