Stupidity = Death?

It seems like I’ve been on the same soap box for the past several days. I guess that is one of the simultaneous advantages and disadvantages of being my own boss when it comes to this column. It also reflects the seriousness of the problem and that problem is COVID-19.

I almost exclusively follow domestic numbers. Considering that by definition a pandemic is global that is shortsighted on my part. The problem is that despite being arguably the most medically advanced nation in the world and certainly one of its wealthiest, the situation in America is concerning but apparently not to enough Americans.

Three incredibly effective vaccines are available to every American above the age of 12, free of charge and still a significant portion of the population remains unvaccinated. In fact many proclaim they will not get vaccinated and a portion of them are vocally anti-vaccine. In a country this large we either have order or chaos. Can you imagine what life would be like if everyone just selectively obeyed laws? How about people doing 75 mph down residential side streets or driving on whichever side of the street pleased them at the moment? Think there might be some innocent victims?

As of July 18th over 161million Americans, or 48.67% of the total population were fully vaccinated. Vermont has the most at 66.91%. Alabama the least at 33.68%. Remember a lot of youngsters were not eligible until a few weeks ago and those under 12 are still ineligible. Any way you slice it that means there are still a lot of adults who are simply refusing to get vaccinated. They are increasingly a danger to society!

While extremely highly effective, the vaccines are not 100% effective. There are what scientists are calling breakthrough infections; that is infections of the fully vaccinated. It appears that the victims of breakthrough infections, much like those who receive the regular flu vaccine, are experiencing mild or asymptomatic infections and are much less likely to spread the virus to others. The majority of the recent MLB infections were breakthrough infections. Predictably the Olympics – which still hasn’t commenced – is experiencing infections most, if not all of which, appear to be breakthrough infections. There have been several infections reported among the Texas legislators who fled to D.C. It is safe to assume that most if not all of them are also of the breakthrough variety. (Note: I deliberately didn’t specify number because they are almost constantly increasing.)

Here is my real fear and it is shared by many epidemiologists: the longer the virus exists the more it mutates. What happens when it mutates into a form that the current vaccines are ineffective against? Worse yet what if it mutates into a form that we cannot find a new vaccine for?

Maybe I’m not as good a person as I should be but, if just the unvaccinated were going to be victims of the virus I could chalk it up to natural selection. If you wanted a religious “justification” I guess you could attribute it to intelligent design. My concern is the innocent victims who did the right thing.

Again, I’m calling for mandatory vaccinations with precious few medical exceptions. We give precious few speed limit and driving on the wrong side of the road exceptions, (i.e. emergency vehicles in emergency situations). Speed kills and so does COVID-19. I don’t want a loved one of mine to die or suffer a life long disability because you were too stupid to get vaccinated! A moral responsibility has proven insufficient; it’s time to make it a legal one.

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