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Stop walking on eggshells

I’m listening to the Slate podcast on vaccine resistance and the narrative is that refuseniks are going to shoot the messenger no matter how the plea, suggestion, encouragement to get vaccinated is phrased.

My take is the refusers and their political heros of the moment are radically anti-government. Lauren Boebert would be very much at home in Pol Pot’s Cambodia. All the snooty intellectuals would be shot on sight and the bureaucrats would be marched off to the rural areas to plant rice and recite slogans about the evils of government. The country would be so much better if it was reduced to an agrarian golden age where everyone is living behind palisade enclaves with their guns and ice picks at the ready.

A brief aside on The Walking Dead series. It kind of demonstrates what life is like without government. It’s high anxiety all the time. It’s only when the characters have brief interludes of communal living with rules and expectations with government of sorts, sometimes democracy, sometimes monarchy, that they actually can let their guards down a little and enjoy their lives. The scary groups usually have a cult leader who requires strict obedience and the willingness of the disciples to sacrifice themselves.

Back to my point. The argument continues to be that the refusers are objecting to how the pleas are phrased. They don’t like the idea of vaccine “passports” or people going house to house calling on their neighbors to get shots. Come to think of it, Jehovah’s Witnesses would be ideal for this purpose since the ones I know were enthusiastically first to be vaccinated. Their whole business model relies on face to face interactions with the public.

There’s some consternation with the Biden administration that they haven’t figured out how to breakthrough the resistance to make the holdouts get the shots. Short of boarding up people in their houses and placing guards around the place to keep the infected from escaping, just like they did during the Black Plague outbreaks centuries ago, there’s nothing much more that Biden can do. We live in a free country. That means you can do pretty much any idiotic thing you want as long as you’re not breaking the law. And they will.

This kind of nonsense has been going on since time immemorial. Noah supposedly had a hard time getting his neighbors to take his weather forecast seriously. But people did what they wanted and only started to regret it when they realized that flooding was no joke and no one bothered to learn how to swim.

I guess Biden can offer to pay people to get the shots. Those of us who are already vaccinated probably won’t feel too put off by this if it means that we all don’t have to spend another year of lockdown.

Remember how depressing that was? No barbecues, no restaurants, no live music? Do we really want to go back to that? No. But I can guarantee you that the refusers have no intention of being locked down anyway. They’ll just defy the lockdown and mask mandates.

How much would we have to pay them? I’m not sure. These are hard core libertarians who hate any government interventions at all unless it’s to kick some poor country’s ass in an unprovoked war for the oil (until that starts to get boring and expensive and we don’t actually get all the oil). Or police interventions to keep the underclass permanently under. Or women from doing whatever the hell they want and not taking a clue that their independence is ruining the economic self interest of the white males at the top of the food chain. Or social security and Medicare, which are dirty little secret socialist programs they actually approve of because they paid for them all their lives. But other than all that, the government should keep out of their lives, they growl menacingly, even if it wants to save their lives and prevent the country from collapsing under the weight of so much disruption to its commerce, industry and agriculture.

We have to stop trying to convince these people to get the shots. At this point, nothing is going to make them get vaccinated until the Delta variant is all around them and they start scrambling for higher ground. At that point, it will be too late.

It will be really sad at that moment. Because our natural instincts will be to help those people. Natural disasters bring out the first responders in us. We donate, we rescue, we comfort. But in this case, there will be nothing we can do except watch them get sick and possibly die.

They are living in the richest country in the world with the best recovery from a shitty public health response last year. This place is awash with vaccines. We are the envy of the world. Other nations with dying populations wish they could be us and plead with us to send the vaccines we have reserved for the people who are still holding out. Think about that. We have millions and millions of unused doses that places like India and African nations would do anything to have.

We might as well give them away to those nations at this point. The refusers are convinced that they can survive this. And it’s true that most of them will. Some will get sick and feel pretty awful for a week or two, some will get sick and die. But most will be fine. The question you got to ask yourself is: do you feel lucky today, punk?

That’s the risk they want to take. There’s no use trying to talk sense into them about the possibility that they will cook the next variant in their bodies that will perpetuate this cycle forever.

They’re looking to their hero. The guy who got seriously ill, faked his condition for a few days, then went to the hospital to receive an experimental, unapproved monoclonal antibody treatment that virtually no one else in the world has access to.

He didn’t tough it out. His fat ass was saved by science. But he wants his disciples to follow him unquestioningly, obediently, and sacrifice themselves on command. Let’s take a moment to savor the whip kissing submission of these guys to their authority figure. Yes, these same people who swear ain’t no one going to tell them what to do will let Donald Trump dominate them and will willingly kill themselves for the right to do anything they want without government intervention. Irony has a wicked sense of humor.

No one is going to whisper to them what to do unless it is their leader. At this point, we’re going to have to let them go. The variant is already here and it’s too late for them to get protected in time.

Libertarian MAGA cultists have to learn the hard way.

9 Responses

  1. I’m concerned about breakthrough infections. I had the J&J back in March. I have a serious chronic illness and developed Guillian Barre Syndrome following my Covid shot. GBS is an autoimmune condition that can be life-threatening. I don’t know how much immunity my body created after my shot(?). I continue to wear a mask whenever I am around anyone but my SO. Last night on PBS News Hour, host Judy Woodruff asked Dr. Fauci, whom I greatly respect, about breakthrough infections. Yes, they are occurring but he said “most” are mild cases. “Most” is not all, however, just like “most” do not get GBS after their shots. But I did. I will keep wearing my mask. I ask people who come to visit us to wear masks too even if they have been fully vaccinated.

    All the Evangelicals I know are vaccinated. They were quick in line for their shots. One elderly Evangelical couple, in their late 80’s, went to a vaccine site at 7am as soon as the shots were available. Vaccine refusal does not seem to be a problem here among Evangelicals.

    • Breakthrough is going to happen. Something like 183 million Americans have had two doses. I’ve heard that 60% of admissions to hospitals in the UK have had two doses. However, I don’t think it is specified what they went to the hospital for. It could have been gall bladder removal or kidney infections. Who knows. Also not said is that it shouldn’t be surprising vaccinated people are testing positive. The whole idea behind vaccination is that you can get infected but not sick.
      So, we have to look at these studies and ask ourselves what they are really telling us.

    • My naive, layman’s observation is that developing an autoimmune condition after the vaccine probably indicates that it produced *some* immune response. I sincerely hope so. I had a friend who developed GBS in the late 1970s and it is a very scary condition indeed. He made a complete recovery and I hope you do, too.

  2. I think Medicare should require vaccinations. No vaccine, no Medicare. Private insurers could do same. And Medicaid. At least their utter stupidity won’t cost the rest of us money and they will die sooner. Cull the herd. Covid is our form of voter suppression.

    • Yeah, but unfortunately they’ll still be a breeding ground for new variants and potentially expose people who either can’t tolerate or don’t respond to the vaccine. Unfortunately, their stupidity and obstinance is going to affect other people no matter what.

      • I know that, but believe me, if these people were going to lose their insurance, they would be lining up lickity split.

        • Marjorie Taylor Greene will just make them do more pull-ups. That fixes everything.

  3. Here’s a quote for you:

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