No! NO!! HELL NO!!! Just NO!!
The President of this country wants states to PAY people $100 to get COVID vaccinations! NO! Paying people to do what’s right - what’s medically required - what might save their lives - is a lousy idea. What comes next? Paying people to file their taxes? Get driver’s licenses? Going to the doctor? What? It sets a lousy, dangerous national precedent and is a bad use of government authority, no matter who does it.
It’s a fact the new Delta strain of COVID-19 is more deadly and spreads much easier than the original. We know those without vaccinations are more likely to contract the disease. Even die from it. I know that.
I also know only just under 50–percent of us have done what’s right. What’s absolutely necessary. We’ve gotten our shots. Some have had two. And we didn’t get paid to do the right thing. To protect ourselves and our neighbors. It’s just what you do.
Given we’re in the second year of a pandemic, with no end in sight, there have been plenty of warnings - plenty of pleadings - for people to get vaccinated. For some damned reason, only about half of us have. I know.
There’ve been the usual excuses - all the mind-numbing “reasons” - all the childish lying - for not getting the possibly life-saving shots. None hold up to hard medical facts. What does hold up is the indifference to doing the right thing, for one’s own sake and making another possible disease-carrying threat to our lives. And the lives of those we love.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control is warning, in rare cases, even some who’ve been vaccinated can be carriers. Some. That means another possible source for contamination. But, no reason not to get the shots!
And mask wearing. Are we supposed to think that the unvaccinated and the anti-vaxers are going to “mask up” when out and about? Really? It’s much more likely the re-masking task will be undertaken by those of us who’ve been poked. Much more likely.
I remember, some months ago, Barb and I scoured the old I-net, frantically looking for a site to sign up for the original COVID shots. Weeks - literally weeks - of looking finally resulted in getting appointments. Hers five minutes from home. Mine, a 20 mile round trip. But, we got ‘em. Twice.
Now, a third shot - a vaccine booster shot - is being talked about. Pfizer Lab folks say, for those of us over 65, it would provide an 11-fold increase in protection. With that kind of positive news, it’s likely there will be another round of shots. At our house, we’ll sign up again.
Rather than pay miscreants and the factually-challenged $100, a better mission for government - federal, at least - would be coming up with some way to stop the flow of lies and fact-less information.
There’s the First Amendment to the Constitution. I know. I know. I’ve spent a lifetime being a First Amendment advocate. And, sometimes, I had to swallow hard defending speech I hated.
But, there’s plenty of evidence Faux Neus, Newsmax and other far-right media, are prime purveyors of distortions, half-truths and flat-out lies. And, there’s also plenty of evidence that many - if not most - of the unvaccinated look to these voices of lies and distortions as their only source of “information.” This “closed-circuit” of bad information creates a distorted reality and denial of facts.
While there are some who are just plain anti-vaxers, millions of other folks are avoiding vaccinations because of this steady flow of reinforcement they receive - reinforcement based on distortion and lies. Many truly believe they are “right” not to get the shots. Their accepted sources of “reality” - Faux Neus and the rest - repeatedly tell them so.
Somehow - someway - for the literal survival of the nation - the massive amounts of fact-less, bad information must be stopped. The First Amendment was never meant to shield voices of threats to our own national survival. But, that’s what’s happening.
If 10-20-million unvaccinated citizens are allowed to remain unvaccinated carriers of COVID - current or strains yet to be seen - our health system will collapse. Our national economy will be crippled for lack of workers, sickened or dead because of an unchecked pandemic. Our national security could be dangerously threatened.
But, pay them to do the right thing - the responsible thing - NO!
We already have businesses putting the hammer down. Citibank, for one, has altered its employee card access system to the large main headquarters in New York City. Unvaccinated workers are being denied electronic entry. Federal employees, and contractors seeking federal work, must be vaccinated. There’s a restaurant in California that requiring proof of vaccinations before seating. Other private efforts are underway.
No, this will not get everyone. But, working together and toughening up, such efforts will get a lot of the unvaccinated. A lot! And could make the difference.
Getting vaccinated against COVID is not only a high personal priority. It’s also become a national priority of citizenship.