I’m Struggling to Understand
I’m struggling to understand what’s going on in this country. We’ve been dealing with a pandemic for about 18 months and we just can’t seem to get control over a killer virus that we have vaccines for. Nearly 1,500 people died in the US from Covid on August 20, 2021 with more to come if we don’t get this virus under control.
The US has about 330 million people. Approximately 50 million are under the age of 12, which leaves 280 million eligible to take the vaccine. To date, about 170 million people have been vaccinated leaving 110 million Americans age 12 and over eligible for the vaccine. But, they won’t take it for a variety of reasons. As a result, we are losing the battle by allowing the virus to mutate: causing more illness and killing people.
America clearly values individual choice over public health. The government (federal and state) won’t mandate vaccines or masks, leaving private industry to protect public health, which they are unwittingly doing in many places. In trying to understand why so many people won’t take the vaccine, I have often asked (in a nonjudgmental way) unvaccinated people to please explain to me why they won’t get the vaccine because I truly want to understand the resistance.
The reasons given include the government wants to control me and make me dependent upon them; the pharmaceutical companies just want to make money; the vaccine can cause Down Syndrome, I don’t want to put a virus into my body; its my body, my choice; I’m strong enough; and there’s not enough information on the long term effects of the vaccine. I was also told that it was the vaccinated who caused the Delta variant mutation.
The Government Wants to Control Me and Make Me Dependent Upon Them
Fearful people often speak of the government as if its this secret group of people when in fact, our government is a group of agencies overseen primarily by democrats and republicans who agree on virtually nothing so I find it startling that people actually believe this.
The Pharmaceutical Companies Just Want to Make Money
There is some truth to this statement but the pharmaceutical companies stand to make more money off sick people than those who are vaccinated. If people were really concerned about the pharmaceuticals making money off the population, then they would change their diet and lifestyle to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, and to reverse Type 2 diabetes as a first line effort instead of taking statins, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and other classes of drugs for which the companies make a fortune.
The Vaccine Can Cause Down Syndrome
The vaccine does not cause Down Syndrome. This fallacy probably spread because people with Down Syndrome have an increased risk of severe illness from the virus, according to the CDC (they are 4 times more likely to be hospitalized and 10 times more likely to die from the virus).
I Don’t Want To Put a Virus in my Body
There is no live or dead virus in the Covid vaccines. The vaccines contain genetic information on the virus to help your body produce an immune response to the virus, according to Kaiser.
My Body, My Choice
Americans value freedom and personal choice over almost anything. We all want to make our own decisions and don’t want anyone telling us what to do but that only works if your actions don’t negatively impact other people’s freedoms. People who don’t want to take the vaccine but who go out in public endanger others, not just themselves. If Covid only affected you, then I could understand the argument of choice but because people unknowingly spread the virus to others, personal choice should not be an option (unless there are underlying health conditions).
Covid has killed about 600,000 people in the US. Lets look at another disease that kills 600,000 Americans a year – heart disease. If you want to smoke, drink, eat unhealthy foods, and not exercise, that’s your choice. Your bad choices don’t lead to another person dying of heart disease (although smoking can endanger others through second hand smoke, which is why it is against the law to smoke in public places). But, your choice to NOT get vaccinated for Covid endangers others and can cause illness and death in others. And, this applies to wearing masks. If you don’t want to wear a mask to protect yourself, then wear a mask to protect others because at the end of the day, we are on this earth to help each other, not kill each other.
I’m Strong Enough
Most of us harbor thoughts of invincibility especially if we are active, eat healthy (although the definition of healthy varies from person to person), and live a clean lifestyle (i.e. no smoking, minimal or no drinking, avoid fast and processed food, etc). We think the odds are in our favor and they are. Yet, there is still risk. We will all face death and although some of us will have lower risks because of lifestyle choices, we are by no means immune from illness.
I may have a lower risk of heart disease because I follow a whole food plant based diet but I can still die of heart disease. I may have a lower risk of dying from Covid because my immune system is not compromised and I’m not obese or a Type 2 diabetic but I can still die from Covid. We can all die from Covid so don’t delude yourself.
There’s Not Enough Information on the Long-Term Effects of the Vaccine
Of all the reasons stated, this one has merit. There isn’t long-term information on the vaccine but there is short-term information from the CDC and FDA that shows the short term risks of being hospitalized or dying from Covid are greatly mitigated for the vaccinated.
And, finally in closing, it is important to note the vaccinated did not cause the Delta Covid variant. The Covid virus mutated because it was able to spread and in mutating, it now spreads faster and causes more illness.
Get Vaccinated, wear a mask; if not for yourself, do it for others.