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Why Should I Get Vaccinated?


In the spirit of the holidays or the post-holidays sale or whatever other spirit may be out there, Walmart has just made what they are calling a ‘major, new announcement’ about Covid-19. Which happens to be an announcement that Wal Mart will begin selling two, newly-approved anti-viral medications at certain Walmart stores.

The purchase of these pills will require a prescription and Walmart notes that the chain is continuing to “support our communities through everyday essentials, healthy food, vaccines, medication and other health care needs as we all work together to weather the pandemic."

Isn’t that nice.

I have a better idea. Why doesn’t Wal Mart require proof of vaccinations in order to enter their stores? Is that too much of what Grandpa would call a ‘gefailech’ (read: big deal?) Is it really too much to ask shoppers who need toilet paper to stay home and wipe their rear ends with newspaper strips if they don’t want to get a goddamn needle stuck into their arms?

When my state – Massachusetts – began offering vaccinations to persons 70 yar or older, I signed up the very first day to get my shots at the high school in Great Barrington, which is about 40 miles from where I live. I drove out there in 45 minutes, it took me 15 minutes to register and get the shot, and another 45 minutes to drive back home. Altogether, I spent less than two hours protecting myself and everyone around me from Covid-19.

About a week after I got my first shot, I happened to be talking to several oldsters who were taking their morning coffee at the local McDonald’s where the seniors get a cup for 75 cents and a free refill, which means they sit around for an hour telling each other how much they know.

Because I was wearing a cute little ‘I’m vaccinated’ badge they asked me where I had gone to get the shot, and when I told them I had driven out to Great Barrington they all replied, almost in unison, “you went that far???”

I went that far. I drove round-trip of 80 miles; the whole deal took less than two hours but in order to protect myself from the virus I was willing to drive ‘that far.’

Who the hell was I dealing with that morning? Who the hell are we all dealing with when more than one-third of the population thinks that getting vaccinated is something they just can’t bring themselves to do?

I’ll tell you who we are not dealing with. Despite what the fake news media would like you to believe, we are not dealing with an enormous population that is convinced the vaccinations are a threat to their health, or are followers of Rand Paul and the other, alt-right political assholes who know ‘for a fact’ that vaccinations are the work of the Devil, or of George Soros, or Bill Gates, or anyone else.

We are dealing with what public health has always had to deal with when it comes to figuring out a strategy that will get everyone protected against a threat to their health. We are dealing with a particular brand of human behavior which can best be described as lazy, uninformed or both.

I am still waiting for the very first report from the Fake News, which instead of quoting some right-wing loony about why government mandates are a bigger threat than a deadly virus which is infecting a million people a day, would take the trouble to explain that there has never been a public health response to any threat which worked without being mandated or enforced by government rules.

Know how we got rid of diphtheria, polio, measles, and mumps? Because if you don’t vaccinate your kids before age six for these illnesses, you’d better be ready to educate them at home. Unless you’re a member of a community like ultra-Orthodox Jews who don’t believe in science, in which case you can create your own alternate school system and spread measles amongst yourselves.

Every time I drive down through the neighboring state of Connecticut, I can’t get over the number of people riding on motorcycles with bare heads. Oh, I forgot. The helmetless motorcycle riders know ‘for a fact’ that they won’t ever fall off their bikes and smash their heads to smithereens. At least when this happens, they won’t duffer any brain damage because obviously their heads don’t contain brains.

But the bottom line is that if you fall off your Harley the chances are you won’t hurt anyone except yourself as your head goes bouncing down the street.

I would have no problem with all the people who can’t be bothered to get vaxxed if their refusal to let someone jab a needle into their arms didn’t also create medical risks for folks like me who went and got their shots.

Want to avoid getting vaccinated against Covid-19? Fine. Stay in your house, don’t have contact with anyone else and don’t use up a precious hospital bed in an ICU when you discover that you can’t breathe.

And most of all, don’t tell me how you believe that government mandates are wrong and shouldn’t be imposed. Unless, of course, you also believe that speed limits are a violation of your Constitutional ‘rights.’

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