You Ought

I think everyone ought to get vaccinated.

How did you read that statement? Did you think I was calling you out because of it? Supporting your cause? Challenging or affirming your beliefs?

I wasn’t.

What I was doing was expressing an opinion, based on my assumptions and the many things I’ve learned since Covid-19 began. I remember when it did. When it began. I was a doubter.

A co-worker told me about it in January of 2020. He’d only been with us about a month at that time when he asked me if I’d heard about that “new” virus over in China and how bad it was. He stressed the word bad, as I recall. I said what most people probably said at that time: we’re always hearing about stuff like that; it’s nothing; let’s get to work.

It wasn’t nothing. It spread quickly. It spread everywhere. It’s killed millions.

We took it very seriously, in my household, at my workplace. We wore masks when we had to go into public places, we avoided unnecessary prolonged interactions indoors with others, we required masks of everyone who came into the store during the winter surge. We all got vaccinated as early as humanly possible. Thank you, Cory.

When the winter months wound down in 2021, and the vaccine became more and more accessible, the number of cases – locally and worldwide – subsided. Whew. Out of the thicket. Out of the woods. Out of trouble?

Not so fast.

Variants. As with any virus, the Covid-19 one was evolving. They’re smart, these pathogens, and hardy. Like us humans they face adversity and adapt. They want to live, spread, take over if they can. And if they must they’ll kill every other living thing they can to propagate. Like us humans.

One thing that has seemingly helped to stop the wanton propagation of unwanted contagion is vaccination. In fact, if we’re to believe what we hear (do we?), a vast majority of new severe cases and deaths are happening among the unvaccinated. Like, a more than 90% vast majority.

Statistically, that’s a lot. 90% is a lot. It’s, like, most.

Some have suggested that vaccines are more resistant to variants, and protect us a lot longer, than the antibodies produced by contracting the virus itself. That’s what some have suggested. I don’t really know if that’s true and you don’t know if that’s true because people who really, really study this stuff and have for their entire lives don’t really know if that’s true. I would say it probably is, if I were pushed into a corner. I would also say there’s probably intelligent life on other planets in the universe with space-faring capability if pushed into a corner, but I don’t really know. And you don’t, either.

But I’m willing to bet you have an opinion on it.

According to the World Health Organization – a highly respected and/or vilified outfit you probably have an opinion on, too – we’ve had about 200 million reported cases of Covid-19. Alternately, back in October, the same organization said that probably “1 in 10” have contracted it. Since the Earth had 7.5 billion people on it last time I counted that 10% would be more like [running the calculator] 750 million cases. I guess I could have done that in my head. Regardless, there’s a whole lot of people left who never had this particular, very contagious strain of coronavirus. Myself included.

[I just had a random thought: am I supposed to all-caps “COVID-19”? Don’t wanna.]

The same WHO site (that’s short for “World Health Organization,” FYI) says that there have been 3.8 billion vaccine doses stuck in arms worldwide. I don’t even want to do the math on how many of those are single doses in folks waiting for a second one, single doses of single-dose versions, or doses of anti-wrinkle treatment administered by diabolic miscreants with nefarious intent.

Let’s just round down.

We’ll say that about 3 billion people have been vaccinated, about a half billion people have been subjected to viral loads strong enough to contract disease, and that all of those people are now highly resistant to dying from CoViD-NiNeTeEn. That would mean that there are still 4 billion people on the planet – more than half – at great risk of contracting and possibly dying of this thing.

Those folks ought to get vaccinated.

To hedge our bets, everyone ought.

You ought.

Don’t you think?

27 thoughts on “You Ought

  1. Not ‘ought’ but ‘should’. I can’t believe the whining and misinformation from the anti-vaxxer groups. No, it’s not against the constitution, no it’s not against your human rights, no one is trying to microchip you, Bob, because you’re just not that interesting. It’s a VACCINE, and you’ve all had many of those before, which is why we no longer have polio or smallpox and NUMEROUS other diseases that used to kill people. Here, students who aren’t vaccinated get suspended from school until their MMR and DPT, tetanus etc. are up to date (unless they have an allergy to the vaccine), and my daughter can’t start Vet college until she gets rabies shots so I have no issue with excluding the idiots who don’t want a covid shot because “it’s not fair”, just like I don’t want to be around anyone who’s carrying leprosy. I was in a store the other day and the clerk said if someone came in without a mask, she wouldn’t have the energy to try and stop them. But I’ll bet you a hundred bucks that if I walked in there without pants, she’d call the cops. Some people are just dumb. Rant over:-)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I saw a great cartoon on FB last week where a little kid pointed to his parent’s arm and said “What is that?” and the parent said “A polio-vaccine scar,” so the kid said “Why don’t I have one?” and the parent responded “Because it worked.”

