Ending the COVID epidemic is everyone’s responsibility

Showing good example

Last week, I needed to see the doctor and because I had a cough. He asked me to have a COVID test, which I did. (It was negative) Not looking forward to having those extra-long cotton swaps pushed up my nose, I waited for my turn. A young man was admitted immediately – no waiting for him. I couldn’t believe how sick he looked – so weak that his wife had to hold his body upright in the wheelchair. When the admission staff saw his condition, they rushed him to intensive care.

A week before, I visited Valladolid. What an amazing place. There are new restaurants, attractions and more. My daughter and I had a wonderful visit. But it was very hot. We kept our masks on though, because that is what we need to do. Not all tourists were doing likewise, and I could see they made the townspeople extremely nervous.

Under normal circumstances, I subscribe to a “live and let live” policy. Neither do I willy-nilly put my opinion out in public because I don’t like to invite arguments. But with the antivaxers and those who do not follow the sanitary protocols, I have lost all patience.

Antivaxers claim their rights are at stake. They say they are at peril by accepting vaccines – AKA foreign substances – into their bodies. Those who refuse to mask and keep a safe distance have lots of excuses. They are tired of the restrictions. They want their life back.  

Well boys and girls, we all want our lives to be healthy and enjoyable, but it isn’t possible right now.

To be fair, I have duly noted my information sources about the major arguments cited for not vaccinating (for COVID or any other perilous disease) as a postscript after this post.

Although the antivaxers claims their rights are being abused, in reality I feel their propaganda and rumor-mongering he is holding the rest of us hostage. Getting infected with COVID is not the only consequence. Because of the pandemic, our lives are on hold. And until more people are vaccinated, we won’t reach herd immunity and the virus will keep on multiplying. Unless everyone pulls together, this situation will drag on and on for years.

Many people are in emotional crisis. The rumors and dire statistics have caused them to be fearful. Many are even scared to go outside. The lack of social contact is causing terrible stress.

Economically, almost everyone has been devastated. So many businesses have closed or are barely making ends meet. I know one restaurant owner who had to sell their home to keep paying rent and staff.

Restricted travel is not just about going or not going on holiday… there are many people who have not been ableto see their families for almost two years because COVID numbers cause some nations to enforce travel bans on citizens traveling from high-risk countries.  

This has affected me on a personal level. I have been unable to see our only granddaughter since Christmas 2019. She lives in a European country that will not allow those living in Mexico (vaccinated or not) into the country. This is because our new infection rates are so high. Even with proof of vaccination they cannot enter, unless they agree to a 2 week quarantine. A couple of weeks is all the time most people can realistically be away. And so we’d spend thousands of dollars to fly over there, only to stay in an outrageously expensive quarantine facility, and not even be able to see the child.

Education is in shambles. So many kids have fallen behind and will not easily recuperate the skills they were acquiring. Can you imagine having young children cooped up at home all day, every day, for the past year and a half?

University students also are severely impacted. Their whole future is in peril because, let’s face it, the online instruction cannot take the place of face-to-face interaction and socialization, practicums, internships and labs.

Has the world’s population lost all compassion? We who elect to believe scientists, instead of random posting on the internet, cannot comprehend that refusing a vaccine is all about about standing up for a principal that is vital. To me their refusal is not like protecting the right to assemble. This is not like legitimate protesting over illegal traffic of weapons, drugs or people. This isn’t about condemning global warming. This is not about protesting for women’s rights or sexual exploitation of children. As of today, there have been 198,924,606 recorded infections by COVID 19. Many have recovered, thanks to medical help, but nearly 5,000,000 people have died.

To me, refusing to get vaccinated or non-conformance to sanitary protocols is just plain selfish. It is ridiculous posturing. Come on – wake up people!

***

The opinions stated in this post are my own. My health-related  information comes from:

the Public Heath website:

https://www.publichealth.org/public-awareness/understanding-vaccines/vaccine-myths-debunked/

the Forbes website:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jemimamcevoy/2021/06/03/microchips-and-shedding-here-are-5-debunked-covid-vaccine-conspiracy-theories-spreading-online/?sh=160fd46b26af

And the Healthline website

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/doctors-debunk-9-popular-covid-19-vaccine-myths-and-conspiracy-theories#Myth:-The-COVID-19-vaccine-makes-you-magnetic

Image from Insider

Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include reading, painting, cooking and travel.

12 thoughts on “Ending the COVID epidemic is everyone’s responsibility

  1. I like the to compare vaccination and mask-wearing refusal to drunk driving. Both can directly cause morbidity and fatalities. So why do our laws penalize drunk drivers and give science-denying anti-vaxxers a pass?

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    1. Bravo Joanna! I know, with all the restrictions, things are tough for a lot of people and I can understand most of their issues. However, not to be vaccinated is totally unacceptable, rude and inscane. They wait until they are at death’s door and then beg for the cure. I have no pity for them. Without the discoveries and belief in science the people who scoff at science today most likely would not even be here to give voice – Think of the past pandemics the world has faced and give praise to science. The world is changing once again as it did after the Black Plague, Chicken Pox, Polio, Spanish Flu, and SARS.
      Changes in our lives are inevitable and will continue – it’s a fact of life – Just as the title of your blog suggest.
      Thank you!

