ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.
Once upon a time, but not long ago, smoking cigarettes, use of tobacco, was regarded by the medical community as the single most preventable cause of death. Big Tobacco’s lofty No. 1 standing in that category has been eclipsed, however.
As retired MLive reporter Julie Mack asserted earlier this week in a guest editorial, it’s nothing short of baffling, the huge numbers of people who refuse to be vaccinated against a virus that has killed more than 600,000 people in the United States and millions worldwide.
It’s even more batpoop crazy when we are told by medical experts that the latest “Delta” variant of Covid-19, which originated in India, is causing a huge uptick in cases and deaths right on our doorstep, and more than 99% of the deaths are of people who aren’t vaccinated.
If you do the math, even at the most basic levels, it’s obvious that anyone who wants to survive the pandemic must roll up his or her sleeve.
I was one of the stupid deniers of the dangers of smoking cigarettes for many years until finally succumbing to health logic in 1991. Aside from gaining a lot of weight, I’m not at all sorry, and I have yet to meet anyone who regrets quitting smoking.
Yes, we were stupid. But many of gave up the evil cancer sticks before they did us in. For some, it was too late.
Another part of my astonishment is that I routinely was administered three polio shots during my elementary schooling in the 1950s. The kids all lined up in the basement next to the cafeteria to get stuck. None of us wanted the poke, but our parents insisted.
I don’t recall any pushback for vaccines in those days, though I acknowledge it probably existed. What I do recall is not long afterward polio and several other dread diseases, such as smallpox, diphtheria and measles became a thing of the past, at least until recent years, making a comeback during the Anti-Vax craze.
This is not rocket science, yet too many Americans, some of them friends, are still in denial about the efficacy of the shots. This, despite a very clear decline in the Covid threat in recent months, to the point we’re eating out in restaurants, going shopping without masks and hugging loved ones. We went from a public health crisis in mid-April to near normalcy in early July.
Just a coincidence? I believe it not.
We Americans have a right to be proud that effective vaccines were developed in our midst. As one friend insisted, it was like the Manhattan Project 75 years later, good old Yankee Ingenuity. It’s like we sent for the cavalry, and they came quickly to the rescue.
Yet more than 40% of Americans still refuse to get a vaccine that very well could save their lives. Even worse, they could spread it to children who cannot get vaccinated, creating the possibility of our own bizarre self-destruction.
“We have met the enemy and he is us.” — Walt Kelly, Pogo