      Bob and the anti-vaxxer crowd are not only uninteresting, they are dumbasses. However, I do want to point out that I know several people personally who are vaccine-hesitant but not traditional anti-vaxxers (in fact, they are anti-Trumpers) and are not in any sense dumbasses. I understand their fear. They are people who have had really bad reactions to vaccines before, are immuno-compromised and told by physicians not to risk the vaccine, or are still waiting for final FDA approval before trusting the thing. As much as anyone this post is for them. I understand the trepidation and I’m here to say – without judgement – that it is time. Get the shot. It’s worth it. Everyone out there waiting, for whatever reason, get the shot. The rest of you, the dumbasses who still think you’re being misled, that your god-given rights are being trampled on, that Bill Gates is using this crisis to chip you, or that the whole thing is still just a hoax and there is no coronavirus, get the shot, too. You folks are the reason America is failing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The last time I had a flu shot (many years ago) I had a terrible allergic reaction. So I made sure I researched the ingredients in the covid vaccine before I got it because I’m a grown-ass human being who believes in taking responsibility for myself. I had no problems. I literally just had a conversation with a guy who won’t get the vaccine because he heard that some cruise ships won’t accept AZ and he loves to travel. What kind of ridiculous logic is that? I like him and work with him so it was REALLY hard not to call him a dumbass, but I sure as hell won’t have any sympathy for him on the day he’s told he CAN’T travel because he hasn’t been vaccinated.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The CDC made a major strategic error when they relied on the good faith of anti-maskers to be honest about being vaccinated or not. Sometimes science forgets about human nature and the nature of its worst humans.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Suzanne, everyone SHOULD get vaccinated. Despite the variants that are going on the “vaccinated” are still safer than those who aren’t. Yes, we might, just might wind up having to get a booster for the vaccine but, wouldn’t that help?

    Anti-vaxxers are misinformed lemmings who follow false gods, yes I went all Charlton Heston/Ten Commandments right there. The paranoia of misinformation being perpetuated is infuriating, and believers think all of this is a hoax or that science is completely wrong.

    Don’t get me wrong, science isn’t perfect, but I’ll believe the President of the university I work at because, he’s a doctor and puts people first and I believe him when he says EVERYONE needs to get vaccinated to be able to stop this mofo virus in it’s tracks. Those that don’t think they need it or don’t want it will be culled by the very thing they didn’t believe in……but, I’ll get off my soap box now and leave it you Tom.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. My math based on my expertise in electronics rather than infectious diseases and applying my statistical thinking to it:

      If I don’t get the vaccine and catch COVID I have about a 20% chance of serious illness, 1%ish chance of death

      If I get the vaccine that I suppose is about 90% effective (I don’t know the actual number), and I catch COVID, I have about a 2% chance of serious illness and 0.1% chance of death.

      I’ll take the second set of odds.

      Anyway, I know it all depends on your existing physical condition and how your immune system works, but without most of this information, the statistics favor getting vaccinated (and I have).

      [anecdote] I was exposed to someone who had COVID about 3 weeks ago. This person was hospitalized a few days later and recovered. I mainly suffered from worrying about it for a week. About two weeks after this contact, I developed a sinus cold, but I think it was related to a child that I was taking care who had a head cold a few days earlier. I don’t know, but sneezing and sinus drainage was the worst of my problems. I am fine now. [/anecdote]

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Those numbers seem about right to me. Imagine a world where we had a president who went warp speed on delivering these vaccines the way we went warp speed on developing them, and imagine this same president was an empathic leader with better messaging and we ended up with 1/10th the infection rate and 1/10th the death rate from the time it rolled out until the present time. That’s the world we could have been in if we hadn’t allowed the rise of the nincompoop class and their circus-clown carnival-barker president.

