MANDATE THE VACCINE
We all know that there are lot of ways to commit suicide. I believe that when you want to leave this life, you should be allowed to do so on your own terms. If someone wants out, there are any number of options. Robin Williams, Marilyn Monroe and so many others seeking an exit have done it. One assumes that many of those people knew what they wanted and got it. You might argue that some kind of an intervention could have stopped the suicide at the right moment and the person could have lived to an older age. I get that. We have thousands of mental health professionals who can help people get through tough times.
Right now, we are seeing millions of people who are taking a chance on suicide by refusing to get vaccinated. They could be saving their own lives and the lives of their loved ones but have chosen to not get the shot. Maybe I’m nuts, but it seems to me that not following the medical advice to get vaccinated if you can pretty much amounts to suicide. Oh, in some cases you won’t die from COVID-19 but as over 600,000 American families know, in some cases you might.
People all over the country and the world are listening to lies and refusing to accept reality and the ultimate outcome could well be death. So to me, it is either suicide, or the other “s” world, stupidity. If for medical reasons you can’t get the vaccine, that’s one thing. But I’m talking about those who can and choose not to.
Let’s take the compelling pieces that we see on television or all over social media. You know, the ones that show a father on a ventilator. We see his children looking on and we see the father saying, “I should have taken the shot.” So did he know what the consequences of not taking the shot would be? Some people deny it’s COVID right up until the end. What could they possibly be thinking? Maybe like so many of the idiots we saw on January 6th, they are saying, “Trump sent me.”
We know that during World War II, there were some Japanese soldiers who would take their own lives rather than surrender. There are people who see themselves as “patriots” — Trump followers who think that it is important to follow the message of the lying ex-president even though he himself took the shot. In some way, maybe these people are members of a death cult. They see themselves as committed soldiers who will follow their leader to the death.
Anyone who believes that they know why huge swaths of the population have not taken the shot might want to write a column of your own. To me, it is suicide — pure and simple stupidity. I have been counseled by people who heard me say that on the air. They tell me that name calling is unacceptable. I just don’t get it. We know that if people don’t get vaccinated, they are a menace to all of America. It’s simple. We have known from the beginning that in order to establish herd immunity, over 70 percent of the American people have to get vaccinated. In fact, there are so many lies about the vaccine and lame excuses for not taking the shot that you’d have to go back in history to the Holocaust and all those Germans who believed Hitler’s lies about the Jews to see how dangerous this is.
The media must keep telling the story. We have to save our populations by mitigating risk. How it came to be that not taking the shot, suiciding, became Trumpian orthodoxy followed by so many is beyond me. We have to save ourselves and the way to do that is by mandating that every American get the vaccine.
Alan Chartock is professor emeritus at the State University of New York, publisher of the Legislative Gazette and president and CEO of the WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network. Readers can email him at [email protected]