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S}#% I just don’t understand.

Here’s another tragic story about a 39 year old guy who died from Covid because he didn’t get the vaccine. The reason he didn’t get the vaccine? Check it out:

Micheal Freedy was not opposed to vaccination, his fiancee said. Like many Americans who have yet to get their coronavirus shots, the 39-year-old father just wanted to wait and learn more about how people reacted to the vaccines.

“All we were doing is waiting one year,” Jessica DuPreez, 37, told The Washington Post on Sunday.

I get it that people have unreasonable fears. I have one. It’s irrational. I know it’s irrational. I’ve been able to get around it in some instances but not in others.

The difference between Michael Freedy and me is that my irrational fear isn’t going to lead to my death.

I really don’t get it. I’m trying to wrap my head around this crazy, irrational, intense fear of an mRNA vaccine. No matter how I slice it, it makes no damn sense.

Is it because the average bear doesn’t understand it? If so, maybe an hour long Bill Nye the Science Guy documentary might be helpful. Make it mandatory for employees to see it. Then offer them the shot.

Is it because they think they have some magical grace period that people who get infected do not have? Like the virus hesitates before infecting them? “Oh yeah, can’t infect this guy yet. He’s on the waiting list”? Maybe they need a crash course in the perils of magical thinking. There are plenty of cautionary tales.

Are they really that concerned with side effects? There have been hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine administered in the country. Chances are they know a lot of people who got the shot. How is it they won’t believe the experiences of hundreds of millions of people? This is the thing that puzzles me the most.

When I was on the board of Ed years ago, one of the things that annoyed the f out of me was when our township decided to do away with science textbooks in fourth grade and replace them with packets. Yep, the teacher would get a kit of materials and explanatory documents that only she/he had. The students would learn science topics from these kits. But after they were finished, there would be no further resources for them unless they looked stuff up themselves.

I didn’t think that was going to be enough. So I asked the curriculum advisor what was the thinking. She said, most K-8 teachers didn’t understand science. The concepts were difficult for them to explain. The kits were a better alternative for them. And then she went on to praise the value of critical thinking in a way that only educators soaked in buzzwords without any context can.

Maybe I shouldn’t have worried so much. My school district went warp speed on most curriculum after the R&D professionals found the new developments in town and moved in. They just taught their kids themselves.

I’d hate to think that our public schools are responsible for this. But I am beginning to think that you shouldn’t be able to graduate until you can pass a class in disease control and prevention. Make seniors take it in health class. Give them an online test with randomized questions. Withhold their diplomas until they can pass it. Make it as important as getting a drivers permit. Do not make it an opt out requirement. No parental excuses allowed. That way, graduates should be somewhat immunized psychologically before the next pandemic.

This imaginary thinking is as unacceptable as it is mystifying. And it’s got to stop.

14 Responses

  1. Reading a text book… even a ‘science kit’ pamphlet is so passe… Today they just let them access UTube. I am happy to be old.

    • There’s a lot of good stuff on YouTube. It just doesn’t replace a solid science curriculum.

  2. That is a very good point, it is essential for schools to inform students of the nature of diseases, and how to follow the mandated procedures to combat them. I think that much of the general controversy about textbooks has come from the so-called religious Right, which doesn’t want science to gain precedence over religion. The great distrust of science in this country is very likely related to that.

    And then there is something I had mentioned, where some kind of poll found that some people “were tired of having Democrats tell them what to do.” So if Biden and his health care experts strongly recommend something, then these people reflexively reject it, as a perverse sign of independence. And those right-wing politicians who seem to have deliberately increased the illiteracy and ignorance of much of the population, are significantly responsible for the fact that America, with all the vaccine availability necessary, has 100 million people who refuse to be vaccinated, whereas England has a much higher compliance rate, and is doing much better now. Unfortunately, the ignorant not only risk themselves, but in a final stroke of defiance, risk those who know better, and do the necessary things.

  3. One of my co-workers was horrified when she learned that her son’s teacher explained that to convert Centigrade to Fahrenheit you just add 32.
    She was still more horrified to learn that the principal and school board were not concerned. I think they told her something like, “It’s only 8th grade.” And this was in a “great” school district.

    She became more strict about following what he was being taught.

    • I keep forgetting it you multiply centigrade by 1.8 or by 5/9 and then add or subtract 32. And I wuz a chemist.

      • I just checked. (C° x 1.8) +32 = F°

        • The solution, RD, is to marry a Canadian who refuses to do Fahrenheit. I can do that conversion in my head now. Automagically, in fact.

          And I wuz a kemist two.

        • Are you sure?

          -40 C * 1.8 + 32 = -40 F

          Now I believe RD will be sure… but my guess is that principal and school board in the ‘really great’ district would have their doubts.

          • I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around that. It’s just weird.

          • Anything you can plot on a graph unless the lines are parallel has to intersect someplace for this it just happens to be -40

          • Yeah, but -40c° and -40F° are too completely different kinds of cold.

  4. I think this all ties in with my “at least two semesters of calculus to be allowed to vote” proposal.

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