Opinion: Will the pain of death actually be a wake-up call for unvaccinated Americans?

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Bob Enyart, a Colorado pastor infamous for mocking AIDS victims on his TV show in the nineties, recently urged his followers to reject COVID-19 vaccines. Writing on his website, he acknowledged that “it is not inherently sinful to take an unapproved vaccine”, referring to the use of embryonic cell lines in the development of vaccines, but nonetheless urged his followers Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson. asked to boycott. & Johnson “to further increase social tensions and put pressure on child killers.”

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Nashville talk radio host Phil Valentine, who has repeatedly expressed doubts about the seriousness of the virus and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, said he was not risking a heart attack or paralysis by getting the shot . Scott Epley, a local Texas politician, filled his Facebook page with antimask and anti-vaccine comments and memes. Florida talk-radio host Mark Bernier proudly calls himself “Mr. Anti-Vax.” Dick Farrell, another Florida talk-radio host, called COVID-19 vaccines “poisons.”

All these men are now dead, they were saved by the buoy that might have saved them from drowning.

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These stories are becoming more common as Delta-powered fourth wave tears through non-vaccinated communities in the United States: vocal opponents who use their pulpit to prosecute the perceived dangers of vaccination, succumbing to the real and ever-present danger. Virus.

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If the COVID-19 pandemic is not an emergency demanding real leadership, then what is?

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The charitable approach to taking on the deaths of the men above and those like them is that they were hopelessly misguided – victims of a social ecosystem distorted by misinformation and knee-jerk contradiction. The less charitable approach – and likely to be more omnipresent, if we are honest about the nature of our rather vicious species – perhaps finds some shadenfreude Once upon hearing about these disobedient people eating the ultimate crow. After all, not only did these men risk their lives by avoiding vaccination, but they encouraged their followers to plunge into the sea and leave the lifeboat behind.

The pace of vaccination in the US peaked around mid-April, when more than three million first or second shots were administered daily. After that the number of first doses dropped dramatically, reaching an average of only a few hundred thousand daily in early July. But when the Delta version began sending large numbers of unvaccinated hospitals to hospitals, massive hospitals in Missouri, Florida, Texas, and other states where vaccinations took place. rates had stabilized or remained low all along, people began to line up for the first dose again. The increase in newly reported deaths, which has been rising since mid-July and shows no sign of slowing, appears to be something the vaccine encourages, education, and threats of mandates could not achieve: it gave some hesitant Americans a chance to eventually Guaranteed to roll up. sleeve.

As a result, the United States now finds itself in a distorted landscape where death can actually be seen as a social Good – gruesome and taboo as it may be to admit – if it compels those who are hesitant to refuse vaccination.

Just looking at the disease doesn’t work. In fact, some influential people who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19 have emerged putting forward even more defiant, unproven theories they attribute their recovery to. Podcaster Joe Rogan — who, in April, announced on his widely popular show that young and healthy people don’t need vaccinations — recently recovered from COVID-19, but defended his use of ivermectin, a Medicine that is used to treat parasitic conditions, but unproven against COVID-19. And though some hoped that the battle facing former US President Donald Trump would humble him and perhaps force him to urge others to take the virus more seriously, he returned to the White House as usual. Returns. “Don’t be afraid of Covid,” he tweeted after receiving state-of-the-art care and treatments that were inaccessible to average Americans at the time. “Don’t let it dominate your life.”

Stories of people contracting and recovering from COVID-19, even if they suffer greatly in the interim (as Mr Trump reportedly did), simply do not seem to be the driving force of death. News that Mr Enyart died for boycotting his vaccine, or that Mr Valentine died of COVID-19 because he did not want the remote risk of dying of a heart attack, or that Mr Farrell’s Lungs may have been filled with infection because he believed a syringe was filled with “poison”—sad but blunt lessons like these might actually help Americans overcome their hesitation. Observers remember the consequences – death or recovery – more than remember the process, and when the result is death, the message is clear.

These casualties are, of course, absolutely tragic. But in a very backward, very unfortunate way, they can also be a force for good.

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