        But, we can’t go back, eh? I really, really don’t favor mandatory vaccination, but I’m really, really considering supporting it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Worrying about having COVID is just as bad mentally, believe me. After all the COIVD clinics we’ve had, half of the people make themselves sick just worrying about getting it or being around someone that “might” have it. It’s nothing to sneeze at, no pun intended. But, if you didn’t get fever or body aches, then it probably wasn’t COVID. I’m glad your okay Jason.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I am waiting to close on my existing house. About a week more. I have been looking at prospective houses but it is difficult to deal yet without cash from the sale of my house.

        I have high hopes. <– future Jason is going to laugh at that remark.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. 👏👏👏 Huntress 👏👏👏

      One of the all-time great soapboxes. You even channeled the great Charlton Heston who is a poster-child for the ignorant (his rants against climate change to this day are some of the most foolish ever).

      Donald Trump blew it big time. He got the lemmings to follow blindly, dismissed the virus on a bad wager early on, reversed course and got the vaccines going warp speed, got the vaccine (and the virus) and could have saved the country and himself by pushing his idiot followers to do the right thing once those vaccines were ready. Golden opportunity. The fool might have been easily re-elected had he been even the slightest bit smart.

      Luckily, for the future of America and humanity, Donald Trump is the furthest thing for smart. He lucked into power during a strange time with a banana-headed following and will now sit in the history books as a laughable blip instead of the conqueror of democracy. He’ll now be remembered most as the president who handled the worst pandemic of our lifetimes so very badly.

      But, yes. Everyone go get vaccinated. It’s the right thing to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I meant channeling Charlton Heston’s Character Moses in the Ten Commandments. I know he was ignorant about climate change, geez Louise some of these Orange Faced followers are so stupid.

        And I agree with you about the Donald and how he could have done something very big for this country if he wasn’t so stupid and only thought of himself instead of what was good for us as a nation. But I’m climbing on my soapbox again and I’m really tired of hauling boxes so, I’ll leave it there Brother Tom…lol.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. And our very dualistic nature, more prominent here in the states than elsewhere (but elsewhere as well). Leaders and certain media sources cultivate those differences and create dividing lines for power and profit. The question is, what are we doing – each of us – to bridge that divide?

      Like

  3. This disease is just getting started.
    The fact that even in the Delta variant, asymptomatic (or low impact) infections continue, means we’ll have this virus and its derivatives around forever. Which means that wearing (or not wearing) a mask may remain a contentious act. The near elimination of influenza infections this last season kinda speaks to how we could stop most communicable diseases if we wanted to. But that would take a consensus within the most politically, ideologically divided nation on the planet.
    Shrek, as he tears a page from a story book to wipe his ass, “Yeah, like that’s ever gonna happen.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really, really hard to bridge that gap, but not impossible. There will always be extremists on both sides vying for the most disruptive level of society they can achieve, but most of us – a vast majority I’d say – can get along quite well and agree to disagree with each other all the time. I’ve never called for mandates, but I’ve called consistently for common sense preventative measures. I tell my friends all the time I recommend that they wear a mask, social distance, avoid large indoor crowds, and get vaccinated. Some have, some haven’t, some do all these things, some do some, some do none. In the end I disagree with those doing nothing, or claim this is all overblown government/media manipulation, or that it’s bad but they don’t care because something’s going to kill everyone eventually and we gotta live while we’re alive, but I also understand them. They think differently than I. From the start none of them have disparaged me from vanishing from the social scene, and I haven’t disparaged them from keeping the party going.

      We’re going to continue to be different. I’d argue that we probably need to accept that and each other. We need to continue to pass laws and guidelines that limit overreach into each other’s extremes (we ought allow businesses to require masks and vaccines and we ought have more regulation on the gun industry, but we ought not have vaccine or mask mandates from the government or ban guns altogether).

