What astonishes me most during this pandemic is that far too many people out there, even amid the massive evidence proving how devastating and dangerous this virus is to the human population, still refuse to accept, let alone heed to, the constant warnings of our medical scientists. There is something ridiculous about people who reject the tenets and tools of modernity like reason, logic, scientific method, and collective memory. Most do so because their kooky religions or political ideologies cannot accept anything that even remotely contradicts the fragile and often childish beliefs to which they cling as if these beliefs comprise a life vest and they are adrift in a sea satanic evil. Many other people are simply ignorant of science, logic, and reason, moreover they lack the common sense to fact check even the stupidest conspiracy theories that enflame their passions so recklessly. What guides both types, the fanatically religious and inherently stupid, is the misguided paranoia that everyone else is out to get them. They have lost the ability to be rationally and logically reasoned with by facts and evidence, instead relying on their “gut feelings” to determine what is reality and what is not.
During this crisis, refusing to heed to the guidelines set forth by medical scientists can only lead to suffering and death. People are of course entitled to their own opinions, right or wrong, even the kookiest and most irrational ones, but being on the wrong side of reality today puts you, your family, your friends, and your neighbors in great peril. We don’t live on remote islands that separate us; we live in a collective society, and whether you love or hate your fellow human beings, just because your belief system makes you do self-destructive and even suicidally stupid things doesn’t give you the right to endanger your fellow citizens. Our government does have the right to impose strict guidelines, rules, and restrictions during a crisis, because the fundamental purpose of a government is to protect its people from danger and harm. Or just to protect each other from each other if necessary.
There are numerous examples emerging already of stupid and stubborn people clinging to self-destructive and suicidal beliefs that have imperiled them and their families and neighbors and fellow citizens horribly during this pandemic. I am always saddened to see people cling to ignorant and self-destructive beliefs with zero basis in reality, but I will draw the line when their behavior due to these beliefs could possibly imperil me or people I love. Yes, America is a free country, but not THAT free that you can endanger me by your selfishly insane refusal to accept reality and listen to reason in the face of a crisis of this magnitude. When you cannot grasp the scientific facts that not only protect you, but protect ME from you, then you are a danger to me. And if you die because you failed to heed to reason, logic, science, oh well, bon voyage, idiot.
The religious rejection of science and government laws and rules during a medical crisis can kill far too many of members of your irrational religious cult. Last year these same stubborn and largely ignorant Hasidic Jews were ravaged by the measles, a disease we eradicated in the United Staes back when I was child through a mandated vaccination program that saved countless millions of lives from a host of traditionally lethal childhood illnesses like the measles, mumps, rubella, smallpox, whooping cough, polio, and so many more. Being against vaccinations in the Twenty-First Century is madness, pure and simple, moreover you imperil everyone around you by not allowing your children to get vaccinated. These very same idiots are dropping like flies because they refuse to heed to the social distancing rules set forth by their state and local governments.
There is no real scientific evidence proving that vaccinations do any harm to stop allowing your children to be vaccinated. The upside to vaccination has been that tens—hundreds—of millions of children worldwide today and since the advent of mass vaccination are alive and thrive who, even a century ago, would have been horribly afflicted, and even died, by so many of the diseases we now have largely forgotten existed.
When was the last time you saw a child ravaged by polio hobbling around on crutches with both legs in braces? My Mom was afflicted by polio as a child and luckily emerged unscathed, but lots of children from her generation were not so lucky. Not a single kid from my generation suffered this indignity because of Jonah Salk’s amazing vaccine. I had a third grade teacher in her mid-30s, Miss Meyers, who was ravaged by childhood polio and spent the rest of her life confined to leg braces and crutches to get around. It is still clear in my memory. People my age, born after the Salk vaccine, do any of your children or grandchildren have similar memories? No.
Anti-Vaxxers are idiots who lack any reason in their insane stance against this miracle of medical science that has made humanity thrive. My generation was the first to fully thrive because of these brilliant scientific discoveries. Hundreds of thousands of people my age were spared horrible afflictions and early death by diseases that, just in the childhood of my parents generation, destroyed so many lives of their peers. All successive generations don’t have the anecdotal stories of how horrible it used to be that my parents related to me. Because these horrors no longer existed. The most important lesson is we must never forget from where we came historically is that Natural Selection is a demon that thrives on humans forgetting how to survive when we’ve already figured out how to vanquish some of this demon’s most devastating tricks. Reason, logic, scientific method, and our ability to remember keep us thriving and alive. When we refuse these tools due to stubborn beliefs that defy these tools for irrational reasons, we do so at great peril.
So, people, be as stupid and stubborn and suicidal as you see fit, Just stay the fuck away from me and the ones I love. Luckily Natural Selection will weed out many of the really stupid ones. I lament this fact, but since many of these idiots brought it on themselves, I shall not lament with much effort.