Every day about 28 people in the United States die from drunk-driving accidents. Too often the drunk walks away leaving death and devastation in his or her weaving path. And yet the statistical probability remains that if you’re drunk and you get in your car and drive home you will make it there alive and unscathed. For years their egos told the drunk they were the exception, that they’d make it home — and statistics backed them up.
But within my lifetime and the lifetimes of many reading these words, education and persistent applications of stiff anti-drunk driving legislation has turned what was once fashionable into something shameful. Today even the crustiest and most inveterate partier has a designated driver, something unthinkable forty years ago.
Every day about 750 people in the United States die from coronavirus. Too often the unvaccinated person who infected them walks away leaving death and devastation in his or her path. And yet the probability remains that if you decline the vaccination you won’t die from COVID. While it is true that many repentant anti-vaxxers wind up in hospitals and on ventilators and some of them die, most anti-vaxxers don’t die.
(In fact 99.9% of people on ventilators today are on ventilators because they haven’t been vaccinated)
We have laws against drunk driving not because everyone who drives drunk will kill someone. We have laws against drunk driving because we value human life too much and because we are unwilling to take the risk — however small — that someone will die because of it. And it’s worked. Since 1982, drunk driving fatalities on America’s roadways have decreased 52%, while total traffic fatalities have declined 18%. And nobody whines about their human rights being violated.
It’s very much our business whether or not someone drives drunk, and we still justly celebrate the hero who grabs the drunk’s keys and tosses them into the bushes. Yet the nonsense persists that it’s somehow none of our business whether or not a person gets vaccinated. This isn’t due to actual belief in the unvaccinated person’s civil rights, it’s due to muddy thinking. Those of us who think this is some kind of “my body, my choice” issue don’t understand the implications of that choice because they don’t believe in it. They may pay intellectual lip service to the lessons of Louis Pasteur but fundamentally they just don’t understand those lessons.
Anti-vaxxers are the same sort of people who don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom. They are the same sort of people who believe in “the ten second rule,” that is, if you drop a piece of food on the floor you can still eat it if you pick it up within ten seconds. This is human ignorance combined with arrogance combined with that other pandemic, mistrust of science. I’ve always found it deeply and almost laughably ironic that people who don’t believe in science spread their ignorance across one of mankind’s greatest scientific achievements — the internet.
I realize that approximately 22% of Americans are anti-vaxxers and I’m done debating them. Just as I won’t enter into a debate about whether or not the square root of 4 is 2, I won’t debate this. That debate is over. If you refuse to get vaccinated then you’re at least as big a jerk as the moron who wilfully drives drunk. This isn’t a matter of personal choice, you cretin, you are putting other human lives in danger, you selfish twit.
We need to stop “respecting” the rights of these fools exactly the way we stopped “respecting” someone’s right to get drunk and operate a motor vehicle. If you’re still an anti-vaxxer it’s because you’re too lazy to do research into the literally tons of statistics, controlled experiments, scientific studies and scientific reasoning that proves you’re wrong.
The really galling part is what’s at stake. The lives of the anti-vaxxer’s children and the gullible halfwits who believe their stupid propaganda are at stake, and still they won’t lift a finger to read the science. We have the greatest research tool ever invented by the mind of humanity — Google — and anti-vaxxers only use it to find more bias-confirming, fuzzy-thinking lies to back up their idiotic position.
If the anti-vaxxer who thinks we are being microchipped through a syringe wasn’t a shiftless, stupid punk, they’d actually educate themselves on the state of the art of microchips. They would discover that a microchip of the necessary size — thousands of times smaller than the smallest microchip available today — simply doesn’t exist. And even if it did, it wouldn’t have the power to transmit any useful information about us. And even if it did, what could it say? Our number of daily bowel movements? Our location? I think our phones take care of the latter. The former I don’t want to know about.
If the anti-vaxxer mallet-head who believes the coronavirus vaccines alter our genes bothered to do any research, they would discover that the vaccines don’t interact with our DNA — ever, for any reason. If the anti-vaxxer mallet-head who believes the coronavirus vaccines infect us with coronavirus bothered to read the literature, they would discover that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines don’t contain any coronavirus.
I have no tolerance for anti-vaxxers. This modern pandemic of ignorance is part of human superstition and has no place in the 21st century. Anti-vaxxers will be laughed at by our descendants, if we have any. And if we don’t have any descendants, much if not most of the blame will rest with anti-vaxxers and their ilk. I’m done debating this. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.