      The goal is to continue to build a world where everyone can get along despite their differences. We’re better at that now then we were before; we’ll be better at it tomorrow than we are now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My wife and I chatted this morning and we tried to come up with the last global community effort event where every one pitched in. WWII was what we came up with. I had to wonder, were there folks in this country who denied the war was happening? That Hitler existed and was set on world domination? That Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor or that the A-Bomb was eventually used to end the war?
        My wife (Mrs. C, too) pointed out that most if not all families had or knew of young men fighting, were involved with the war effort building planes, ships, tanks, or growing food.
        Still, I bet there were some folks who rejected the fact that any of that was occurring. Not many, but a few.
        This disease has done such a good job at sliding in, infecting only a small % of us, and evolving to — I predict — a variant that will become unstoppable. Right now, in some vaccinated person, Covid is mutating.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I fear you may be right, and that there is a long road ahead. Funny you mention WWII in that context. Bregman, in the closing chapters of “Humankind” (which I just finished) talks about how the overblown propaganda during WWI made many Americans doubt the events in Europe were really that bad during the first years of the war. Media manipulation, “fake news,” and the public blowback against the crying of “wolf” goes way back indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. We all but wiped out smallpox, one of the few times in human history that extinction has been a good thing, and we did it with vaccines. We’ve had mostly the same success with polio and a few other diseases. People used to die from paper cuts. That’s not a joke or even an exaggeration. Because of our understanding of disease, an understanding that’s less than three centuries old, we’ve been able to more than double the average lifetime of people all over the world, and I emphasize that our understanding of disease is pretty new because some people are afraid of the COVID-19 vaccines because their development was so rushed.
    It may be a relatively short time but we’ve still come a long way since Edward Jenner figured out that milkmaids didn’t get smallpox because they got a similar, less fatal disease. Heck, it took less time to go from the first Wright Brothers flight to the Moon landings. These are all stories of science and, as Neil DeGrasse Tyson said, the good thing about science is it’s true whether or not you believe in it.
    I’ve been vaccinated, by the way. It was required where I work but I was still glad to do it and would have done it voluntarily. I’m still wearing a mask in public and taking precautions, but the numbers do seem to show that vaccines work. And they work whether or not people believe in them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have such an appreciation for the way you’re able to break things down, Christopher, and pull on so many sources while explaining your take in such a coherent way. You nailed it again!

      But I have one for you, just to add to the topic: last night, after I told the missus that I was finished with Humankind (the book, not the populace 😉 ), I told her the premise of it – and it’s a good one. Bregman is asserting, and attempting to prove, that people have generally good intentions towards other people, despite what we think. She disagreed vehemently, saying that people who haven’t gotten the vaccine yet are proof that people, in general, simply don’t care about other people. I disagreed, saying that most of these people – we’ll call them anti-vaxxers for now – aren’t getting the vaccine because of misinformation, not selfishness. In fact, I could argue that those folks think THEY are the ones doing what they do (or don’t do) for the common good. They believe we are the foolish ones, manipulated by governmental and media forces to do something inherently bad for humanity (take a rushed vaccine to battle what they are being told is a bad cold bug). It’s not evil. Hitler was evil. Donald Trump is evil. But the vast majority of humans who followed or follow them are not; simply misguided.

      Whatcha think of that?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agree 100% but have stopped arguing the point. Some of the conspiracy reasons (like the one where there computer chips in the vaccine so the feds can track you) illustrate how crazy this is and how fruitless it feels to try to get you opinion heard without being deemed a far left whacko.

        I don’t have a good feeling about what we will be dealing with this winter. Hope I am wrong

        Liked by 1 person

      2. With all due respect to the missus, I think it’s complicated. There are some people who want to get the vaccine but haven’t because their income is so low, even with multiple jobs, that they can’t afford to take a day off or risk having to take more if they have side effects. It’s terrible that we live in a country where some people are in that position.
        I also look at Tennessee’s governor who just fired one of the state’s top vaccine experts, cancelled a program to remind people when their second shot was due. He’s also cancelled a flu vaccine program in public schools and ordered the Department of Health to stop promoting regular childhood vaccinations.
        These are decisions made out of spite and anger, and he’s misusing his authority. He has that authority because a majority of people in this state voted for him (I didn’t) and a majority of those still think he’s trustworthy. For some their sense of self-worth is tied up in believing he’s right and others just aren’t interested in looking deeper. Unfortunately that understanding hasn’t brought me any closer to knowing how to get through to them or, even better, convince the governor to stop abusing peoples’ trust for his own petty reasons. Because if I could change them then we wouldn’t have to worry as much about the ones who won’t get vaccinated no matter what because they’re truly terrible people.

        Liked by 1 person

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