By Jill Chapin
Americans have been inundated with a constant insistence that this whole pandemic would disappear if only those noncompliant among us would just get the damn shot, thus enabling us to put this virus away forever.
The blaming and vilifying of those who are defying the enormous pressure likely have personal health reasons for doing so. But to read and hear the news, it seems they are simply covid deniers, QAnons, political holdouts, or those who think the shots are a means to track us. The last one is amusing, inasmuch as our cell phones already do this.
But without any countering opinions of respected scientists offering concerns about this vaccine, we are left to believe that the holdouts are selfish and ignorant.
However, a refreshing response to a Facebook post that mocked those who do their own research on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine shined a much-needed light, bringing some balance into this ongoing, one-sided narrative.
Because I don’t want to summarize this response, here it is in its entirety:
“I’d like to play devil’s advocate. You are doing the exact thing that you are accusing others of doing. Are you aware that Nobel Prize winners and other award-winning epidemiologists have opinions that differ from the mainstream narrative? Science is not a noun. It is not a fact. It is an ever-evolving fluid flow of information. We should be constantly re-evaluating new data. Which experts are we to listen to? Because there are thousands of them out there, and as uncomfortable as it may be, they have differing opinions. Until now, that has been okay and to be expected. It’s how we learn. In fact, in the study of science, falsifiability is a critical component. As a trained researcher/analyst, my spider sense goes off any time we are only told one side of a topic, in particular when it comes to subjects as complicated as medicine, viruses and the human body.”
I’d like to add to this by saying it would be valuable information to learn what is going on around the world. CBC Canada reported – as have many Israeli news sources – that, although Israel actually reached herd immunity in May, with zero new cases reported for a short while, this is no longer the case. Israeli health officials are reporting what appears to be a waning efficacy of the vaccine, including among those who have been vaccinated. Data show that – of the serious cases being admitted to hospitals — around 60% were fully vaccinated. Compare this with what we are told here – that 99.99% of hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated.
Many public health officials feel that what happened in Israel was first herd immunity, followed by two things: waning immunity and the emergence of the delta variant. It’s quite telling that they are not blaming this outbreak on a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
Of note is that the U.S. began massive vaccinations a few months after Israel, so our numbers are not yet as high as theirs. But we should listen with a bit more skepticism as the powers that be continue to parrot the 99.99% narrative. If they were paying attention to other parts of the world, they would realize the folly of using such a silly number.
All of this is not meant to inflict fear of what might be coming soon. In fact, the prime minister of Iceland with a high vaccination rate, said that even if 100% of the population were to be vaccinated, we still would not see the end of this virus so we should learn to live with it. Not because it’s a choice but because we will have no choice as the virus continues to mutate. But hopefully soon, it will weaken in its severity and contagion.
Until then, it contributes little to the conversation to scapegoat the unvaccinated who have zero, nil, nada nothing at all to do with either the vaccine’s efficacy or the emergence of a mutation, which happens every year as flu shots adapt to the latest version.
The issues that divide Americans have grown exponentially in recent years. Party affiliations, racial divides, pro-choice/pro-life antagonists, disagreements on climate change, gun control – all have driven a wedge between us. Do we really need to add vaccine stances to our us-against-them list?