COVID and the Anti-Vaccine Movement Fall 2023

It is 4:55 AM on Saturday, September 23rd 2023. This is not my usual time to write but it is when I usually wake up. Although I wake up it has been rare to actually get up out of bed. Usually I’ll open the phone and check all the usual apps including the news.

Today, I saw an article that the anti-vaccine movement is on the rise and thought I’d get my own thoughts down for posterity.

As for me, I trust science and will take this vaccine as well as any other recommended vaccine by my health organization. Vaccines exist for a reason and I’m very familiar with the Flu, COVID, Chicken Pox and all the others. Vaccines for a for the Flu and Chicken Pox didn’t exist until I was an adult and for the Flu and new COVID virus I’m perfectly fine with not having to experience them on a yearly basis. I’m also very grateful for the vaccines that did exist when I was a kid. I never had to experience polio, or many of the other very nasty diseases that plagued humanity until the 20th century thanks to vaccines.

I’m the type of person that does not like hospitals, and that is reluctant to go for any reason. I’m also a person that believes the human body is better off using its own immune system without all the drugs and pills pharmaceutical companies want to sell us. However, there are some sicknesses out there, such as COVID that will damage the body and that will kill and maim and so vaccines are a godsend. I’m also an active person and don’t want to be laid out in bed with a sickness that could have been prevented just by making the right choice. With COVID I also do not want to infect others should my symptoms be very mild.

I remain shocked at the indifference many in the USA have towards their fellow countrymen. Over one million Americans have died due to COVID. Think about that. If you were to tell an American in the 1990s that over one million Americans will die due to a disease unless they got a vaccine, what would their answer be? I’m sure all of the politicians would encourage everyone to get the vaccine and that death toll would be in the thousands, not over a million.

But we no longer live in a logical society. We live in one where truth and facts no longer matter. We also have new technology with the internet where lies can easily spread and with the bombardment of information – true or not – has been too much for society to handle. Many politicians – Republicans especially – no longer do what is best for the country. The do what will get them reelected relying on a base that cannot discern fact from fiction.

The blame does not lie only with the internet and politicians with no moral compass. It lies with capitalism itself. The raison d’être for companies in the USA to exist is to make money. If they do not make money they do not exist. Over the past couple of decades, corporations have gotten much better at making money while at the same time have seen a great decline in ethics. The point of capitalism is profits at all costs even if it kills people or destroys the environment. The only reason companies address sustainability is to continue making money.

Therefore, although I think the anti-vaccine movement is driven by those without strong critical thinking skills I cannot blame them entirely although I’d like to, especially with the horrendous death toll from COVID. I think they are selfish, dim-witted, baffled people and am sorely disappointed with a large chunk of my countrymen. These are the people that shout about patriotism yet engage in activities that are detrimental to the country. Logic and reason are not welcome in their minds.

However, there is one point I agree with them. Major pharmaceutical companies have bombarded us with drug commercials over the decades and will do whatever necessary to sell more and thus make more profits. Drug companies were not allowed to advertise prior to 1985. I do not remember drug commercials as a kid in the late ’80s but I do recall those commercials becoming more frequent as the decades have gone by. Now, 66% of Americans take some sort of prescription. That is over 131 million people. Here in 2023, not only are Americans bombarded with too much information they cannot handle, over half the population takes drugs, most of which probably aren’t absolutely necessary.

America itself is more of a business than a country. Profits are what drive the American engine and it has gotten out of control. I wonder if the pharmaceutical industry had been honest with people, if they had declined to sell their drugs to people who really do not need it would have put them in a place of prestige and respect instead of being suspect. Unfortunately this is not the case.

Politicians are also to blame. Republicans especially will now do whatever is necessary to win, instead of what is right. A great example is what Trump did at the outset of COVID. At first, he took credit for ‘creating’ the vaccine. Then he realized this is not what his supporters wanted. Trump got COVID himself and got access to special medicine and top doctors for treatment and it may be that he would have died without those. It is what he did next that shocks me. He went on the balcony looking like he struggled to breath a bit, took off his mask and said to not let COVID determine your life. He ignored the fact that poeple were dying and said COVID would magically disappear, that churches would be full and so on. He encouraged alternate ‘treatments’ such as sunlight, horse dewormer, Clorox and so on. Think about that, the President of the United States encouraged taking bleach as a way to treat a disease which was killing his countrymen when there was a remedy available all because his political base is too stupid to discern fact from fiction.

I feel as though I may have inadvertently stepped into an alternate space-time continuum where logic is replaced with the illogical. Perhaps the divine simply want to test me and decided to ratchet up the bizarre to see how I will react. The logical was just the safe starting point of the matrix and now the grand architect wants to see how I’ll perform given a challenge where my world no longer makes sense.

For those reading in the future, no, much does not make any sense here in the USA in 2023. You no doubt have much more knowledge and are smarter than we are and want to make sense of this idiocy by simply believing people in the past were not very intelligent as we are inclined to do when looking into the past. Well, to you I would say I’m very surprised. I had thought that with all our schools and universities that are more numerous than anytime in the past that we would have been smarter as a society about this. I’m sorely disappointed. Society will move in unexpected directions and perhaps one of the scientific reasons for this is “Chaos Theory.”

Chaos theory is a branch of mathematics that studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions. This means that small changes in the initial conditions of a chaotic system can lead to large and unpredictable changes in the system’s behavior over time.

Artificial Intelligence

We were humming along nicely as a society in the ’90s. Since then we’ve had a number of incredible shocks such as: 9-11, the Financial and Housing Crisis, terrorism, war, internet, social media, COVID, hyper-capitalism, spread of disinformation, environmental degredation and so on.

Perhaps it is all of these which have caused a large amount of people to become irrational. It is hard to place on any specific or combination of factors but what I can say, is the pace of change has been too much for many and so they cling to a demagogue like Trump. There are many examples of this in the past and so it is nothing new. I’m just sad and disappointed as I thought we here in the USA, the greatest nation of all time were better. How is it that they claim to be patriotic yet support things which undermine and damage the country?

Well, the time is now 6:02 AM and we have a busy day. I’m glad I got my thoughts down and I can only hope things will get better and not worse. I’m an optimist but also realize things could go either way. With the looming Presidential election and Trump (and his movement) we are at a point where America could no longer be recognizable or even exist in its current form should Republicans win. Nobody really knows how things are going to turn out.

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/