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  2. Excellent post, Joanna! Thank goodness we have a vaccine that can prevent serious illness and death from covid. Too bad we do not have a vaccine that cures stupidity. — I’m with you all the way!!!

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  3. We share a lot of the same views on this topic. The speed with which the vaccines were developed was close to a scientific miracle. The people who worked hard financing and setting up the initial program should be congratulated (and I grudgingly add President Trump to that list). Because of that, I gladly accepted the jab as soon as it was available in this area of Mexico for my age group.

    But I am a bit alarmed at the way some people now demonize people who choose not to be vaccinated. To me, choosing not to vaccinate is not a wise decision. I am willing to concede that there a few people who have medical conditions that are not conducive to vaccinations. But that is a handful and not a reason for people en masse to choose not to be vaccinated. Nervousness over the speed of the approval process is also understandable, and a good topic of discussion.

    Setting aside the reasons people give for not vaccinating, the rhetoric that others use against them (and I am not including you in that category) simply is not helpful. No one has ever been persuaded to do anything because of hectoring or being called “stupid.” People who resort to that type of persuasion are usually called “my first spouse.”

    Reductionist name-calling is always the first step in stripping away a person’s humanity. We can do almost anything to people once they no longer resemble us. The power of “nigger” and “Jap” is what led Americans to do terrible things. Every time I hear similar terms used against people with whom we disagree, I think of Whittaker Chambers’ review of Ayn Rand’s doorstop novel: ” From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: ‘To a gas chamber — go!'” And I do not want to live in a world like that — with or without the vaccine.

    Almost all of my Mexican friends who were adamant anti-vaxxers have obtained at least their first shot. Up until now, our area of Mexico has been spared most of the ill effects of the virus, but this new wave has hit our villages hard. The repeated requests for oxygen equipment is proof of that. Seeing people in distress has helped soften up the ground in my attempts to persuade my friends to get vaccinated. The threat of cutting off financial support also had a persuasive ring of logic for them.

    So, I have hope that some people will join the vaccinated ranks. With a bit of patience, perseverance, and creativity, most people here can be persuaded. The largest problem will be fighting off the waves of variants that will continue to plague us until the world is vaccinated. The Economist models that date, at current rates, somewhere in 2024, with the possibility of an earlier date if the West does what needs to be done.

    Until then, I will treat my acquaintances who do not get vaccinated as people who make choices with which I am not in accord. But I will not treat them as anything less than I do on any other decision with which I disagree. I will continue to persuade. Because that is what we do in a liberal democratic society. We will leave the demonization to the Nazis and the Communists, who are far better at that sort of thing than we are.

    Thanks for the piece.

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    1. Steve another thoughtful response as always. I do agree with your comments regarding the demonization of those who refuse to be vaccinated as being counterproductive and inflammatory.

      I do not however accept the argument that the expectation or even requirement to be vaccinated is some slippery slope to an authoritarian Uber-state.

      For this I use the analogy of traffic laws. In order to reduce the chaos and danger on our roadways we long ago concluded that we( in North America) shall drive on the right side of the road. All of us trust and expect fellow drivers to do so, always, it is not discretionary.

      It is this faith in the behaviour of fellow citizens that allows us to keep getting behind the wheel with some sense of security in our survival.

      Failure to drive on the right or breach other basic precepts of safe driving,when observed, receive sanctions in the form of fines or even forfeiture of liability insurance. Certain extenuating circumstances can get one off the hook such as dodging a moose(I am a Canadian) but there are processes to assess the merits of the arguments, but as I stated, it is not a personal choice, it is expected of all.

      Faith in fellow citizens, largely strangers whom we shall never meet,to respect the rights of other citizens and to act according to the accepted norms of behaviours and actions is in my view a foundational piece of what constitutes a functioning society.

      In matters such as this I don’t care if a fellow citizen doesn’t wish to follow the shared concensus as to what personal “ freedoms” are compromised in the need to order our individual behaviours to protect fellow citizens.

      For me vaccination is staying in your lane.

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    2. I appreciate your civil language and considering how strongly I feel about this issue, I believe I exhibited remarkable restraint with my languge. I did not call anti-vaxxers and the unmasked masses anything worsr than, selfish, and I stand by that. I also have good friends who have not vaccinated and I continue to speak on the phone with them, but I don’t see them face-to-face. It has not been easy for our family through the pandemic and if you want to hear about the state of our college, I could give you an earful. We could easily lose the business that we have nurtured for 32 years. And I’m sorry if I sound undemocratic but I do resent anyone whose actions contribute to the continuation of the restrictions. Sorry but that is how I feel. On this planet we all depend on one another. That we have all these antivax and antimask people seriously thwarts the efforts of all the dedicated professionals who worked on the vaccines, medical personnel who gave (and continue to give) their lives because they cared for those infected with COVID. I think that in your many books, you’ll find a lot of examples of the times in the course of the world’s history when (as I already said) we need to pull together.

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  4. The next issue will be even more vocal objection to the ‘vaccination passport’ as trampling on their rights and freedoms. Do these people have drivers’ licences? Or do they just drive unsafely wherever and whenever they desire.?

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