My dad’s brother in Wisconsin was impacted his whole life by contracting polio. My mom, who grew up as a youngster in Arkansas, spoke of the dread families would experience when bouts of disease would spread through a community. Protecting children and loved ones was the obvious priority, but without preventive measures, such as vaccines, there was only so much that could be done.
So when I read the news reports of people refusing to accept science and advice from medical professionals about the COVID-19 vaccine I think of those who knew what it was like to truly have no options to fight certain viruses. I think of those in the family who have shared their stories long before this pandemic struck. As a lover of history, I think about the diseases which impacted those who resided in the White House.
Diphtheria claimed the lives of children from Presidents Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, and Grover Cleveland. Garfield also lost a child to pertussis. The story of Franklin Delano Roosevelt being diagnosed with polio at age 39 is well known. Lincoln became ill with smallpox a few days before delivering the Gettysburg Address. George Washington had bad luck for sure, contracting diphtheria, malaria, and smallpox, all during his teenage years.
But I also am aware of the ones who knew, over 200 years ago, that personal responsibility for the greater good mattered.
In his younger years, John Adams conducted a lot of business in Boston. During the 1760s, a smallpox epidemic broke out and he did not want to risk infection so he was intentionally inoculated with smallpox. That was a very common practice at the time. Called variolation, the virus was taken from a pustule of one person and inoculated into another.
His rationale for being brave was the process of inoculation was “preferable to living in fear of the disease.”
Today Adams’ logic is lost on a whole segment of the nation. So we must ask a most obvious question of those chuckleheads in our nation who refuse logic and science.
The unvaccinated are making for a very bad situation in a burned-out healthcare system. Is it proper if those unvaccinated who refused the shots then demand urgent expensive emergency room care? It is a hard burden on our nation, on both our health and economic fronts.
Meanwhile, in 2021, from Springfield Missouri, comes this story.
Springfield is beginning to face shutdowns and quarantines again.
Alarid said one of the recovery homes his church manages experienced a Covid outbreak in recent weeks, requiring residents to quarantine. On Tuesday, the church had to cancel its Festival of Hope for the second year in a row, after holding it for the previous nine years. On Wednesday, Alarid said a fundraising banquet for the recovery home that was scheduled in two weeks will now take place online, instead of in person as planned.
These choices, along with his decision to get vaccinated and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance in his church, has led to pushback from members within the congregation. Some people have left the church, and he said he’s heard theories ranging from the vaccine containing alien blood to it being “the mark of the beast.”
The level of absurdity among our citizenry can be found in countless news articles.
Most Americans who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 say they are unlikely to get the shots and doubt they would work against the aggressive delta variant despite evidence they do, according to a new poll that underscores the challenges facing public health officials amid soaring infections in some states.
Among American adults who have not yet received a vaccine, 35% say they probably will not, and 45% say they definitely will not, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Just 3% say they definitely will get the shots, though another 16% say they probably will.
What’s more, 64% of unvaccinated Americans have little to no confidence the shots are effective against variants — including the delta variant that officials say is responsible for 83% of new cases in the U.S. — despite evidence that they offer strong protection. In contrast, 86% of those who have already been vaccinated have at least some confidence that the vaccines will work.
Working in a nursing home became one of the “most dangerous jobs” in America in 2020, according to an analysis of work-related deaths by Scientific American.
Yet seven months after the first vaccines became available to medical professionals, only 59% of staff at the nation’s nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are fully or partially vaccinated — with eight states reporting an average rate of less than half, according to CMS data updated last week.