Let’s first acknowledge that I’m not writing this for those who believe in the science backing up that mRNA Covid19 vaccination is a good thing.
The people who are choosing based on numbers and science, do not need convincing.
And even more so today, when information leaked from China, that their traditional method of extracting a vaccine has supposedly led to a (traditional) vaccine that is less effective.
I am also not writing this for the ones who identify with a certain religion, a certain spiritual lineage or leader, or who deeply align with certain principles, such as freedom of choice or a desire to keep things close to how mother nature intended them.
They will not need extra information or input on their decision.
They have their faith to guide them.
And we should respect that because ultimately, no one knows the answer for certain.
What I will say, and I may risk getting my message removed from the socials, so I will speak about this in the most careful terms, is that from the perspective of risk spreading I m actually surprised all governments seem to be aiming at vaccinating as many people as possible.
Where I think keeping part of your population non-vaccinated is always a good idea, and although you cannot and should not withhold vaccines: If part of your population does not want it, I think that comes up with a perfect mix of 10-20% staying unprotected.
It’s like with those bananas you can get in the supermarket since the 50’s: They’re all Cavendish bananas, they’re “clones”, infertile, and were selected because they were resistant to the Panama disease that wiped out their predecessor Gros Michel.
But in 2008 the race 4 mutation of the same Panama disease started affecting Cavendish, and to this day no one knows what bananas we’ll be eating in the future.
Gen-mo bananas (which might be resistant to Panama race 4) are not allowed to be shipped worldwide.
All trade and research and development has been focused on planting and trading one sterile, cloned banana, for 70 years.
Whereas if they had kept 20% of production Gros Michel – which was also the best tasting banana!-
or if they had immediately started developing new seedless banana types, for some variety, chances to beat Panama race 4, would have been much better.
So I think that it should never be the aim to get everybody vaccinated, if 70 years from now you want to be prepared for your version of the Panama race 4 mutation.
Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.
There are stories about the black plague wiping out entire villages, but the people who survived, have brought forth offspring with DNA that protects them to hiv/AIDS.
Here’s an article/research that states 10% of Europeans being hiv resistant because of it:
So translating to today’s standards, where not wanting to be vaccinated is a personal choice and you will, or should, be able to get vaccinated;
Never underestimate the tremendous value of people who don’t and are willing to risk getting sick.
It might prove to be extremely valuable one day.
But I m getting sidetracked, because this post is really not about to vaccinate or not to vaccinate from a medical or scientific perspective!
It is about why you may consider doing it from a social perspective.
I feel all discussion has polarized to:
People who see their health as something personal, are against vaccination.
And people who feel a collective HEALTH responsibility are pro.
I think the space to have more people choose vaccination, appears when we step away from the medical model of:
vaccination = immunity = protecting people
vaccination = REASSURING PEOPLE
The anger people who are pro-vaccination feel towards people who are not, exists because they’re using very limited reasoning.
There is a certain laziness in their plea… as much as I hate to use this word:
Assuming everybody will get vaccinated because it’s the “good” thing to do,
“because” you protect other people?
There is a certain entitlement in that…..
“I m not sharing my real fear and vulnerability. I m not asking you to put yourself on the line for me so I can sleep sound.
I want you to do it because it’s RIGHT!”
Well I don’t know about you, but I get extreme allergic reactions to assumptions made on me doing something because
I have to
because it is right
because it is a sign I am a good person
because it gives me the right to even exist
I immediately throw myself in antagonist mode, because I WILL SHOW AND I WILL PROVE!
That I bow to no one.
That no one can make me do ANYTHING!
That I will rather DIE, than comply with your wishes.
Because I feel that if I start doing this for you?
It will never end.
First it’s social distance.
Then it’s test and trace.
Then it’s vaccinate
And 70 years from now you will still be ringing my doorbell with new things you want from me.
I know how totally annoying it is when you (and me) are expected to just roll over and comply.
Rebelling against that is as appealing to me as it is to you.
And probably even more to me.
But what I am offering is this:
What if we forgive people for not asking nicely?
What if we forgive people for not knowing how to ask, in an honest, disarming way:
“Covid really scares me. And it would make me feel so much better if you were vaccinated,
because then I don’t have to worry.
Will you do that for me?”
What if we made vaccination not something we do to physically protect each other,
but to mentally protect each other?
Vaccination as a sign of courtesy that you understand the fear, and that you are happy to take the vaccine,
including running any risks. That it is not your or my job to fully understand what is best for us INDIVIDUALLY;
Because unless you re prepared to be the sole survivor of this pandemic, by making the right choice every step of the way, you have chosen to be part of society.
Behaving in a way most people need to be comfortable around you,
is the price of living in a community.
Just like we don’t run around naked, but cover up and wear clothes instead.
Being naked is much healthier but we accept that wearing clothes is a price for being part of society.
And you could even take it one step further;
What if people looked up to you?
What if your position in society means that people are influenced by how you think about it,
by the choice you make?
How do you think Jesus, or Buddha, or contemporary spiritual leaders, or world leaders,
view the vaccine or would have viewed the vaccine?
Do you think these people would have made their choice based on what THEIR body needed?
I think not.
I think they would say what Aragorn says, when Legolas the Elf points out the dangers of the approaching armies at Helm’s Deep.
And how the warriors of Helm’s Deep are either too young, or too old. Their armor poor.
Legolas predicts, speaking in Elvish, that the people of Helm’s Deep will die in battle.
And then Aragorn, their future king, says to Legolas in common speech:
“Then I shall die as one of them.”
It is not up to you to avoid death.
Nor to avoid battle.
It is not up to you to judge the armor, or the condition of the warriors.
It is up to you to take your place in battle.
Side by side, with your people.
It is up to you, who shall be made King.
An unexamined life is not worth living
[*] Probably because I am not a native English speaker, I used the word emphatic (thoughts) , when it should have been “empathetic”.
Emphatic: done or said in a strong way and without any doubt
Empathetic: having the ability to imagine how someone else feels
But since this piece came out so outspoken, and with great clarity, I did not change the title when I discovered my mistake.
It is indeed, emphatic.
Emphatic* Thoughts On Why You Should Take The Vaccine
is one of the 2021 chapters of
The Covid Diaries