Sunday, January 23, 2022

Vaccination is Tyranny!

Thus far, to the best of my knowledge, I have dodged infection with the coronavirus.  I am up-to-date on the recommended vaccinations and have comported myself with caution.  However, I am not in a state of personal lockdown and I still enter area retail establishments to make personal purchases, although I am always masked.  Currently, I am sipping a sugar-free peppermint mocha in a very sparsely populated coffee shop.  I accept that public health experts might challenge my definition of cautious.  Indeed, I’m sure many of them wouldn’t step foot, let alone a toe, into a supermarket these days.

But the risks of catching the corona on my personal forays in the community pale next to the risks I face each week at work when I am in direct contact with several dozens of patients and staff.  The omicron variant spiked into the stratosphere here in Northeast Ohio, but thankfully it appears to be in a steady descent now. It does not seem that the vaccines and boosters protect us against omicron infections as much as they do against serious illnesses.

The percentage of Americans who have been vaccinated has plateaued.  Clearly, those who have not yet been vaccinated have no intention to do so.  Perhaps, some might decide that the vaccine is preferable to job loss. But many will walk away rather than succumb to what they perceive to be an assault on their personal freedom.

There is always a patient or two I see in the office each day who are unvaccinated. Being a seasoned professional, I inquire of them in a measured and neutral manner as to what their concerns are.  'The reasons span a wide spectrum ranging from ‘I don’t believe in it’, ‘they rushed it through’,  I’m already immune' or 'it’s not safe'.

Recently, I heard a more strident exhortation of vaccine antagonism.

‘I won’t let a tyrannical government tell me what to do!’

I reflected on this angry remark afterwards and thought it was possible to connect it back to the January 6th insurrection.  Many of those who stormed the Capitol that day likely felt that they were attacking tyranny in the same way that the colonists rose up against the British a few centuries ago. But, of course, the January 6th insurrectionists can never be fairly analogized with Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin  or Thomas Paine.  The January 6th rioters were not seeking freedom but tried instead to dismantle our freedom as they joined together on their evil joyride over the cliff.

If only there were a vaccine for every illness.  However, we can see plainly that there are maladies out there that we are not able to prevent or treat.

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