Some things about human beans remain the same despite knowledge, facts, science and even a strong sense of society/community trying to change them. People have biases. People have beliefs. Some people even gots religion. There is also (out here, anyway) a very strong vein of contrary or counter-conventional thinking anyway. Yep, we have Q-followers, anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers. We likely even have believers that Bill Gates is trying to microchip us all.
One might wrap all that contrarian thinking up into the term ‘independent’ or ‘free-thinking’ but that would be wrong. There is nothing independent or free thinking about following Q and giving that same kind of zealous support that the general population has for social conventional wisdom. If you follow A or if you follow B, you are still a follower. Independence is quite different than just ‘opposite’ or ‘contrary’.
Real independence/free thinking requires gobs of knowledge (with, ironically, an emphasis on history), large amounts of thinking/contemplation/meditation and a really good nose for the usual BS and now the extraordinary amount of lies and misinformation out there. And that, I am sure is the very least required. Free thinking is almost impossible since we think with words and ‘canned’ information, constructs, thoughts and values all handed down to us when we were really NOT thinking very much at all (when we were kids).
All that precedes the story that our little community has a new split, a fissure, a divide in it. Everyone and anyone connected to this remote community was offered the shot. We had plenty of notice. Some chose NOT to get the shot. We have some antivaxxers and, in a small community, a group of contrarians – altho usually tolerated very well – are not as warmly embraced during a pandemic. One can tolerate all sorts of eccentricities and even whacky behaviour but it is hard to ignore a contagious disease.
Of course, I am tolerant, easy-going and accept those that I privately consider 100% wrong but that is not because I am enlightened and in the Zen of it all….no, I can tolerate it rather well because I got the shot. In two weeks time, the potentially diseased and contagious can kiss me on the lips and I will not care. I will be immune (or as immune as I can be).
But families with children are a bit more disturbed about this potential tear in our social fabric. Kids aren’t being vaccinated and the system is encouraging kids to go to school. Kids play together, interact in class, ride in boats. That ‘pool’ represents a highly connected network for potentially spreading the disease. If all the kids remain out here all the time, they may still be OK but any anti-vax adult NOT immune can pick up the virus in town or wherever adults go and then give it to their kids who will, in turn, give it to the school. Anti-vaxxers are giving the virus a back-door into the community. The pro-vax mothers are a bit ticked because others are putting their children at risk.
Is it a tempest in a tea-pot? It might be. I hope so. If things go well, it may blow over. But, for things to go well, we have to supplement the inoculation program (as inept as it is) by simultaneously achieving ‘herd immunity’ (generally perceived as being 80% of the population being free of the virus). If we get 80% of us clean and they remain disease free for a period of time, the virus loses it’s potential ‘market’ and has to jump too far and less frequently to keep itself going.
The anti-vaxxers are relying on 80% of the community to do the risk-work for them. I am guessing that, with our recent clinic, we might have around 60% virus free or safe within a couple of weeks. 60% is not 80%. 60% leaves 40% to give host to the virus and it’s variants. 40% can keep this disease spreading.
Frankly, NOT getting the vaccine is a person’s choice. I get that. And driving a car while intoxicated is also a person’s choice and I accept that, too. But, if the drunk kills someone, then they are fully responsible and should have to pay the price which will never be enough for anyone – not even the drunk. That would be a mistake that impacts many forever. Will a person with a political stance on C-19 be seen the same way as a drunk driver? Who knows?
And, even if they are, will they ever know?
In the city, a virus spreader may never know of their mistake in any direct way. They may never encounter one of their victims. They may just go blissfully on unthinking about what role they may be playing in the ever-changing pandemic. But, out here? In a small community where everyone knows everyone’s position on such things? I am not so sure one will have anonymity. This act of social defiance, this act of allegiance to Q or some conspiracy theory, this ignorance of social responsibility may come back to haunt them, may even divide the community, may cause another kind of disease that can never be eradicated.
It turns out that NOT getting the shot is a bigger gamble than the anti-vaxxers may have realized…….