As is known from CDC data provided on September 22, 2021, 54.9% of the total American population has been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Nearly two years into the pandemic that ground the entire globe to a standstill, one begs the question, is that it? America has become so polarized that on issues that would otherwise seem like common sense to pull together as a united nation, like climate change, infrastructure, and healthcare, many of our compatriots have opted to live in an alternate reality. These days every time that there is a talking point in the public discourse, a slugfest ensues, name calling is prevalent, and too frequently nobody moves an inch from their initial position. America has long prided itself on being the leading nation of the free world, assembling mass coalitions, mobilizing the people of Earth towards the perceived common good. What happens when Americans themselves cannot be rallied en masse by their own countrymen and women? Surely that undermines our credibility the world over. In recent days the number of COVID-19 positive cases has skyrocketed throughout largely unvaccinated populations located predominantly in the southern and midwestern parts of America. Over and over again I keep hearing from some unvaccinated people that they refuse to get vaccinated, not because they disagree with the science per se, but because they do not respond well to being told what to do. It is an incredibly childish and unfathomably selfish approach to a pandemic that in the beginning we were supposedly all in, together.
Unvaccinated people ask why do they need to take precaution in the presence of vaccinated individuals, is keeping people relatively healthy against COVID-19 not after all the supposed function of the vaccine? To those incredibly shortsighted and delusional amongst us, the reason why it is so important to keep the mask on and to take precautions if unvaccinated around vaccinated folks is due to the fact with nearly half the country still not fully vaccinated. The unvaccinated population is something of a guinea pig training ground for the virus that is desperate to mutate so it can multiply easier in human beings. COVID-19’s mutations, particularly as we get into fall and winter where we will in most parts of the United States begin to be in closer quarters indoors, is a recipe for disaster. The mutations after a certain point may outpace our ability to create an effective vaccine. If however the unvaccinated got vaccinated the virus would have nowhere to try out different mutations on human beings as it would be blocked by the vaccine, and slowly but surely we would resume our normal lives. With all that being said, nearly two years into the pandemic, hospitalizations are rising and so are deaths. The American health system is once again being stressed to unsustainable levels and our healthcare workers are utterly exhausted. Perhaps henceforth it would be prudent to make all those vehemently anti-vaccine folk sign a waiver stipulating that if they contract the virus and are seriously ill they can be turned away on a case-by-case basis so healthcare staff can have ICU beds available for all of life’s daily emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes, and accidents. It is absolutely the right of the unvaccinated to not get vaccinated, but this is America after all, as they so often point out, and actions or inactions have consequences here.