See what I did there? FAQ’s…as in “frequently asked questions,” but when said aloud it also sounds like “facts,” as in “the truth.” Eh? Eh?
The last year has been maddening and riddled with endless misinformation combined with a lack of understanding and an unwillingness to find actual facts and truth. Logic, common sense, and critical thinking are extinct; and none of what we’ve already experienced compares to the shit-show we’re all about to live vis a vis the Covid-19 vaccine.
I have incredibly intelligent, well-informed friends who are walking around believing and repeating total falsehoods about the vaccine. I’m not talking about whacko anti-vaxxers…I’m talking about people who are literally contradicting known science and everything that is being said, published, and written. This isn’t like the mask debate; it’s worse. Much, much worse.
Part of the blame, like usual, lies at the feet of the inept federal government and their total inability to formulate coherent policy statements, but most of it is our fault. Willful stupidity and ignorance on the part of the America public will make 2021 worse than 2020. You heard it here first. So, let’s begin with the Frequently Asked Questions…FAQ’s…get it? My answers are as objective as I can possibly be and supported by numerous links to various articles and posts from both the media and the CDC. Enjoy.
IF I’VE BEEN VACCINATED, IS IT SAFE FOR ME TO BE AROUND UNVACCINATED PEOPLE?
That depends on your definition of “safe.” YOU are safe. If you believe the reported science, the vaccine protects you from symptoms of the virus. If you are exposed to Covid, the vaccine will make sure that you don’t exhibit or feel symptoms. Someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 could sneeze in your face and you’ll be fine…others, however, won’t. This is where your personal morality comes into play. Once vaccinated, you’re immune, but you’re still able to spread the virus if you contract it. The vaccine doesn’t prevent you from getting the virus, it prevents you from getting sick from it. You’re still contagious to non-vaccinated people. So, you decide; are you your brother’s keeper, or is that everyone else’s problem?
IF I’VE BEEN VACCINATED, ARE OTHER PEOPLE SAFE AROUND ME?
Absolutely not. Unless and until herd immunity is reached and the virus becomes weak to the equivalent of the common cold, your vaccination is completely and totally irrelevant to anyone else. This is why it’s lunacy for people to claim that because their husband has been vaccinated, the family is safe. Conversely, vaccinated people demanding that they will only congregate with other people who have bene vaccinated is equally asinine and ignorant.
WHY AM I BEING TOLD I STILL HAVE TO WEAR A MASK AFTER I’VE BEEN FULLY VACCINATED?
See previous answers. Getting vaccinated ONLY protects you (until enough people have done so and we achieve herd immunity). The vaccine merely wards off all symptoms of the virus. You can get infected, but won’t feel the effects of it. However, you still have the virus and can spread it. Whether or not you wearing a mask stops the spread is a debate long since passed…
WHAT IS THIS I AM HEARING ABOUT THE VACCINE ONLY BEING GOOD FOR 3 MONTHS?
This is not quite fake news, but it’s close. Everyone is forgetting that we’ve been living with this virus for less than a year, thus we only know what we know. We’ve had the vaccines for about 90 days, so do the math. We know that the vaccine provides antibodies for at least 3 months. There’s no indication that we’re all going to have to get shots every quarter of every year. Multiple experts have said that based on what we know about the human body and its’ history with viruses, it is very likely that the immune system will remember the virus if re-exposed later on, and then produce new antibodies.
IS THE COVID VACCINE SAFE?
This is an unanswerable question for anyone with intellectual credibility. No vaccine in history has been manufactured and approved so quickly and, as of this writing, 50 million Americans have received their shots and we have less than 2 months of data from them.
Mathematically speaking, side effects are occurring at a much higher rate than the flu shot, but still to a very small percentage of people who get vaccinated. Deaths occurring after the vaccine stand at .0018% of people and NONE have been directly linked to the shot. These numbers are, in my opinion, irrelevant.
The question shouldn’t be “is the vaccine safe,” it should be “what do I fear more? Getting Covid, or getting side effects from the vaccine?’ OR “what do I fear more? How little we know about the potential long-term effects of Covid, or how little we know about the potential long term effects of the vaccine?”
Ultimately, I predict the actual question for those who are hesitant will be “how much do I miss having anything close to a normal life versus how much do I fear the unknowns about the vaccine?” Normalcy will not be offered to those who aren’t vaccinated unless a surprising number of Americans suddenly change their minds and lurch us towards herd immunity by stepping forward. More on this below.
