Trump COVID: Get vaccinated

What do I have in common with both Joe Biden and Donald Trump? All of us have been vaccinated against COVID-19! While refusal to get vaccinated is stupid, you don’t have to be a genius to get vaccinated, and you don’t have to be exceptionally fearless either.

I realize that many people are afraid of getting the shot. Many people in this country are afraid of vaccinations in general, and not completely without reason. Many vaccines used to contain mercury, and some multi-dose vaccines still contain thimerosal, a mercury based preservative, but none of the COVID vaccines do.

Even though I understand the concern regarding mercury, I have to scoff a bit at the people who have a problem with the minute amount of mercury in vaccines as this is nothing compared to what is found in a lot of meat and fish. Yet the people I know who refuse vaccines because of this eat meat and fish.

While much of the media attention given to anti-vaxxers focuses on Republicans, I know a fair amount of Democrats who are against vaccines of all sorts. A person’s political leaning does not prevent them from making illogical decisions. While there is no scientifically proven risk to consuming genetically modified fruits, vegetables, and grains, so many people on the left will swear that there is irrefutable evidence of harm. But whether a person is afraid of GMOs or vaccines, it boils down to the same thing: these things are scary not because of what is known, but because of what is unknown. The cure for an epidemic of fear is knowledge.

When you go to receive a COVID shot, you receive a list of all of the ingredients. I only wish that everything we put into our bodies had this level of transparency! I seldom eat out because I cannot trust restaurant staff to know if something I am allergic to is in a certain dish. If something contains a certain vegetable gum, I am going to be spending the rest of the day or night in the ER.

Despite having a list of ingredients, if a person believes in a conspiracy theory, then they will not trust the list of ingredients. The only hope for these people is for someone close to them to effectively deprogram them (good luck), or for them to actually die from COVID. If people fail to act responsibly and get vaccinated, then our only hope for eradicating this disease is for these people to actually die. That may sound harsh, but I am only being practical.

The ultimate privilege is the ability to be impractical. It occurs to me that the thing Americans are exceptional at is being exceptionally impractical and just downright silly. Not everyone is afforded this ability. When a person struggles to get their basic needs met, they typically would not refuse a free, potentially life-saving, vaccine. In poor nations, people long for the day that they can receive this miracle of modern science. In many poor nations, COVID is an even greater threat to life than it is here because people are less able to self quarantine, and hospitals are less equipped to deal with large numbers of patients requiring ventilators.

Some people who received vaccines have gotten sick. My dad is one of them. He had flu-like symptoms for a day and a half. He, as did most of my family, had the Moderna vaccine. Both my mom and I had this vaccine and experienced only some chills on the days we received our vaccines. My grandma and one of my great aunts received the Pfizer vaccine and neither had any side effects. But even if a person gets the shot and gets sick for a day or two, isn’t that better than getting sick for two weeks? Isn’t that better than dying?

It is true that some women who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine developed blood clots. Fortunately, there is more than one choice for a vaccine. This isn’t always the case when it comes to vaccines for other viruses.

I got very sick from a flu vaccine once, and because of this, I have not received another flu vaccine since. I have since found out that I have an egg allergy, and while there is one company that manufactures a flu vaccine without eggs, I have not had any luck with this being available to me. Despite this negative association with one vaccine, I still got vaccinated against pneumonia and COVID. It is a matter of weighing the risks, and there is far less risk with getting these vaccines than there is with catching pneumonia or COVID.

If come November, everyone is back to having to wear masks any time they leave their residence, and businesses and schools are forced to close, you only have anti-vaxxers to thank for it. A person cannot avoid catching the highly contagious Delta variant by only wearing a mask; being vaccinated and wearing a mask does protect a person from catching this strain of COVID. But wouldn’t we all be better off if everyone just got the damn shot and we could end this sickening nightmare?!

Freedom to be irresponsible and chose not to get vaccinated is an infringement on everyone else’s freedom! So it is time for our leaders to actually lead and end this pandemic that has cost more American lives than any war. It is time to make vaccination mandatory. If you don’t like it, you are welcome to leave. Crack open a history book. We did it before and we can do it again!