The Pandemic of Unvaccinated Fools

Every day the local paper reports on the county’s Covid numbers — cases, hospitalizations, deaths. Rarely does the word “unvaccinated” appear. As though hiding that this is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

Vaccines don’t completely block Covid, but greatly reduce risks. And vaccinated people who do get “breakthrough” infections are far less likely to suffer and die.* Those now filling hospitals, and graves, are overwhelmingly unvaccinated.

A February 2 New York Times story highlighted that America’s Covid death rate far exceeds that for other wealthy nations. Not until the fifth paragraph was this connected to our lower vaccination rate. And look at the language used: “The country has failed to vaccinate as many people . . . the United States has fallen even further behind in administering booster shots . . . the country’s faltering effort to vaccinate its most vulnerable people . . . “

All making it sound like it’s the government mainly at fault. Well, our health system does have a lot of problems that have hampered our Covid response. But at this point jabs are easily available for all takers. The real problem now is not a “faltering effort” or with “administering” shots, but so many fools who refuse them. Something the article weirdly sidesteps.

The Times also recently reported a poll showing vaccinated people worry more about Covid than do the unvaccinated. Even though it’s the latter in much greater danger. Yet it’s actually logical. People who fear Covid get vaccinated. Those who don’t don’t. (They are heavily Republican.)**

And both sides actually get things wrong. Those fully vaxxed and boostered face minuscule danger; they can dial down the worrying. Their fearfulness has driven policy mistakes, especially school closures, likely harming kids (causing mental health and education deficits) more than Covid would. The other group not only refuses vaccination but also opposes masking and other precautions, thus aggravating risks. Suicidally dumb — hundreds of thousands of them dead.

This is a tragic reflection of America’s political polarization and related epistemology crisis. Too many losing the common sense to discriminate between trustable information sources and liars and quacks. Those falling for all the anti-vax nonsense out there are largely the same fools suckered by Trump’s “stolen election” lie. And so much other nonsense — it’s a whole alternative-reality bizarro world.

Canada is convulsed by truckers protesting against sanity. Dear Abby recently had a letter from a woman whose wedding was ruined by family members stomping off angrily when masks were distributed. That’s how far the craziness has gone.

Some jerks refuse vaccination by invoking “natural bodily immunity.”*** Biologists they are not. Millions died like flies from a host of diseases (like smallpox) before vaccines were developed. “Natural immunity” my ass. Or some simply insist God will protect them. I recall a woman relating that her parents trusted in Christian Science rather than mainstream medicine. “How’d that work out?” I asked. “Badly,” she replied. “They died young.” America nears a million Covid deaths.

And I’ve had it with all the “freedom” nonsense. I’m a goddamned libertarian. But I stop at red lights — even though that restricts my driving “freedom” — because it avoids endangering people, including me. A society of laws and rules protects everyone. Those anti-vaxxers might as well be demanding the “freedom” not only to go around spreading infection, but also to ignore traffic lights — and, for that matter, to kill, steal, and rape.

These idiots are not only infecting others, they’re also crowding out hospital care for non-Covid problems — another cause of needless deaths. But meantime, there’s growing sentiment for kissing off the unvaccinated, and opting for a policy of going on with life, without restrictions, living with the virus.

* It seems the booster is what really fights omicron; vaccine protection otherwise wanes over time.

** The poll also showed younger people fear Covid more than older ones, even though the latter are more endangered. But they’re also more likely “conservative,” and that political stance drives attitudes toward Covid.

*** Though many take annual flu shots and other routine jabs without a second thought.

7 Responses to “The Pandemic of Unvaccinated Fools”

  1. Ann Says:

    People who have had 3 jabs have died including doctor’s so their isn’t a comparison between who’s been jabbed and who hasent people are not fools the only people who are fools are men like my father who fought in a war for ignorant people like you

  2. rationaloptimist Says:

    Ann, your comment illustrates the problem.

  3. Robyn Blumner Says:

    So true!

    Robyn E. Blumner *President and CEO*, Center for Inquiry *Executive Director,* Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science

    The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Our vision is a world where people value evidence and critical thinking, where superstition and prejudice subside, and where science and compassion guide public policy.

    On Fri, Feb 11, 2022 at 8:45 AM The Rational Optimist wrote:

    > rationaloptimist posted: ” Every day the local paper reports on the > county’s Covid numbers — cases, hospitalizations, deaths. Rarely does the > word “unvaccinated” appear. As though hiding that this is now a pandemic of > the unvaccinated. Vaccines don’t completely block Covid, b” >

  4. Lee Says:

    Ann, yes even the vaccinated can catch, spread, or die from covid. But the odds for the unvaccinated are more than 10 times worse. That’s why I got vaccinated. To get much better odds for myself, my family, and my community.

  5. Lee Says:

    I think the press has done a poor job of explaining the mathematics of a pandemic. If an unvaccinated individual spreads COVID-19 to two individuals in a week, who each spread it two individuals in the following week, etc. then more than 2 million people will have been infected due to the initial individual after only 20 doublings.

    If on the other hand, vaccination is only 50% effective at slowing the spread then the first person spreads it to just one other person in the first week, who spreads it to just 1 person in the following week, etc. After 20 weeks a grand total of about 20 people have caught the disease.

    That’s a factor of 100,000 — 2 million reduced to 20 — even under the pessimistic assumption that the vaccine is only 50% effective.

  6. ragnarsbhut Says:

    I call bullshit on this.

  7. ragnarsbhut Says:

    Why is “my body, my choice” acceptable as an argument for the legality of abortion and yet the right to bodily autonomy is not given the same weight regarding any other form of medical procedure?

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