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The unvaxxed

If you come to think of it, the unvaccinated are primary reason why COVID variants and mutations like Delta and Omicron exist. Furthermore, their immune systems that have no added protection against the coronavirus are also among the primary reasons why health systems and hospitals are overwhelmed.

That is the reason why they are getting so much hate and discrimination these days, because their cooperation and consideration is what the rest of the vaccinated world needs as we try to beat back COVID-19 and reclaim our lives that were put on hold by this devastating once pandemic.

Our scientists have done their job, working under immense time pressure to come up with one of the most effective vaccines in the history of mankind. However, mankind as a species in general isn’t very smart so here we are, wasting the opportunity to control the pandemic by achieving herd immunity and starving the coronavirus as quickly as possible.

Our failure to control the virus despite the unprecedentedly quick development of an effective vaccine is because of the very human traits of greed, incompetence, and fear-mongering.

In the beginning, the greedy nations hoarded the vaccines for themselves, aided by the fact that nations led by incompetent men sat back and either dropped the ball or did absolutely nothing. It was around this point that the Delta variant emerged.

As vaccine production and availability ramped up, more countries were able to play catch up with their vaccination programs. There was a point last year when although many nations were still lagging behind, things started to look up. However, as infections continued to spread easily among the yet-to-be-vaccinated, the virus also had more opportunities to mutate.

While there were rich countries that had managed to protect most of their population, the rest of the world was struggling to catch up and it was in such areas that variants like Omicron was born. The vaccination motto of the World Health Organization “We are not safe until everyone is safe” was proving itself true and what is worrying is that the longer we take to get to that point where we can technically declare everyone safe, the more chances the virus has to evolve and produce more variants that have the potential to beat our current crop of vaccines.

I don’t doubt science and our species’ scientists. They are in this arms race to win it and as the virus mutates, they will surely tweak or develop the vaccines to meet the challenge.

What I doubt is the ability of majority of the human species to do what is needed so we can beat COVID-19. The top 1% brains of our species can take care of the research and testing, as well as figure out the production and logistics puzzles to distribute enough vaccines for the entire planet. If we are lucky, maybe 70-80% will understand the importance of vaccination and herd immunity and cooperate so we can beat COVID or whatever pandemic comes next. But what has been and will be giving us a hard time are the 20-30% who are still hesitant or outright refuse to cooperate so we can get this pandemic over with.

Given the number of years we’ve already lost because of the pandemic, it is easy to see how much hate and lack of sympathy those who refuse to get vaccinated are getting. And how some governments have resorted to desperate measures to cajole or force the unvaccinated to get jabbed.

First and foremost, COVID-19 vaccines are already free and made as widely available as possible. In addition, there have been raffle draws and financial incentives to get jabbed. When that didn’t work, governments tried to make life as difficult as possible for the unvaxxed, barring them from restaurants and other activities. Some areas like Quebec have proposed imposing a hefty tax on the unvaxxed, as compensation for their contribution in stressing the healthcare system. In the Philippines, where our government has this tendency to take the kneejerk and extreme route, a “No vax, no ride” policy is currently applied to public transportation in some areas.

Despite these efforts to push as many humans to get vaccinated from COVID-19 as quickly as possible so we can win the arms race against a supposedly brainless organism, it seems that because of these people, achieving herd immunity is still going to be our greatest struggle.

If the unvaxxed and the anti-vaxxers have a better solution, we’d love to hear it. And if it makes sense, the quack science checks out, and whatever program they have in mind is more viable than vaccination, we’d be willing to give it a go. After all, whatever they can think of can’t possibly be more harmful than the jab that scares them more than getting COVID, getting sent to the ICU or a crematorium.

We, the vaccinated have already proven that we are willing to do what it takes to win this arms race against COVID-19 while those who refuse the jab have done absolutely nothing but complain, hold out, hope and maybe pray for the best.

Maybe they do deserve to be penalized, taxed, mocked and ridiculed out of this planet.*

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May 2022
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