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Old 07-03-2021, 12:00 AM
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AVB-AMG AVB-AMG is offline
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COVID Vaccination Hesitancy

Now in early July 2021, with the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus expected to become the dominant version of the virus in the next few months, the concerns of the threat of the virus spreading even faster to those still unvaccinated have increased dramatically. It is the most transmissible version of the virus so far, especially in the areas of the country where the total vaccination rate is still quite low and at significant risk.

We now know that it is not just catching the virus and dealing with its immediate health concerns, but the growing number of adverse after effects to the health of people of all ages, once they are lucky enough to survive and essentially recover, referred to as “long-haul symptoms”. Those symptoms and affects include shortness of breath, chest pain, physical fatigue, compromised sense of smell, reduced lung capabilities and diminished mental/cognitive functions described as “brain fog”. I assume we will continue to learn more as time goes by.

What is very disheartening to me is a recent national poll that indicated that just over a quarter of those surveyed said that even now, they have decided to still not get vaccinated. While I can understand their earlier reluctance to getting vaccinated, based on mis-information, false myths and lack of trust of government officials, it makes no sense now. The vast majority of trusted messengers, specifically health professionals, including doctors and nurses, are in agreement that the possible health risks associated with the vaccine’s pales in comparison to the potential detrimental and deadly affects of the COVID-19 virus to those who are not vaccinated.

I get it that Americans have always been an individualistic people who don’t like being told what to do. But in times of crisis, they have historically still had the capacity to form what Alexis de Tocqueville called a “social body,” a coherent community capable of collective action. The basic sense of “peoplehood”, of belonging to a common enterprise with a shared destiny, is exactly what’s lacking today. Researchers and reporters who talk to the vaccine-hesitant find that the levels of distrust, suspicion and alienation that have marred our politics are now slowing down the vaccination process. They find people who doubt the competence of the medical establishment or any establishment, who assume as a matter of course that their fellow countrymen are out to con, deceive and harm them.

This mentality, epitomized by the sentiment of: “the only person you can trust is yourself”, has a tendency to cause people to conceive of themselves as individuals and not as citizens. A recent survey of people who were refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine revealed that they often used an arguments such as: “I’m not especially vulnerable. I may have already gotten the virus. If I get it in the future, it won’t be that bad. Why should I take a risk on an experimental vaccine?” They are thinking and reasoning, mostly on a personal basis, about what’s right for them as individuals more than what’s right for the nation and the most vulnerable people in it. It’s not that they have rebuked their responsibilities as citizens; it apparently never occurred to them that they might have any. When asked to think in broader terms, they seemed surprised and off balance.

For me, the overwhelming relief of now being fully vaccinated, (having eagerly received the two doses of the Pfizer vaccine back in March 2021), is that now I do not have to worry as much about catching the virus, but also about harboring the COVID-19 virus asymptomatically and passing it on to someone else, especially a family member who has a compromised immune system, causing them to get sick. At this point, I believe that with just few exceptions, everyone should get vaccinated.

I recognize, but disagree that general public safety concerns should take religious beliefs into account, as an excuse to not getting vaccinated. I accept that there are some people who have legitimate health issues that would preclude their getting vaccinated. But for everyone else, stop the silly bribing inducements by various States. We are now at the point where I believe that the local, state and federal governments should mandate that the reluctant, the recalcitrant and the reckless, all get inoculated against this virus so we can finally get this world-wide pandemic under control. Let employers make being vaccinated a requirement for working there. Also, let retailers of all sizes, determine whether or not their customers need to wear face coverings in order to enter and patronize their stores. While personal freedoms should be protected, they should not be ranked higher than the healthy well-being of the broader community in our country. This vaccination issue is not about individuals, but about all of us, collectively living and working together.

Alas, I am afraid that even if what I am advocating does occur, there will still be a significant number of Americans who will still refuse to get vaccinated. Then, what we may ultimately experience is what philosophers Hebert Spencer, Charles Darwin and Adam Smith have simplistically theorized as “survival of the fittest”. This speculation can also be interpreted as survival of the most intelligent, those who seek out honest, truthful, factual information based on both science and experience. The people who have been vaccinated have observed, understand and acknowledge the high degree of protection against the virus that the vast majority of people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, are proving to be mostly immune to the spreading virus or, if they catch it, their symptoms are not as serious. The odds are against the people who refuse to get vaccinated since they will be much more susceptible to catch the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus and suffer its consequences and either die or suffer long-term health issues. The sad reality is that this likely outcome is avoidable if these people were not as na´ve, ignorant or untrusting of science and would just get vaccinated.

AVB-AMG
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My current & recent car history:
2020 BMW 440i xDrive Coupe (Wife's daily driver)
2016 BMW X5M (My daily driver)
2014 BMW M6 Coupe (gone)
2013 BWM 335i xDrive Coupe (gone)
2011 BMW 335xi turbo coupe (gone)
2007 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG (gone)
2007 BMW 335ci twin turbo coupe (gone)
2004 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG (gone)
2004 BMW X5 4.4i (w/full Aero Kit - gone)
2001 BMW X5 4.4i (w/full Aero Kit - gone)
2000 Mercedes-Benz E430 Sport (gone)
1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL (owned for 46 years)

Last edited by AVB-AMG; 07-03-2021 at 10:34 PM.
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