AM I A BAD PERSON IF I DON’T WANT THE VACCINE?
This is a personal and moral question in its entirety. Based on all current writings and opinions, the vocal majority’s answer is “yes, yes you are.” But bear in mind that much of that is based on ignorance and misinformation. I’ve had far too many friends tell me that the reason they’re getting the vaccine is to “protect old people,” which is quite literally anti-science. The only way that logic works is when we reach herd immunity but until then, you getting the vaccine protects no one other than yourself, period.
One of the most infuriating things that will play out this summer is the realization that somewhere between 25 and 50% of all Americans are currently not interested in receiving the vaccine. I have 17 cops in my contacts list and all of them have refused it. I know 10 doctors/nurses and 7 of them have also refused. Many may, after seeing little to know side-effects from the vaccine decide to take it, but the jury is out on that and the rationale for forcing them to do so is murky at best. So, bring on the coercion. More on that below, as well.
WHAT’S THIS ABOUT NOT NEEDING TO QUARANTINE IF I’VE HAD THE VACCINE?
Lunacy. This is your government at its’ worst. There is absolutely no sense to this whatsoever, other than propaganda. The CDC itself says that even after being vaccinated you must practice all other health protocols including masking and social distancing, because you can still spread the virus if you contract it. Again, the vaccination doesn’t prevent you from getting infected, it prevents you from symptoms.
But wait…why do we quarantine if we’re knowingly exposed to the virus? So that we don’t spread it to others! So why in the world would we be told that the vaccinated don’t need to quarantine if they’re exposed? There’s only one reason; coercion and propaganda. It’s the carrot and stick. C’mon, get the vaccine and we’ll let you go outside (even though our own stated science contradicts this entirely). Maddening doesn’t begin to describe this.
CAN MY EMPLOYER FORCE ME TO GET VACCINATED?
The short answer is absolutely, yes. The only exceptions are basically religious (which you’d need to have some sort of established track record of such beliefs to survive a termination lawsuit that might ensue), health reasons like being allergic to the vaccine, or an existing contract or collective bargaining agreement that prevents it (which is how and why most cops and firefighters have been able to refuse en masse).
CAN BUSINSSES FORCE ME TO SHOW PROOF OF VACCINATION IN ORDER TO BE A CUSTOMER?
No offense, but this is perhaps the stupidest question of the bunch. Absolutely, yes. A company can impose any requirements onto its customers that it wants to, as long as those policies are not discriminatory, and even that latter point is questionable in Covid times. After all, many companies have thrown the Americans with Disabilities Act out the window as it relates to mask mandate enforcement and those who suffer from claustrophobia, panic attacks, and asthma and those businesses have suffered zero consequences. Additionally, demanding that you be vaccinated to enter their private business is not a violation of HIPPA laws in any way because you don’t have to shop there, nor do you have a right to. If you want to attend their concert, fly on their airline, or enter their store, and they demand you show proof of vaccination, then you have to show proof of vaccination…period. Legal scholars disagree as to whether or not non-government agencies will need to offer any sort of exceptions for religious exemptions (which basically means they won’t have to until it works its’ way through the courts which could take years). With the world already talking about creating Covid passports, this seems inevitable and a hurdle too high to leap if you want anything close to a 2019 life again.
WILL I NEED PROOF OF VACCINATION TO TRAVEL?
See the previous answer. The only change here is that the American Government can make no law that would infringe on a citizens’ right to freedom of religion, meaning that those with spiritual objections to the vaccine can’t be discriminated against by the government. For the most part, there’s a pretty easy work-around to this for the government by simply “asking” airlines (private companies) to impose such a policy, as opposed to the government doing so.
The bottom line is this; After living through the last 12 months, in which endless civil liberties and freedoms were ripped away from us in the name of “public safety,” do you really, honestly believe that if it is determined that people need to be coerced into getting the vaccine that we won’t be? Dozens of court challenges to church closures, punishments of business owners, and the imposition of lockdowns and curfews have deemed those orders to have been unconstitutional, yet, the overwhelming majority of the nation remains under the thumb of such policies. Thus, many of the “can they do that,” narrative needs to be ignored for the answer clearly is, yes, and they will. Our decisions will be based entirely on what we’re willing to accept and endure versus the life we want to live.